What I'm Loving About Marie Kondo

What I'm Loving About Marie Kondo


Oh, Marie Kondo, where do I begin? It seems like so much has been written about this Japanese organizing juggernaut since she first introduced the idea of how to “spark joy” back in 2014 in her book, The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying-Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing. I read her book shortly after it came out and really liked parts of it. I liked how Kondo wrote of her own organizing journey. She wrote about growing up in a family that didn’t like tidying quite as much as she did, and how she evolved her organizing techniques over the years.

The essence of the Kondo-credo is that your belongings have a “life of their own” so to speak. That they are in service to you, and you should use and appreciate them while you own them. And when your use for them is over, “thank” them and then pass them on to someone, or somewhere, else. She says that you should only keep things that “spark joy.” Of course that is a highly subjective description. What one person finds “joyful,” another may not. I heard her giving an example of describing the “sparking of joy” as the feeling of holding a new puppy for the first time. As a dog-lover this immediately resonated with me. I think her intention is for an emotional connection to be made to an object that ascribes it a high enough value to be kept, used and cherished.

Kondo lays out an easy-to-follow road-map when navigating the decluttering process. Clothing, books, papers and lastly sentimental. I think these categories are kind of broad, but they provide a good foundation. When I followed her steps five years ago, I how her approached reframed my thinking on decluttering. I had collected a lot of accessory jewelry at the time, and I wasn’t wearing much of it. After I went through it all and narrowed down to keeping only the pieces that “sparked joy,” I realized I didn’t miss what I had weeded out, but rather, came to really appreciate, and see, for the first time, what I really had.

It Really Is All About the KonMari-Fold

The one KonMari Rule I didn’t follow at the time was folding and “filing” my clothing. It just didn’t click with me at the time. I opted for a roll and stack method instead. Mostly because I worried about how my drawers would stay tidy as I pulled clothes from them to wear. How would my shirts “stay standing”? What I’ve learned in my own Marie Kondo 2.0 is that is really is all about the fold. After becoming re-inspired from watching her Netflix show, I decided to re-approach my clothing storage technique.

As I went through my clothes to remind myself what “sparked joy,” when putting everything away I opted for folded and filing verses rolling and stacking. Several weeks have passed and I am still choosing to file. Turns out Kondo is right. When I can see all of my options at one glance, it makes getting dressed so much more fun, and dare I say, joyful.

When we really delve into the reasons for why we can’t let something go, there are only two: an attachment to the past or a fear for the future. — Marie Kondo

Additionally, what I’m loving about Kondo is her practicality and authenticity. On her Netfilx show she doesn’t barge into people’s homes with large teams of organizers, truck-loads of gear, and Mary Poppins Promises. Even through the title of her book talks of magic, she makes it clear with her clients that there is no magic when it comes to the hard and long process of decluttering and organizing. Which of course, I know to be true.

Rather, the magic, I think, is the realization that a person really does possess the power to take control of the clutter and overwhelm of their life, and to learn how to live with less stuff, yet more joy, in ways they never thought were possible.