What Marie Kondo says really seems to spark joy: NPR

What Marie Kondo says really seems to spark joy: NPR

Marie Kondo speaks at a media event in New York on July 11, 2018.

Seth Wenig/AP

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Seth Wenig/AP

Marie Kondo speaks at a media event in New York on July 11, 2018.

Seth Wenig/AP

Tidying up queen Marie Kondo says her house isn’t so tidy anymore.

“I kind of gave it up in a good way for me,” said Kondo, the author of The magic of life-changing storage: the Japanese art of decluttering and organizinga self-help book that has taken audiences by storm.

She is also the mother of three children.

“Now I realize that what is important to me is spending time with my children at home,” the Japanese cleaning consultant recently told listeners, according to The Washington Post.

The person behind the KonMari method – decluttering by throwing away anything that doesn’t “spark joy” – is no longer (totally) practicing what she preached. Some people shared their reactions on social media.

“The fact that Marie Kondo, a millennial leader who (she) taught to keep only the things that spark joy, has given up on tidying up her house now that she has 3 kids, really sends me,” wrote someone on Twitter.

Parents, in particular, felt seen.

“It was both refreshing and validating to read,” wrote a Twitter user. “I have 3 children and have tried the KonMari method every 3 months, but it’s just not doable.”

But for Kondo, who says his cleaning philosophy is based in part on the indigenous Japanese belief in Shintoism, keeping a tidy home is only part of the practice.

“The ultimate goal is to spark joy every day and lead a joyful life,” according to Kondo, who describes this philosophy as struggle which she says roughly translates to “way of life.”

Plus, purging clutter isn’t so much a trend as a necessity for many city dwellers in Japan — and other parts of Asia where apartments start out small.

The average size of a house in Tokyo is just over 700 square feet, according to a 2019 Housing and Land Survey conducted by the Japanese government.

But that’s about the same as what you’ll get in Manhattan, where the average apartment size is 704 square feet, according to housing website RentCafe.

Kondo, whose organizing skills have earned her her two Netflix series, has already faced backlash, including for appearing to portray order as something innately Japanese and for saying to keep at plus 30 pounds, which she said was a misconception.

Kondo writes in her first book, originally published in 2010 and released in the United States in 2014, this radical reorganization “causes consequential dramatic changes in lifestyle and outlook”.

“The real purpose of storage isn’t to shrink your belongings or declutter your space,” Kondo says. Rather, learn to make meaningful choices and find gratitude in everyday life.

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