by Daniel Debelius
April 18, 2019
Face it. You’ve got a lot of stuff. We all do. In some cases, such excess can become a running joke amongst friends. In others, it can interfere with our lives and create unnecessary burdens. Much of the time, cluttered consumers need a little extra help to get their homes organized – hence the $10.5 billion US market for home organization products in 2018.
Enter Marie Kondo.
Over the last few years, Marie Kondo’s presence in the world of home organization has grown substantially. Her method, KonMari, encourages people to sort through their items by category – clothes, books, papers, komono (i.e., miscellaneous items), and sentimental items – and keep only that which “sparks joy”. Everything else can be discarded after a moment of gratitude for the item’s service. KonMari has led to a New York Times bestselling book, substantial media coverage, and a Netflix series – launched in early 2019 – called Tidying Up With Marie Kondo.
While declutter methods like Marie Kondo’s aim for minimalism and support consumer efforts to get rid of stuff, not buy more – including products geared toward home organization – retailers focused on home organization such as The Container Store are rushing to capitalize on the trend.
So whether it’s Marie Kondo or another influence spurring your spring-cleaning binge, here are three reasons why we could all use some more organization in our lives.
The average consumer household is getting more congested, not only from the accumulation of too much stuff, but also due to lifestyle trends. With both millennials and baby boomers increasingly opting for urban living, space is at a premium. Urban homes tend to be more compact, forcing residents to either pare down or organize their belongings in a way that maximizes available space. Coupled with the forces of urbanization overall, consumer homes need help to get their many things in order.
Another contributor to this space-squeeze is the growing number of multigenerational homes. These are residences that house two or more generations of adults – e.g., parents whose grown children move back home after college, or elderly parents who come to live with their adult children.
Much like with urban living, the close quarters of multigenerational homes create a strong need for organization. For example, occupants of these spaces may create multifunctional rooms that serve more than one purpose, such as a guest bedroom that might double as a craft room.
If you’re like most consumers, internet shopping has made your life easier. However, the ability to shop at any store from any place at any time has also made it easier for us to accumulate – and then accumulate some more – the very stuff Marie Kondo tried to warn us about. Take a healthy consumer-based economy, add in all the gift-giving occasions that occur each year, and it’s not hard to find use for a new shelf or two.
Sure, the internet is allowing us to bury ourselves in possessions. But the growing digital marketplace is also helping more home organization products reach consumers. No longer are manufacturers and retailers limited by available in-store shelf space. Sites like Amazon, Wayfair, and others mean that suppliers of all sizes have an outlet to get their products to consumers. This supports manufacturers and exposes consumers to new ideas and products that can help them take their organizational efforts to new heights.
The number and range of influences pushing us to get more organized seem to grow every day. From television programs to social media to press coverage to plain old peer pressure, we are inundated with images of a tidier, more sophisticated existence that seems just within reach.
For instance, TV channels like HGTV are saturated with shows about the remodel/reimagining of unappealing spaces, or that offer viewers a look inside of fantasy homes. The primary goal of these shows is to motivate consumers to take on improvement projects of their own, helping consumers visualize what they want their home to look like and pointing them toward strategies and products they can use to adapt their space to fit their needs (and their stuff’s needs, too).
All in all, consumers are receptive to these influences because they believe that organizing their stuff – or getting rid of it – will improve their quality of life, or even make them better people.
All right, time to get back to cleaning my closet…after my nap.
The above factors are expected to continue to support gains for home organization products going forward. To learn more about the market for home organization products check out The Freedonia Group’s recent industry study, Home Organization Products, which offers:
Dan Debelius is an Industry Analyst at The Freedonia Group, where he writes industry studies on the consumer and commercial goods market.
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