‘Tidying Up’: Who is Marie Kondo, and Why Does She Love Organizing?

Who knew tidying up could be so fun – or so rewarding?

Well, at least one person did. Marie Kondo started an organizational revolution that quickly swept from her home country of Japan to nations around the world. Her methods for cleaning are unconventional, but they work. The New York Times best-selling book called The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing sold an impressive 8.5 million copies and has been translated into 40 languages.

As a further mark of success, Marie Kondo has a new show on Netflix based on her time-tested cleaning methods. It’s certainly not the first show to tackle the trouble of too much stuff (who hasn’t seen at least one episode of Hoarders?), but it is unique in its mission. Kondo has a kindness and sensitivity that shines through her interactions with people. She even claims to love messes.

What is Marie Kondo’s background?

The first thing you’ll notice on the show is that Kondo doesn’t go anywhere without her translator. Originally from Japan, Kondo now travels the world seeking homes to tidy and lives to change.

Marie Kondo got her start at a tender age. Apparently, she spent recess time in elementary school reorganizing bookshelves in her classroom rather than playing outside with friends. At home, she was constantly tidying her own items along with everything in her parents’ house. She would often sneak old coats and purses to school to discard them without anyone knowing.

Kondo was only 19 when she founded her professional organizing business, which was immediately successful. Frustrated by the months-long waiting list for Kondo’s organizing services, one potential customer recommended that Kondo write a book explaining her methods. The rest is history.

Marie Kondo is married to Takumi Kawahara and the couple has two young daughters.

What is the Netflix show ‘Tidying Up’ all about?

Thanks to the popularity of the book and Kondo herself, Netflix developed a reality television series which follows the cleaning guru to real people’s homes and documents the tidying process. Using the KonMari method requires a few specific steps. First, the client must gather all of his or her items that fit in a specific category into a big pile. Then they must go through and decide what to keep and what to get rid of. But here’s the catch: you’re only supposed to keep those special items that “spark joy.”

The show has a variety of people in different circumstances, including a young family trying to control the toy clutter and a recent widow living on her own and trying to sort through her deceased husband’s belongings. The series explores the natural human tendency to attach emotional value to physical possessions. But with Marie Kondo’s help, all her clients are able to sort out their things and let go of the things they don’t need. It’s an emotional process, but in the end, it’s worth it.

Can you hire Marie Kondo?

Marie Kondo’s organizing services are in higher demand than ever. However, it is possible to either use the KonMari method in your own home or have a professional help you. Certified KonMari consultants have the tools necessary to tidy up your mess, no matter how big it is.

Looking to tidy up? Get the book, watch the show, and learn the method. Everyone could use a little Marie Kondo in their lives.