Who Is Marie Kondo? Everything We Know About Netflix’s ‘Tidying Up’ Star
Marie Kondo is taking the world by story with her ingenious tips for decluttering your life, now available on her Netflix series Tidying Up.
On the show, the Japanese organization expert helps Americans "who are at a crossroads, but willing to tackle the clutter holding them back" by getting rid of things that don't "spark joy," and organizing the things that do. Kondo coined her very own organization method, dubbed the KonMari method, which suggests tackling clutter by category before moving through individual rooms and sentimental items.
The show is popular with people who have been looking to Kondo for years, watching YouTube videos or reading her books, "The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up" and "Spark Joy," but has also captured the attention of novice organizers.
So, who exactly is Kondo? The 34-year-old was born October 9, 1984 in Tokyo, Japan. She's always been a fan of tidiness, according to Metro UK, and started her business at 19 while studying at Tokyo Woman's Christian University.
Kondo didn't come up with her method until a little later in life. She explained that she had a breakthrough years ago, during which she realized there was value in putting things in their place rather than just throwing everything away.
"One day, I had kind of a nervous breakdown and fainted. I was unconscious for two hours. When I came to, I heard a mysterious voice, like some god of tidying telling me to look at my things more closely," she recalled. "And I realized my mistake: I was only looking for things to throw out. What I should be doing is finding things I want to keep. Identifying the things that make you happy: that is the work of tidying."
The KonMari Method suggests that people take on clutter in a specific order. Kondo recommends starting with clothing, then books, then paper, then "Komono," which is "kitchen, bathroom, garage" and everything else. Last, but not least, Kondo recommends taking on sentimental items.
Her main principle is keeping only things that "spark joy." She suggests that the feeling of holding the item should be akin to holding a puppy. After you've selected what stays and what goes, Kondo suggests finding a place for everything. Items should be visible and easily accessible, so as to avoid falling back into old habits.
She's even coined a folding method that fans are going crazy for at the moment. The method requires that clothes, towels and other such items are folded into neat rectangles that can stand up in drawers.
Since starting her business, Kondo has written several books on tidying up and is now the star of her very own Netflix series.
As for her personal life, Kondo is married to a man called Takumi Kawahara. The pair have two children. She speaks about her family often on the show, and even occasionally features her children on it. Kondo recommends getting kids in on the tidying process, and showing them that it can be enjoyable, to help form healthy habits early on.