International/Tokyo

De-Cluttering Joy

Marie Kondo’s methods draw from our emotions and force us
to recall memories made with our belongings.

By Minahil Mahmud | June 2020


Japanese organizing consultant, author and television show host, Marie Kondo is the coiner of the ‘Konmari’ method of organization. A combination of practical instructions and almost spiritual mind-body exercises, Konmari is rapidly becoming one of those rarely seen phenomena that take the world completely by storm due to their ‘magical’ appeal and alluring guarantee of not just solving all our mess-related problems but changing our lives altogether. But at the end of the day, Konmari is not an extraordinarily novel solution. It is a unique cultural spin to the practiced and pruned approach of a woman who simply loves to tidy. So, what makes it so special, effective and endearing? Well, it’s exactly that.

“The goal of tidying is to make room for meaningful objects, people and experiences,” says Marie in one of her calm, peaceful and spacy videos. But for the large part of her audiences, tidying remains more of an unenjoyable and frequently delayed chore than an ethereal experience of fulfillment. How then can we explain people’s overwhelmingly positive and genuine connection to Marie’s teachings, which draw from a lifestyle so different from their own, with its backdrop of delicate Japanese rituals and subtle scents and hues?

The answer lies in the nature of the method itself combined with her unique style of selling it. The Konmari Method™ was first introduced to millions of readers around the world through Marie’s marvelously successful books, “The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up,” and “Spark Joy.” After its debut, she went on to make many appearances at panels and TedTalks where she explained to audiences of hundreds how and why they should implement it in their lives. She recommends strictly sticking to her tried and tested procrastination-proof order to achieve the best results.

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The writer is a free-lance contributor with interest in women empowerment, human rights and climate change.

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