We asked the tidying guru about her new series, becoming a KonMari consultant and why the holiday season is an ideal time to tidy up your life.
Marie Kondo has made a name for herself in households all over the globe—figuratively and literally. The tidying guru released her tidying method to the world by way of her first book, “The Life-Changing Magic of Tiding Up,” in 2011, before releasing a second book, “Spark Joy,” in 2016.
Last month, Kondo introduced a video series, “Tidy Up Your Home,” for those who wish to take their tidying journey deeper. 24Life asked Kondo to share the inspiration behind the video course, as well as advice for first-time tidiers and how to best prepare your home for the New Year.
24Life: You recently released your “Tidy Up Your Home” course. Who should take the course?
Marie Kondo (MK): The course is perfect for anyone who wants to finish tidying their home, whether they have not yet begun tidying, are in the process or have finished but have questions left. The course teaches the philosophy of the KonMari Method as well as basic folding and storage techniques. We have received positive feedback from students who have both read and haven’t read the books.
For those who haven’t read the books, the course is a perfect introduction to the KonMari Method. For those who have read the books, the course works as a refresher of the method as well as a boost for motivation to finish tidying once and for all.
24Life: You first shared your method with the world by way of book that was incredibly successful; why use a video method now?
MK: I believe that delivering my method in a video format will open up a new dimension of communication. The video format allows me to further elaborate on concepts that are difficult to explain in writing, or are better understood in video demonstrations.
Videos also allow me to convey my message directly through my voice, which I value the most about in-person lectures. At the same time, in this online course I am able to cover more ground than I can in lectures, where I can only share the essence of the method in a limited amount of time.
24Life: Does someone have to read your books to understand and follow along with the videos, or does the course stand alone?
MK: The course is designed to stand alone, so that people who haven’t read the books can learn the method from scratch. At the same time, the course covers some new ground and includes visual aids, including folding demonstrations, which is a great addition to people who have already read the books.
24Life: Are there action points at the end of each video (like “homework”)?
MK: Each section of the course covers one category of things you should tidy. While the course itself doesn’t have homework, the section divisions help set a goal and pace when you are tidying your home.
The course is an hour and a half long, and all the videos are available at once. Some students choose to go through them all at once, while others decide to learn section by section and tidy as they go along.
Students can also join a Facebook group dedicated to students of the course, where they can share their tidying progress and support each other.
24Life: What do you hope to accomplish with this video series?
MK: Currently, what sparks joy the most for me is delivering my message to achieve the mission of organizing the world. My team and I are hoping that, through this course, we can help as many people as possible finish tidying and start living a life that sparks joy.
24Life: You can also become a KonMari consultant—who should apply?
MK: Anyone who is looking to tidy professionally and help others spark joy in their lives should apply to become a consultant! KonMari consultants conduct in-home sessions to guide clients through the tidying process. They not only share their organizational knowledge and skills, but also help their clients identify what they value most in life. Becoming certified is a beginning of a professional career that helps other people clarify their values and achieve their ideal lives. It is very rewarding work.
24Life: What is your advice for someone who wants to tidy up their life, but doesn’t know where to begin and is too overwhelmed by the idea?
MK: My advice is to begin by tidying your physical space. I truly believe that life only begins after you have put your house in order. By examining each item in your home and choosing only what sparks joy, you can hone your sensibility to what makes you happy, whether in your home, office, career or relationships.
24Life: Is the holiday season a good time to do a tidying up session?
MK: Yes, definitely. Any period where you have a good chunk of time to devote to tidying is a great chance to tidy. I advise people to go through the method as much as possible at once, instead of doing it little by little, so that they can see and feel the drastic change.
24Life: How often do you tidy or clean out your home? Are there any cleaning rituals you do daily?
MK: Every night I take the time to put scattered things back in their places, but this only takes about 10 minutes since everything already has a designated place. The things I have to put back are mostly my daughters’ toys.
In terms of rituals, I empty the contents of my handbag every day and let each item rest in its place—my purse, keys, phone, everything. I thank them for the work they did for the day.
24Life: How do you feel about the popular Swedish practice of “death cleaning”—cleaning out your home and setting your affairs in order as if you are going to die tomorrow so you can live a comfortable and stress-free life in your later years?
MK: Regardless of the motivation behind it, I think that tidying is an inherently valuable act. Reflecting on your life and reexamining what you value in life is an important process, no matter how old you are and where you are in life.
24Life: Looking forward to the New Year: What is one space you would encourage readers to tidy up in anticipation of 2018, to start the year off right?
MK: Japanese culture places a lot of emphasis on New Year’s and starting it off right. I make sure to scrub clean the entrance of my home before New Year’s, so that I can begin the year by welcoming fresh air into my home.
24Life: You have a book, a graphic novel, an app and a video course—what’s next for you?
MK: My team and I will continue to work to certify more consultants around the world and bring the KonMari Method to more people. In the first half of 2018, we have seminars planned in San Francisco, New York and London. We are excited to bring the seminar to cities around the world and pursue our mission of organizing the world.
Interested in taking Marie Kondo’s online tidying course? Register here.
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Photo credit: Courtesy of Marie Kondo