Who is Marie Kondo, and Why is Everyone Obsessed with Her?
Marie Kondo, a petite, soft-spoken Japanese woman with a warm smile and a can-do attitude, has stormed into the world of organizing – and our hearts. She believes that a person’s physical space and the things they surround themselves with help create or detract from their ability to live the happiest life they can. A tidy space complete with things people treasure lifts the spirit and treats the soul.
Marie Kondo’s books The Life-changing Magic of Tidying Up and Spark Joy and her new Netflix series, Tidying Up with Marie Kondo, help people inundated by meaningless stuff systematically and step-by-step free themselves of such mundane, inanimate weight.
Marie Kondo advocates a new type of minimalism – the KonMari Method. It isn’t the sparse lifestyle free of tchotchkes with white walls, few pictures, and industrial furniture that many imagine. In fact, she doesn’t discourage ‘stuff’ at all. Rather, she suggests you fill your home only with the items that “spark joy.” When you hold this sweater, what fond memory does it conjure? Does it bring a smile to your face? Do you love to wear it? Does that dusty old book bring you joy – or not? If so, keep it. If not, it no longer belongs in your space.
Organizing by Category
When most people venture into the frightening world of organizing (or tidying, as Ms. Kondo calls it) their space, they tend to go room by room. They may start with a bedroom, or kitchen, or linen closet. Marie Kondo advises against that. She believes that leads to an inevitable reversion to mess.
Instead, she wants people to tidy by category in a specific order. And to decide what you want to keep, you must physically hold every item. You must then thank – literally – anything you want to give or throw away.
- Komono (Miscellaneous items including kitchen, bathroom, and garage)
- Sentimental items
Once you have your categories, you will separate and tidy by subcategories with a place in mind for the things you keep. To begin the process, you must first know what you must tackle. That means placing all things from one category in one place. This seems scary, but it’s necessary. You will begin by taking all clothing and creating a giant clothing mountain. After the shock of seeing what you have, you will better be able to decide what brings you joy.
The Art of Folding Clothes and Putting Things in Boxes
The KonMari Method of folding clothes allows you to see everything in your drawers. Not only is clothing folded smaller than many people are used to, but also, when put away, the clothing is placed vertically rather than flat. That way, you don’t have to search through your items to find what you want, messing other items up as you do.
Marie Kondo also suggests organizing things in smaller containers and boxes within drawers and closets. For example, instead of having one big drawer for socks, underwear, etc., you could consider dividing the drawer into several compartments and putting like-items in each compartment. Then, you can easily access what you need.
Kondo’s sweet disposition and genius technique for decluttering homes has made her an overnight sensation in the United States, and has certainly sparked joy in our lives!