Have you just binged on Marie Kondo on Netflix? People are kondo-ing their homes after watching this genius fixed homes on Netflix. Her one-of-a-kind decluttering method has changed lives all over the world.
Her organization rule is simple: keep things that bring you joy. She has built an empire and was named one of Time Magazine’s Most Influential People. But what is her story? Who is Marie Kondo?
How did her childhood hobby turned into this massive business that is worth millions of dollars? Marie Kondo is not just a tidying up genius. She is also an author, a businesswoman, a celebrity, a phenomenon.
The Beginning of Kondoing
Marie Kondo became interested in tidying when she was 5 years old. She remembered reading her mother’s home and lifestyle magazines, and she fell in love with organizing and tidying. She remembers tossing out her siblings’ unused clothes and toys.
She also used to organize their classroom, preferring to sort out bookshelves instead of playing with her classmates during recess. However, no matter how hard she tries, she couldn’t keep their home permanently clutter-free. She’ would tidy up, but everything would revert to clutter. She just couldn’t hack it. This inspired her to start researching about tidying and became an expert at the age of 15.
While studying sociology in Tokyo Women’s Christian University, she began working as a tidying consultant. She was only 19 years old. She would go to friends’ homes to tidy up and got paid $100 for five hours of work. After a few years, word spread that she could organize homes magically.
She had to quit her full time job at a staffing agency in order to focus on consulting. She got more requests from people she didn’t even know. Finally, she started thinking of ways she can help her clients tidy up on their own. This is when her business started to take off. She expanded her business from one-on-one tidying up sessions to full lectures.
The crowd lectures wasn’t enough though. The waitlist for these lectures grew six months long. People started asking her to write a book, so they could learn her method and to the tidying up themselves. She just wrote what she says during her lectures. Finally, she published her first book The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up after three months of writing.
Becoming a Household Name
Now, 33 years old, Marie Kondo has become a household name. In fact, her family name has become a verb – kondoing, a transitive verb which means to tidy up using the methods of Marie Kondo. The method advocates keeping things that spark joy (tokimeku).
In 2015, Marie Kondo graced the pages of Time Magazine as one of Time’s 100 Most Influential People in 2015. Her book, which was released in Japan, inspired the movie Jinsei ga Tokimeku Katazuke no Mahou (The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up). Her book made it to New York Times bestseller list, selling over 11 million copies all over the world.
After conquering the publishing world, Marie Kondo started selling storage solutions. She responded to the demands for KonMari storage. Once people started kondoing, they realized that they need the storage solution that Marie Kondo recommends.
In 2018, Kondo introduced her capsule collection to the market. She also started selling storage boxes which are often always sold out since they were launched in 2018. Her popularity even rose to spectacular heights when her show, Tidying Up With Marie Kondo, debuted on Netflix. She was catapulted into popular culture. So much so, that she even walked the red carpet at the Academy Awards and was featured by the likes of Jimmy Kimmel and Stephen Colbert on their talk shows.
A Detailed Review of Her Books
The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up
Tidying up your home has never been exciting, but Marie Kondo has actually managed to make it so. In her book, The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up, Kondo shows people how they could arrange their homes in such a way that they will only be surrounded by things they love. The criterion for organization is simple: does it spark joy? If it does, keep it. If it doesn’t, chuck it.
If you do a quick search of storage or organization tips, you will be swamped with countless tips on how to organize stockpiles of stuff. This isn’t the case with this Kondo. She eschews all that. She doesn’t offer nifty solutions that do not permanently get rid of the clutter.
“Those storage ‘solutions’ are really just prisons within which to bury possessions that spark no joy,’ she writes. Truth is, we rely on flawed systems of storage, so the clutter keeps coming back. It can be quite stressful. You will find yourself tidying up every day. Logically, this means that you will be tidying up for the rest of your life.
Kondo’s method would have you tidying up – all at once. You will never have to do it again, or you will have to do it sparingly. She divided tidying into two parts: discarding things you don’t need and organizing things that you do need.
The process is quite simple. You would need to discard thing by category. First, you need to bring all items together and sort them out, one by one. If an item doesn’t bring you immediate joy, chuck it. You will probably have a fraction of what you used to have by the end of the process.
In organizing, the KonMari method requires designation a storage space for everything. However, you need to limit your storage to a single location. Kondo prefers vertical storage, for instance, folding your clothes in a way that they are all visible.
Her method stands out because it allows people to let go of things that do not give them joy. People are natural hoarders. They cling on to things for two reasons: sentimental reasons or fear for the future. They cling on to things and forget that they’re even there. The KonMari method allows you to reduce your possession to a reasonable and sensible level. It feels comfortable getting rid of bags of clothes that do not bring you joy.
This method is not the same as minimalism. It does not reduce possession to the smallest number. You won’t feel conflicted about what to keep and what to get rid of. It focuses on keeping what’s precious to you, so you feel light and happy after getting rid of all the excess possession.
It actually doesn’t just apply to fixing your home. You can use it for tidying up everything including your phone and computer. Her method creates a feeling of liberation without any sadness.
Spark Joy: An Illustrated Master Class on the Art of Organizing and Tidying Up
This is the follow up to her first bestseller The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up. This sold over 6 million copies worldwide. But does this work?
The sequel generally outstrips the first movie in box office in terms of sales. It’s the same with books. The sequel of a book often outsells the first book as well. There are books, however, that fail to achieve the same success. They’re just redoing the original. The novelty of the idea is no longer there.
It is different with Marie Kondo’s Spark Joy: An Illustrated Master Class on the Art of Organizing and Tidying Up. She is not just cashing in on the success of her first book. This book possesses the zealousness of her first book. She delivered her philosophy and method with even more conviction than ever.
This book makes no claims to originality. She hasn’t diversified from her main method. It actually is more in depth, and she added illustrations. People Magazine claims she is back with “more spirit-rousing advice.”
Marie Kondo, as The New York Times calls it, continues to be the “world’s only decluttering celebrity.” This book goes into deeper detail of creating a home that is full of life and joy. If you’ve read her first book and it has left you wanting for more, this is the book that will give you what you need. This does not only help you keep things that make you happy, but also how to cultivate more of this joy.
This book is the completion of her first book. It will become your favorite topic once you’ve read them both. It will become an obsession. It will transform your living space, and it will shatter many of your bad habits. “From the perfect underwear drawer, to how to store socks, Marie Kondo is helping the world to properly and lovingly store their most beloved possessions, one fold at a time,” says Bustle.
Her book is a reinforced literal how-to-heave-ho. It is perfect for anyone who struggles with excessive lifestyle. Thanks to this book, you can kiss your old socks goodbye.
People love her and her book so much. That Jamie Lee Curtis once quoted saying, “To show you how serious my respect for Ms. Kondo is: if I ever get a tattoo, it will say, Spark Joy!” Indeed, the book has become a cult. It works, and it doesn’t kidnap or kill people, but it can drastically change your life – and definitely for the better. With this book, Kondo challenges you to keep items that propels you forward and not holds you in the past.
Inspiring a Nation to Tidy Up
With her books and her show in Netflix, Kondo has brought her organizing expertise to people who need her organizational skills. The show has inspired people to organize their messes. The series contributed to the massive donations to thrift stores all across the country.
The show on Netflix has also inspired people about Marie Kondo herself and her job as a consultant. There have been tons of inquiries about becoming a consultant or hiring one. Many are curious about becoming a certified KonMari consultant. In the United States alone, there are over 100 consultants who charge from about $60 to $200 per hour for their services.
Who Should Follow Her?
Do you have unwanted clutter? Do you have clothes that you don’t like and even avoid wearing? Do you have clothes that you intended to return, but haven’t gotten around to returning? Sometimes, people store things that they just hate or have no used of. Get rid of those singular socks or underwear with holes. Throw away your expired makeup or the old shoes that are dusty but you never wear.
You don’t need to keep expired vouchers or DVDs that you will never watch again. Throw away those old takeaway menus or receipts for things that have been returned. Do you have random power cables? Why are you keeping them? Are you keeping headphones with broken ear pieces?
Get rid of these things! People who love to keep excess things in their homes should watch Marie Kondo’s show and read her books. Hoarding unnecessary items in your home lead to cramped living conditions. Clutter fills your home. Countertops, sinks, desks, cabinets, stairways – these surfaces are piled with stuff which then spread to yards, garages, even vehicles. These things can be so stressful!
If you find yourself acquiring things that you don’t need until there is no more space to keep them, you need kondoing. If you have difficulty throwing out things or parting with things of no value, you will benefit from Marie Kondo.
Kondo helps people accept that their lives will be better if they get rid of things that stress them out and do not bring them joy. There is no real joy in keeping things until you fill your home to brim. There is no point keeping things that are unusable. Life is overwhelming by itself. Organizing your home can give you a high unlike no other. This gives a sense of control which will inspire you to maintain that order. Marie Kondo and her method can really change your life – if you let it.