Marie Kondo in 2016
|Residence||Los Angeles, California, U.S.|
|Alma mater||Tokyo Woman's Christian University|
|Known for||KonMari method and organizational books|
|The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up|
Takumi Kawahara (m. 2012)
Kondo has written four books on organising, which have collectively sold millions of copies and have been translated from Japanese into several languages including Korean, Chinese, Spanish, Indonesian, Italian, French, German, Swedish, Portuguese, Catalan and English. In particular, her book The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up (2011) has been published in more than 30 countries. It was a best-seller in Japan and in Europe, and was published in the United States in 2014.
In the United States and United Kingdom the profile of Kondo and her methods were greatly raised by the success of Netflix series Tidying Up with Marie Kondo, released in 2019 for which Kondo was nominated for the Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Host for a Reality or Competition Program.
Kondo says that she has been interested in organizing since childhood. In junior school, Kondo ran into the classroom to tidy up bookshelves while her classmates were playing in physical education class. Whenever there were nominations for class roles, she did not seek to be the class representative or the pet feeder. Instead, she yearned to be the bookshelf manager to continue to tidy up books. She said she experienced a breakthrough in organizing one day, "I was obsessed with what I could throw away. One day, I had a kind of 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. And I realized my mistake: I was only looking for things to throw out. What I should be doing is finding the things I want to keep. Identifying the things that make you happy: that is the work of tidying."
She spent five years as an attendant maiden at a Shinto shrine. She founded her organising consulting business when she was 19 and a sociology student at Tokyo Woman's Christian University. In her senior year, she wrote her capstone thesis titled "Tidying up as seen from the perspective of gender".
Kondo's method of organising is known as the KonMari method, and consists of gathering together all of one's belongings, one category at a time, and then keeping only those things that "spark joy" (Japanese language ときめく tokimeku, translated as equivalent to English "flutter, throb, palpitate"), and choosing a place for everything from then on.
Kondo says that her method is partly inspired by the Shinto religion. Cleaning and organising things properly can be a spiritual practice in Shintoism, which is concerned with the energy or divine spirit of things (kami) and the right way to live (kannagara). "Treasuring what you have; treating the objects you own as not disposable, but valuable, no matter their actual monetary worth; and creating displays so you can value each individual object are all essentially Shinto ways of living."
A two-part TV dramatisation was filmed in 2013 based on Kondo and her work, titled 人生がときめく片づけの魔法 (Jinsei ga Tokimeku Katazuke no Mahō). She has lectured and made television appearances. She released a series of videos teaching "the best way to fold for perfect appearance".
On 1 January 2019, Netflix released a series called Tidying Up with Marie Kondo. In the series, Kondo visits various American family homes full of clutter and guides the families in tidying up their houses through her KonMari method.
Kondo married Takumi Kawahara in 2012. At the time they met, Kawahara was working in sales support and marketing at a corporation in Osaka. Once Kondo's career took off, he left his job to become her manager and, eventually, CEO of Konmari Media, LLC. The couple have two children.
- Jinsei ga Tokimeku Katazuke no Mahō (人生がときめく片づけの魔法).
- Jinsei ga Tokimeku Katazuke no Mahō 2 (人生がときめく片づけの魔法2). Tokyo: Sunmark Shuppan, 2012; ISBN 978-4-7631-3241-3.
- Mainichi ga Tokimeku Katazuke no Mahō (毎日がときめく片付けの魔法), Tokyo: Sunmark Shuppan, 2014; ISBN 978-4-7631-3352-6.
- Irasuto de Tokimeku Katazuke no Mahō = The Illustrated Guide to the Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up (イラストでときめく片付けの魔法）. Tokyo: Sunmark Shuppan, 2015; ISBN 978-4-7631-3427-1.
- Manga de Yomu Jinsei ga Tokimeku Katazuke no Mahō. Tokyo: Sunmark Publishing, 2017;
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...2-year-old Satsuki Younger sister Miko, 10 months, Ms. Kondo’s husband, Takumi Kawahara, 33, ...
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