Marie Kondo https://konmari.com is the author of “The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying-Up,” a book that took the publishing world by storm several years ago. The slim volume with a delightful sea-green cover is filled with Kondo’s life work: a treatise on how to tidy.
Marie Kondo touchingly shares details of her own life and how her “hobby” of tidying eventually became a full-time job and grew to an empire in Japan, and now across the world. Little Marie loved to tidy- she admits that she would skip recess and organize cluttered closets and rooms at school while other children were on the playground. Her family tolerated her continual tidying (she recounts some tidying missteps such as discarding her family’s items without permission and recycling her throwaways through her younger sister) but all were steps in honing Ms. Kondo’s life work.
Reading her book, it is clear that her passion for and laser-like focus on tidying only developed more strongly as the years progressed. Graduating from college and working in human resources for a large Japanese firm, Kondo found herself tidying in her spare time for paying clients. She had begun in college helping friends tidy their apartments, and her business grew by word of mouth. She even tidied her boss’s desk (which he was most pleased at seeing the results) which prompted him to ask a serious question- “Marie, have you thought about doing this for a living?” Marie pondered the idea of becoming a full-time tidying professional, and she boldly embarked on her life’s work. In the midst of seeing her method succeed beyond her wildest dreams (demand for her services were so great that months-long waiting lists were de rigueur for new clients)
Marie proceeded to shut herself away from the world and wrote the incredible book, “The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying-Up” which became a Japanese (and then international) bestseller, distilling and sharing her key principles in having tidy surroundings. In this generous act Marie shared the secrets to her “tidying festivals” and why the KonMari method with its five ordered steps and categories of tidying was so successful. In my next post I’ll share some of her key principles, which changed my life and that of so many others across the world. I can say it was a true honor to meet my tidying mentor in person in August 2016 at the KonMari Consultant Seminar. Witnessing Ms. Kondo’s effusive love of tidying, combined with a joyful but serious mien, was one of the “Spark Joy” moments of my life!