Once a word reserved primarily for the “personal profile” section of your CV, “organisation” and the things now associated with it — life admin, decluttering, routines, and planners — suddenly became cool in the last few years, and none of us saw it coming.
What started as a slow burn prompted by the explosive success of Marie Kondo’s The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up (translated to English in 2014) has now become a sought after way of life for people all over the world. The once coveted hygge approach (a Danish practice that incorporates cosiness and comfort into everyday life) has taken a step back in the UK, because being organised has taken the lifestyle aspiration top spot, thanks in huge part to social media.
Having sold millions of books, Marie Kondo now stars in her own series, Tidying Up with Marie Kondo, on Netflix where she joins fellow famous organisers Clea and Joanna, hosts of Get Organized with The Home Edit, which first aired on the streaming platform last year. For those unaware of just how influential both brands are, Marie Kondo and The Home Edit have close to 10 million Instagram followers combined in an era where there’s no currency more valuable than a sizeable social media audience.
But it doesn’t stop there. YouTubers have hopped onto the trend and mastered the art of organisation videos, physical planners have become a must-have accessory, and influencers like The Folding Lady are taking up more and more space on our social media feeds. It’s something Naida, a 25-year-old writer from London who spoke to POPSUGAR on the subject, knows all too well. An avid consumer of all things organisation, she revealed that she’s particularly fond of fridge transformations.
“I just never understood how much invention could go into making your fridge look nice,” she said. “And it honestly does stress me out sometimes when my mum goes shopping and she’ll just cram everything in so I can’t see what we have. When I see videos of how pleasing it is to fit everything into a little category, I don’t know why but my mind just loves it. I’m not sure if I could be that person but it definitely inspires me to become so much more organised.”
Though Naida admits her room is “an organised mess”, she credits TikTok videos for giving her ideas to keep her space in order. She even watches them before bed to help her wind down. “It’s definitely not that neat but everything is quite categorised, and I regularly clean out my wardrobe because it just gets really messy,” she explained. “The idea I feel with these sorts of [organisation] videos is to show you that if you are neat you don’t actually have to do a huge clear out. So that’s what I’m trying to do now without needing to spend so much time tidying up.”
Francesca, 32, who is a customer services manager from Kent, also appreciates the way decluttering content can make daunting household upkeep feel more manageable. “I think these Instagram pages show us how easily possible organisation is, and obviously then taking it to another level with organising not just your kitchen but your wardrobe and adding different hacks that make life a bit more efficient,” she told POPSUGAR.
For interiors YouTuber and influencer Shade Shannon, this is what it’s all about. “Sometimes, if I’m just doing a bit of a clean I’ll think, ‘Let me switch the camera on, and then I end up filming because I know people are really into it, even me. I sometimes sit and just watch people clean their houses. It’s so therapeutic, it almost gives me motivation to go and start cleaning so I do the same for other people.”
Image Source: Laura Taylor
However, as is often the case when social media and reality collide, it’s not always practical or possible to emulate the things you see online, which is something professional organiser Laura Taylor regularly has to contend with when working with clients. “The majority of the people that hire me will see things online and they want their homes to look a certain way but they can’t actually put it into practice and make their home look the way Rochelle Humes’ house might look,” she said. “Or they’ll watch Mrs Hinch and they’ll go to Home Bargains and buy loads of boxes and containers but then they find that it doesn’t actually work for them when they put it into practice.”
Image Source: Laura Taylor
It seems as if we’re all riding high on the organisational wave at the moment, and it doesn’t look like there are any signs of this unexpected trend abating any time soon. Searching #organize on TikTok yeilds 3.8 billion views, whilst high-end department stores like John Lewis has added an entire section dedicated to “home storage and organisation” on its site.
So if you haven’t already, perhaps it’s worth thinking about the ways you can implement small changes that not only improve the look of your home, but make you feel better about it. Taylor explained: “If you can start the day and you know where you’re getting your breakfast things from and you can put the stuff in your dishwasher afterwards and get into more of a routine with your home, it eliminates a lot of stressors. Having that mental space to think, ‘This is a nice environment I’m in, it’s organised, it’s tidy, and I know where I can find things’, really does make a huge difference to mental health and I’m a big advocate of that.”