Kondo-effect is the latest example of mainstream minimalism

January 22, 2019
3 min read

The popularity of the recently released Netflix series, “Tidying Up with Marie Kondo” has brought minimalism to the forefront of consumerism, generating a surge in social media buzz, memes and donations to thrift stores nationwide. The show follows the Japanese organizing expert Marie Kondo as she helps people organize, declutter and clean out living spaces using her “KonMari” method, which allows adults to only keep items that “spark joy.”

Source: Netflix

While the show may have sparked a new-found appreciation for organizing among millions of Americans, this is just one of the latest drivers of minimalist trends we have seen resonating among Americans for some time. Minimalist trends such as ‘Hygge’ and organizational design started sweeping the internet in 2015, with numerous sites from Apartment Therapy to Pinterest offering countless images of well-curated and color-coordinated everyday items or tips on how to pare down or rearrange closets to streamline their morning routine.

A clean and organized home is not only nice to look at but several studies show the negative psychological, emotional and health effects of a cluttered and messy space. This is reflected in Americans’ current cleaning habits and motivations. According to Mintel research, US adults say they are cleaning more often today than they have in years past, motivated by emotional and health benefits. This has helped push organization to move from being a mundane task to a lifestyle.
The momentum behind KonMari and other organization movements will have implications on how consumers shop and engage with brands.
Minimalist trends have a stronger appeal among women, who are more likely to have an emotional pull to clean compared to men, according to Mintel Research. Men and women are equally likely to say they clean because a clean home helps them stay healthy. However, women are more likely than men to say they clean because it gives them a sense of accomplishment and they feel stressed when their house isn’t clean. While there may be more of a gender balance in cleaning responsibilities, women tend to take on more of the emotional burden that comes with cleaning and maintaining the home.

Various organization trends may spark mental and financial relief from some consumers, but it’s not joyful for everyone. Some consumers attribute success to their inclination toward organized chaos, allotting them the time to accomplish tasks they find worthwhile rather than cleaning and organizing.

What we think

The momentum behind KonMari and other organization movements will have implications on how consumers shop and engage with brands. This will likely influence consumers to shop more consciously, gravitating toward fewer, high-quality investment pieces.

Mintel 2019 Household Trend, “Healthy Happy Home” explores an opportunity for home care brands that can find a way to link lifestyle trends and behaviors such as organization, through tutorials, co-branding or using organization experts as spokespeople to change consumers’ engagement with their products. This will be a key tactic for brands looking to stand out and engage consumers in the highly competitive and functional home care space.

Rebecca Watters
Rebecca Watters

Rebecca provides analysis across a variety of categories including household and personal care, and currently serves as the household care analyst, with a unique focus on air care. She utilizes research to develop insightful analysis while also applying relevant industry trends.

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