Can Marie Kondo Conquer Caboodles?

The coolest organizer today takes on the coolest organizer of the ‘90s.

Trends tend to be cyclical — macramé planters were hot in the ‘70s, and roughly 40 years later, they’re back. Ditto for inflatable chairs. Even organizing advice can come in waves. Rolling your clothes like sushi is hot for a few years, then it’s all about donating or purging everything and going minimalist with a capsule wardrobe. Or arranging things by color, so your walls look like rainbows.

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The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up : The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing
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That’s why, when one of the hottest beauty organizers of the ‘90s — Caboodles, those bubbly plastic boxes loaded with slide-out compartments for holding all of the body glitter and roll-on lip gloss your Spice Girls-loving heart could handle — started returning to store shelves everywhere, we knew it was time for an organizing showdown. As obsessed as people were with the containers, they always seemed to turn into clutter bombs, where you cram in as much as possible and hope to heaven you can click that plastic box shut without it popping open. Could Marie Kondo — arguably today’s hottest organizing expert, who’s sold more than 5 million copies of her book, — restore order and redeem the campy comeback item?

Marie Kondo
Candace Braun Davison

Marie, who’s launching her own set of organizational boxes, known as Hikidashi, this September, gamely took on the challenge. The Japan native had never heard of Caboodles before, but she was confident that her trademarked KonMari Method wouldn’t fail her. Game on.

Opening the box, Marie stared in wonder at the beauty staples (and ‘90s throwbacks) crammed inside. It was like a time capsule from music video, only with more crushed velvet scrunchies. Seriously, there were six stuffed in there, along with a few iridescent sequin ones, pastel nail polishes in every color of the rainbow, Chapstick, LipSmackers lip balm, bobby pins, glitter hair gel, body glitter — roll-on, like any Claire’s-shopping mall rat loved — a glitter nail file, and classic black hair ties. Basically, there was enough glitter to ensure that anyone within a 10-foot radius of that box would be wiping away the errant sparkle for days afterward.

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Caboodles Case
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Following the KonMari Method, Marie inspected every item in the box, determining which items brought her joy — and which she could do without. (Interesting takeaway: 10 bobby pins make her happy. She has no time for an 11th one cluttering up her Caboodles.) Scrunchies that were too similar in color got the ax; same for a duo of dusty pink nail polishes.

Once the castoffs were put in a donation bin, Marie got down to phase two: Organizing. That. Box. Her method requires things to be stored vertically — even clothes are folded into little packets, so they can be stored like file folders in dresser drawers — which was a particular challenge for Caboodles’ shallow shelves. This was the moment: Could she fit everything in without breaking the KonMari Method? Pssh … I’m not going to spill that. Check out the video above to see how she fared.

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