Gilmore Girls always had its finger on the pulse of what was going on in pop culture, and it’s great to see that so little has changed in Gilmore Girls: A Year In The Life. In “Winter,” one of the main gags of the episode is that Emily is so distressed over Richard’s death that she embraces organization superstar Marie Kondo and decides to give away everything that doesn’t “bring her joy.” Is The Life-Changing Magic Of Tidying Up by Marie Kondo from Gilmore Girls a real book?
Oh, by golly, it sure is, and it was a number-one best-selling book in 2016. Written by Marie Kondo, the premise of the book is this: we all have too much stuff, and too much stuff dulls our senses and makes our lives infinitely more complicated. Because we have too much stuff, we need to but down our belongings, and the way to do it is simple — take every item you own, pick it up, give it a tap to “wake” it up, and then ask yourself if it brings you joy. Do you truly love having this item? Or is it just something that’s around? If you truly love it and it makes you happy, you put it on the pile to keep it. If it does not, you donate it or throw it out.
Once you’ve gone through everything in your home (and I mean everything), everything that’s left is to be put in a place that’s not only visible and accessible but easy to take out and put back. Oh, and you’re supposed to organize by categories — books, clothing, paperwork, etc. — instead of room, because you should have a fundamental view of all of your clothes at once, your books at once, etc. You get the idea. There are also special ways to fold your clothes. Truth be told, I did do a sort of Kondo-lite organization of all of my clothes (nothing else), and it really did help me get tidier.
Kondo maintains that nostalgia should have no bearing on your belongings — if you’re only keeping that ratty t-shirt you never wear because it reminds you of your first date with your husband, you should probably chuck it. Keep the memories and release the material possessions. I think this is why Emily got so into Kondo-mania in the first place. Richard is dead, and Emily has lost her companion of 50 years. Her house is nothing but memories, and Emily goes through everything to decide what will make her happy again. As Lorelai tells her, though, nothing can make her happy until she deals with her grief.
The Life-Changing Magic Of Tidying Up shows just how off-kilter Emily is following Richard’s death. Emily is a woman who loves “stuff.” She likes to buy things. She likes to have excess, and that’s the antithesis of what Kondo’s book is about. Lorelai was right to tell her to take those ratty jeans off and put her Chanel suit back on, because Emily is so not minimalist enough to really be a Kondo disciple. Luckily, she is snapped out of her cleaning fugue state before she can give Bertha, her new maid, and her family the deed to the house.
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