An organized list of facts about the “tidying up” queen Marie Kondo
it’s spring cleaning season, aka the season of saying you will spring clean and then never getting to it; but lucky for all of us, we are in the year of marie kondo.
if you haven’t heard of marie kondo, she is the OG master of tidying up. earlier this year, netflix released a show based on her book, life-changing magic of tidying up, and it has mesmerized the tv-binge-watching world ever since. it isn’t a drama and it isn’t a comedy, but rather it’s a calming experience for those who watch it.
before entering the popular show-streaming segment, the japanese cleaning consultant already had a high success rate and a waitlist that was miles long. she released her book two years ago which jump-started a craze of decluttering and making the process of cleaning a hobby about what “sparks joy” in your life. but actually, hobby may be the wrong word, because she suggests that if you “tidy up” right the first time, you won’t ever have to do it again.
But the process isn’t as straightforward as it seems; it’s not just about sweeping things out from under the rug and heading to the Container Store, it’s about feeling lighter, physically and emotionally, and clearing mental space to better other parts of your life.
“the moment you start, you reset your life,” marie explains in the first chapter of her book.
and to that end, people are resetting their calendars like crazy to get in on her methods. this woman has brought joy to so many people and decluttered so many other people’s lives, but we wanted to get to know a bit more about her. so, naturally, we *organized* a list of 9 facts about this cleaning queen and her art form of “tidying up”...
9. She started her own business as an organizing consultant when she was just 19. Organizing has always been Marie’s passion. As a very young girl, she would organize the bookshelves at her school while the other kids were playing. It came naturally!
8. “Tidying” was the topic of her college thesis. in case you were questioning her skills, marie has been studying the art of tidying up for a very long time. if they gave our phd’s for organization, she would basically have one.
7. The Shinto religion influenced her work. marie worked for several years in a Shinto shrine as an attendant maiden. She has explained that many of the ideas in the Shinto religion are what she uses in her own methods, like how she greets the homes she works in before starting her work. She will also often tap objects to “wake them up,” such as books that have been stored in boxes for a long time. In her book, she states that the goal of tidying up is to transform your home into “a sacred space, a power spot filled with pure energy” and she recommends that you set up a mini-shrine in your hope to display sacred objects.
6. She wrote her #1 NY Times bestselling book because the wait time for a coveted appointment with her was six months long. marie wanted those waiting for her expertise to be able to benefit from her teachings, even if they couldn’t get an appointment. she thought writing a book would help, and it did. her fool-proof method has shown her no repeat-clients.
5. Her home is a reporter-free zone. marie is extremely private, so even with all this new popularity, she doesn’t allow reporters in her house. in case you’re wondering, she lives in LA with her two little girls and her husband, Takumi Kawahara; he is also the EP of her Netflix show and CEO of her company.
4. Speaking of children, they are welcome to tidy up with you. Marie says that any child over the age of three should be able to participate in tidying up. At that age, they can already understand the idea of what “sparks joy” and can help, so don’t shy away if you have young kids.
3. Pants don’t spark joy for Marie Kondo. marie told The New Yorker that she doesn’t wear pants because they stopped bringing her joy years ago. same, girl.
2. There’s a loophole to the “sparking joy” concept. some items don’t necessarily “spark joy,” but they may be essential to your life: think can openers, paper towel holders, etc. What Marie recommends is changing your attitude towards them and finding gratitude for the usefulness they add to your life.
1. her path to “tidying up” was a spiritual experience. when Marie was young she was so resolute to get rid of things in her own room that she became overwhelmed; ultimately the stress caused her to have a nervous breakdown and she fainted. When she awoke she heard a voice tell her to look at the things she possessed more closely. it wasn’t about getting rid of things, but rather understanding what should be kept (basically, what brought her joy in life). Now, this unique perspective is what sets her method apart from every other way of cleaning and organizing.
now it’s time to find what brings happiness to you. let’s get to work, ladies!