(CNN/3TV/CBS5) -- Do you have too much stuff? Is your house disorganized, cluttered and just too full of things your really don't need or want?

Now there's help, courtesy of a new show on Netflix.

On New Year's Day, Netflix released the series "Tidying Up with Marie Kondo," a minimalist home/life improvement show based on the wildly popular 2014 book "The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up" and starring the book's author, Japanese organization expert Marie Kondo.

In the eight-episode series, Kondo guides people who are  ready to tackle clutter in their homes, transforming their lives in emotional and surprising ways.

Needless to say, the whole experience has inspired people to do some serious "tidying up" in their own homes.

The method is simple. In the show, Kondo acts as a tiny garbage fairy for messy people, alighting on their houses and the piles of stuff therein to share the wisdom of the "KonMari" method.

This method, which has been fairly popular for a few years thanks to Kondo's book, is simple in theory but can be endlessly complex in practice.

You divide all the stuff in your house -- all of it -- into several categories, and then examine each item -- every one of them -- to see if it sparks joy. If it does, you keep it. If it doesn't, you thank it, and neatly discard it.

It definitely has had an effect, and it has gotten people talking.

One thing is for sure. Thrift shops and used bookstores are reaping the benefits.

It seems a large number of people in the Big Apple who have been inspired by the show have been bringing piles of donation bags to thrift stores.

"They have been really large bags. Ikea bags, suitcases or garbage bags. It's really hard to estimate the amount but it has been a ton of stuff, but I can say thousands of pieces a day," Leah Giampietro. store manager of New York's Beacon's Closet, told CNN.

"People are determined to clean up their homes," she said.

In Chicago, Ravenswood Used Books received a month's worth of books in donations last week.

"We've been in this location for four years, and people would walk up and down the street, and never noticed us before," owner Jim Mall told CNN. "I think a lot of people are now beginning to know us."

Earlier this week, a man called to say he had thousands of books he wanted gone.

"So I hired a moving company and we went over there and I picked up 50 boxes of books," Mall said.

Goodwill -- the non-profit with a vast network of thrift stores -- has heard about the "KonMari" method. Quite a bit!

But, since the new year is typically a big "tidy up and donate" time anyway, it's hard to place any uptick in donations on Kondo's book or show.

"Activity (at our stores) is often strong the first week of January anyway," Goodwill's public relations and multimedia manager Malini Wilkes told CNN. "People have New Year's resolutions, people have time to get their boxes together, that kind of thing."

Wilkes says the company first saw the connection to the show through online chatter, and eventually called around to different organizations around the country (local Goodwills are independently managed) to get the word on the ground.

"Unfortunately, at the current time, it's too soon to determine the impact from the Marie Kondo show," Wilkes said.

"Some local Goodwills have seen an increase in donations during the first week in January compared to last year, but others say that they have not seen a significant jump over last year."

Netflix DEFINITELY knew what it was doing when it released "Tidying Up with Marie Kondo" on the first day of the year, when people are probably at their most vulnerable and untidy. The streaming service doesn't share viewing data so it's hard to tell how many people have watched Kondo gently direct the evacuation of closets, kitchens and garages in pursuit of a tidier, happier existence.

But the company pointed CNN to this stat: On December 31, Kondo's Instagram follower count was 710,000. Today, it's 1.2 million.

Regardless of the numbers, social media chatter alone makes it clear the show is hitting people where it hurts.

Twitter timelines are full of "Tidying Up" jokes. They're also full of people proudly sharing their new, sparser, neater surroundings.

Blogger Hannah Johnson wrote about her own marathon tidying session inspired by the show.

She told CNN that after taking in a few hours of Kondo's wizardry, she set her son down with an iPad while her husband was at work and tidied her way straight through her wardrobe and set of drawers. It wasn't easy.

"Opening my wardrobe and seeing those dresses that I couldn't wear did make me a little sad -- like they were taking up space and being unloved when they could be loved in someone else's wardrobe maybe," she said.

Two garbage bags of clothes later, she was feeling a little lighter.

"But then I was like, 'Right, what can I tidy next?'"

With all of this tidying and purging, soul-searching and masochistic Netflix binging, it's no wonder that Kondo's nearly 5-year-old book is sitting in the top five on Amazon's bestseller list as of Saturday afternoon.


Copyright 2019 KPHO/KTVK (KPHO Broadcasting Corporation). All rights reserved.


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(1) comment


I thought by "purge", they meant vomit.

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