Veteran Organizer Claims Marie Kondo Copied Her Folding Method, Says ‘It Felt Like Somebody Had Stolen My Baby’

By now most people have heard of the decluttering superstar named Marie Kondo. Thanks to her influence, people all over the world have begun purging their homes of unnecessary stuff all in the name of finding inner peace. “Does it spark joy?” they ask. If the answer is no, it’s got to go.

Marie Kondo’s book documents the process she uses. The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up reached New York Times best-seller status and even inspired a show on Netflix called Tidying Up with Marie Kondo. Now, Kondo is an internationally recognized sensation with an avid audience of clean-seeking devotees.

There’s just one problem—another organizer claims Marie Kondo stole her ideas.

Marie Kondo
Marie Kondo | Gary Gershoff/WireImage

Marie Kondo revolutionized the home organizing industry

Even before Marie Kondo came along and made it popular, home organizing was a big business. People paid thousands for services ranging from personalized professional organizing to junk removal. Basically, people have been hoarding stuff and seeking ways to get rid of it for decades before KonMari was invented.

The one thing that made Marie Kondo stand out? Her eccentric decluttering methods. Her brand of organizing included a few basic principles such as only keeping those items that “spark joy” and decluttering homes by category, not by room. One other majorly recognizable aspect of her organizing methods is her unique folding method.

Did Marie Kondo steal her upright folding idea?

Instagram is full of photos featuring Kondo’s unique upright folding technique. Marie Kondo recommends that followers fold absolutely everything—including clothing, underwear, sheets, towels, napkins, and other fabrics—in a specific way and then standing it upright in a drawer. Everyone is blown away by this revolutionary suggestion. Except for one Los Angeles-based home organizer who claims Kondo stole her method.

Linda Koopersmith, also called “The Beverly Hills Organizer,” has been using the upright folding technique for most of her 30-year career and she has the videos to prove it. In the wake of Marie Kondo’s popularity, she began sharing old videos where she demonstrates this exact method back in 2003.

Koopersmith said, “What Marie calls her KonMari Method, is actually a folding technique created by me 27 years ago. It was published in my book in 2005, it was shown on the TV show Clean House for years and seen on YouTube videos.”

Koopersmith is appalled that Marie Kondo would steal her idea

The Beverly Hills Organizer has lived up to her name over the years, taking on big-name clients including Serena Williams, Khloé Kardashian, Jennifer Lopez, Orlando Bloom, Sofia Vergara, and Derek Jeter. And she showed them all how to fold their clothing upright long before “spark joy” became a catchphrase.

“I am a pioneer of the organizing business. I started in 1989 … I invented that upright folding method when my daughter was three to organize her drawers so she could see everything. I have shown how the folded item should stand up on its own for many, many years,” she said.

“Despite this, it has been claimed that Marie is the creator of the ‘upright fold.’ Nobody has asked her, ‘How did you come up with this?’ When I first saw Marie demonstrate my fold on TV as her own, it was so upsetting. I felt like somebody had stolen my baby.”

Koopersmith can’t keep quiet as Marie Kondo’s fame explodes

Koopersmith has been watching Kondo’s popularity grow especially after the Cannes Lions Festival of Creativity this week. Now she can’t sit back and accept that Kondo is becoming so famous based on an idea she allegedly stole.

She said: “This woman is not going to stop, the thing that makes her famous is my fold. That’s her claim to fame — she calls it the Kondo method … But it is the Linda Koopersmith method!”

We’ll keep a close watch on this developing feud!