Thursday, November 5, 2015

Entrepreneur Marie Kondo Finds New Way to Clean Up

 I recently discovered a dainty turquoise book, Marie Kondo’s The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing, and immediately felt the itch to Kondo my life top to bottom.  Marie Kondo is the Japanese organizing consultant who has inspired a decluttering phenomenon around the world.

Tidying Up has sold more than three million copies, holding the title of #1 New York Times best seller in its category for 50 weeks.  In this unique guide, Kondo discusses practical tools for cleaning and organizing your space and the impact that a tidy space can have on all aspects of your life.

Kondo’s tidying strategy has two main steps: 

  • Hold each item in your hands and ask yourself if it sparks joy, and if it doesn’t, thank it for its service and discard it. 
  • Choose an accessible place for each of your belongings, following the KonMari Method tips on folding and organization. 

While purging your stuff may sound dreary, Kondo’s voice is encouraging and her message of uplifting minimalism is resonating with readers burdened by excess.  Her guidance on socks captures the essence of her style: “Never, ever ball up your socks,” she writes. “They take a brutal beating in their daily work. . . . The time they spend in your drawer is their only chance to rest.”

Who knew that you could make a career out of something so mundane as tidying up?  Fueled by her passion for organization and desire to share the magic of the KonMari Method with as many people as possible, she has built a lifestyle empire in the growing field of self-help and organization.  At 30 years old, she has published four books (plus a CD of classical music to tidy by) and developed an international cult-like following. Kondo was named one of the 100 Most Influential People of 2015 by Time, in which Jamie Lee Curtis dubbed her “Organizer in chief”.

Kondo confidently asserts that people who follow the KonMari Method never revert to clutter again.  “My repeater rate is zero,” she writes.  “From a business perspective, this would appear to be a fatal flaw.  But what if my lack of repeaters was actually the secret to the popularity of my approach?”

Clearly, her strategy is working.  Kondo had a three-month waiting list when she published Tidying Up, and she is no longer accepting new clients for personal consultations.  She is now focused on training professional tidying consultants in her method with plans to bring the program to the United States.  

Fans of the KonMari Method will be excited to hear that there’s more to come.   Her second book, Spark Joy: An Illustrated Master Class on the Art of Organizing and Tidying Up, will be available in English on Jan. 5, 2016.  And according to Deadline, NBC is developing The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up, a half-hour comedy based on the Tidying Up book, which “centers on a young woman in a moment of crisis who attempts to get her messy life in order.”  

Her entrepreneurial story is fascinating and her methods are addictive.  I encourage you to join the Konverts (as we call ourselves) and pick up this little guide.  From my personal experience, I can attest that clearing clutter truly sparks joy and allows one to find clarity in home and at work.

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