In the Netflix series “Tidying Up,” Japanese organization specialist and author Marie Kondo helps people pare down clutter and create more orderly spaces. The show has inspired thousands of viewers to rethink how they fold T-shirts and toss belongings that don’t “spark joy.”

But why is the series so popular, and what does the Kondo movement – and the minimalism trend in general – mean in the grander scheme of things?

In an age of overconsumption, getting rid of unnecessary items can bring people a sense of personal relief and pride, but it can also be part of a larger move to a lifestyle that is more environmentally sustainable, says Sabrina Helm, associate professor of family and consumer sciences at the University of Arizona.

Consumers need to be careful, though, not to simply fill cleared-out spaces with more stuff, she warns.

Helm, who teaches in the Norton School of Family and Consumer Sciences in the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, talked with UANews about some of the psychological, social and environmental implications of moving toward a simpler lifestyle.

Q: Why do you think Marie Kondo and minimalism are so popular?

Read more at University of Arizona