With December only a few days away, the holiday season is clearly already here making now the perfect time to clear out your old clutter to make room for new goodies. Right? But what should you keep and what should you throw away?
Many Americans have this dilemma and have turned to professional advice on how to decide what stays and what goes. It may seem slightly odd to ask a stranger how you feel about your own belongings but there is a highly profitable market for advice on de-cluttering.
In 2015 Japanese cleaning guru Marie Kondo felt her first brush with fame. The release of her book ‘The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up’ soon became a favorite in many homes across the country, making it a hit on the best-selling lists. Full of advice on how to clear out your spare room, closet, basement or garage, Kondo inspired readers everywhere to clear out their trash.
This was followed up in 2019 with ‘Tidying Up With Marie Kondo’ airing on Netflix and again showed homeowners how they could streamline their homes using the ‘KonMari’ method.
This month Kondo announced her latest venture. But if you were imagining more details on whether an item brings you joy, or how to achieve the domestic bliss you have been craving you will be sadly disappointed.
Finally content that she has emptied the nation’s closets Kondo wants to fill them back up!
Although you have been able to buy storage boxes since 2018 you can now buy more items thanks to her new online store. However you do not have to worry that her items will make your home feel cluttered again, as Kondo’s design has opted for a minimalist look, with many items in neutral shades as well as a calming dove-gray.
But however arrogant it may seem to spend years encouraging Americans to get rid of their belongings followed by a blatant attempt to capitalize on filling the empty spaces, Kondo is merely jumping onto her celebrity status, and in America being a celebrity means making money.
Look at any celebrity in recent times and you will see that they have more than one string to their bow. There was a time when starring in movies and being interviewed or photographed was a full time position, yet there are few celebrities who stay in their ‘genre’ any more.
Actors are always appearing in advertisements for some sort of beauty or fragrance products while many others are creating their own companies.
Think of Gwyneth Paltrow. Not content with being a hugely successful actor in her own right, Paltrow went on to create Goop which is promoted as a ‘modern lifestyle brand’, promoting everything and anything they believe can make your life better.
The Kardashian/Jenner family is another example of curating multiple professions. Playing off the back of a sex-tape scandal, Kim Kardashian managed to create one of the most successful reality shows of all time, paving the way for not only herself but her entire family to create careers for themselves. Alongside Kim’s growing empire her siblings have also created businesses with half-sister Kylie Jenner recently selling 51% of her makeup empire for $600 million, making her one of the youngest self-made billionaires at only 22.
It is not only the female stars that are branching into other sectors either. Whilst lifestyle products predominantly target women, men are also being targeted with Kanye West, Will & Jaden Smith, and even Paul Newman finding considerable success via their own brands.
Paul Newman’s salad dressings were created as a Paul Newman ‘brand’ rather than an endorsement and was one of the first success stories. Since then we have had singer P.Diddy’s ‘Sean John’ clothing line as well as Ryan Reynolds’ Aviation Gin, a product he not only owns but cleverly promotes via a ‘war’ with Hugh Jackman, resulting in great sales for both his gin and Jackman’s Laughing Man Coffee.
One of the biggest success stories however is that of Jessica Simpson. Back in 2005 Simpson used her public image to attract customers to her new shoe business. Becoming one of the very first social media ‘influencers’ Simpson found herself in a position where she could utilize her image to a greater goal. Through promoting herself and her lifestyle through her social media pages, Simpson has created a business attracting an annual revenue of $1 billion.
With social media continuing to grow more social media stars emerged and many have ‘YouTuber’ listed as their occupation. Many of the younger generation have turned their backs on mainstream television, getting their entertainment from such channels, ensuring social media stars’ bank balances are growing each day thanks to a line of ‘merch’ that compliment their channel.
Kondo’s latest venture’s success will surely depend on how well she can convince people that there really is not any irony in telling people to clear their homes then fill it with her items, in fact she was recently quoted as saying ‘my tidying method isn’t about getting rid of things – it’s about heightening your sensitivity to what brings you joy’.