Who Is Marie Kondo And How Can She Help You Clean Up Your Life?

Estimated reading time: 6 minutes, 42 seconds.

In recent months, one woman has taken the entire home cleaning industry by storm. Her name? Marie Kondo. A passionate, lively, calm-mannered and highly loveable Japanese lady whose passion and talents lie in helping you to declutter and bring order to your home and your life. So if you’ve heard about Marie Kondo and are keen to learn more about how she can help you clean up your life, just keep reading.

So, who is Marie Kondo?

Marie Kondo is the best-selling author behind the book titled “The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering”. As of 2019, she has sold more than 8 and a half million copies of her book and had it translated into 40 different languages. As well as this, she is now the hit TV personality behind the Netflix series “Tidying Up With Marie Kondo”.

This show has brought her added fame all around the globe as men and women alike flock to Netflix to learn more about the secrets she passes over. On the day of its release, January 1st, the show quickly went viral as millions of viewers tuned in and soon became addicted. Since then, she has become a social media celebrity.

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Her rise to celebrity stardom

Though she has now garnered the majority of her fame in the USA, Marie Kondo is originally from Japan. She has maintained her Japanese roots and still requires the assistance of a translator everywhere she goes. Her knack for cleanliness and order supposedly began when she was in elementary school.

Instead of heading outside to play like most of her friends, she would instead reorganise the bookshelves in her classroom. She would also maintain remarkable cleanliness in her own room, especially for a child, and even went so far as to help her parents become more ordered. Apparently, she would sneak out old clothes and accessories and discard of them without telling her family.

At the age of just 19, she started her own business, which specialised in professional organisation. Her venture became so popular so fast that she soon found she had a backlog of clients looking for her services. Word of mouth powered her small company and there was simply not enough of Marie Kondo’s talents and time to go around.

One customer recommended that Marie Kondo write a book where she could share the secrets of effective organisation with the masses. The book, mentioned above, went on sale in 2014 and was an instant success. She has since published even more books and you can discover more about the success of each of these on her official book site here.

So, what is the Konmari method that anyone can follow?

The now trademarked Konmari method is altogether unique in its approach to home cleaning. Traditional cleaning methods require you to go from room to room, slowly trawling through each drawer and cupboard and disposing of old items of clothing. What Marie Kondo proposes is something much different.

Start with the clothes

As you’ll see on her Netflix show, the process starts with individuals getting together all of the clothes they own and placing them in one giant pile in the centre of the room. From there, the task is to go through every single item and either keep it or get rid of it. But there’s something else … You can only keep items that “spark joy”. The idea behind this is that everything you own should be precious to you and respected, including things you no longer need. When you find an item you once loved, but deep down know that you no longer need, your role is to thank it for its service and get rid of it.

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It is not about being cruel or blunt, instead, it is Marie Kondo’s sincerity and empathy towards possessions that makes her so loveable. As she points out, mass consumerism has led to a culture where we feel this need to buy more and more. However, this quickly leads to a tendency for over-attachment and clutter. The principle behind the Konmari method allows you to pursue a life of minimalism that is otherwise hard to attain.

Now, move onto the other 4 categories

Another core principle behind the Konmari method is that you clean and declutter your life by category. The approach to each category is the same as listed above and you chose to only keep items that “spark joy”. The idea is that, as you move through each category, you suddenly realise just how much you can live without. The other 4 categories are:

● Books
● Papers
● Miscellaneous items
● Sentimental items

Now, it’s time to clean!

Once you’ve done away with many items you suddenly realise are not necessary to your life, you have a home that is far easier to clean. When it comes to folding and organizing your clothes and other possessions, Marie Kondo also has a rather unique and loveable approach. Rather than the traditional method of stacking items, her method requires you to fold them in such a way that clothes stand nicely on their side.

There are now tonnes of useful videos and tutorials online for how you can follow the Konmari method for folding all different kinds of items. Here are some examples, but feel free to search for any item online!

How to fold sheets
How to fold a hoodie
How to fold a t-shirt

Summarising the 6 core rules behind the Konmari approach

Though this might all sound like a lot to take in, you will soon find her approach straightforward and effective. In fact, the entire Konmari method is held together by 6 core rules. These will govern how you declutter, clean and live your life.

1. Make a commitment to tidying up

Following the Konmari method will require commitment and strict obedience to the rules. So before starting, make a commitment to yourself that you will follow it through to the end. It usually helps to set a deadline for following through with everything, but it is recommended to not be longer than 6 months.

2. Visualise what your ideal lifestyle looks like

Create a vision in your mind of what a decluttered and minimalist lifestyle would look like for you. This will make it far easier to then understand why you are getting rid of so many possessions.

3. Discard of unnecessary items first

It is crucial that you declutter before you tidy. This is a key difference between the Konmari method and other traditional methods of cleaning. Only by first decluttering do you know what space remains and how it should be filled with as little as possible.

4. Tidy your items by category, instead of location

Rather than heading from room to room, instead accumulate all items from a given category at one time and then sort through in one big go.

5. Follow the 5 step order

Once again, here is the 5-step order you must use to declutter your possessions:

● Clothes
● Books
● Papers
● Miscellaneous items
● Sentimental items

6. Ask if every item you own “sparks joy”

Make a conscientious decision of asking if every single item you owns “sparks joy”. If not, then it is time to move on and let it go.

Take charge of your cleanliness today

Sadly, hiring Marie Kondo to teach you how to declutter and clean is no longer possible. You can head over to her site and hire one of the certified cleaning professionals. However, prices for these depend on how much experience they have and are easily £1,000 plus! If you are interested, you can find her certified UK organising consultants here. However, if you come from the north of England, we have a much better option for you …

Enter, Eazi-Clean

Eazi-Clean is passionate about helping as many homeowners as possible to bring tidiness and order to their lives. Though we won’t tell you what items “bring you joy”, we can certainly help with weekly cleaning services in order to keep your home tidy and well ordered all throughout the busy work week. Better yet, we don’t charge thousands for every visit! You can click here to find out more about our home cleaning services.