Tidying guru Marie Kondo talks big messes, Shintoism and viral fame

Marie Kondo spoke with Q's Tom Power about bringing her ideas to a North American audience with her smash hit Netflix series, Tidying Up With Marie Kondo.
Author and decluttering guru Marie Kondo. (KonMariMethod/Facebook)

Originally published on Jan. 29, 2019

Marie Kondo is the Japanese organization guru behind the bestsellers The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up and Spark Joy, and the smash hit Netflix series Tidying Up With Marie Kondo. Her core teaching is that we should only hold on to the things that "spark joy" in our lives.

Kondo's followers, known as "Konverts," say her methods are truly transformative, but her critics see her KonMari method of organization as faddish and severe. 

With the aid of her interpreter, Marie Iida, Kondo spoke to Q's Tom Power about bringing her ideas to a North American audience and how her life has changed with viral fame.

As for her critics, Kondo said that she's aware of the strong reaction some people have to her advice (particularly when it comes to downsizing book collections), but it doesn't upset her. 

"I do feel it was a misunderstanding of my core message, but I don't think there's anything wrong with the criticism per se," Kondo told Power. "I think this method — what it's doing is creating a very strong emotion, a strong reaction in people that learned about it, and this necessarily isn't a bad thing for me because it creates an opportunity for people to understand what they're passionate about."

"If this message moves you or frustrates you in a certain way, you should be exploring why. And that should allow you to understand what you're passionate about and what you find valuable in life," said Kondo. 

Hear the full interview with Marie Kondo near the top of this page, where she also talks about how the Shinto religion has shaped her ideas and what first inspired her to spark joy. Tidying Up With Marie Kondo is streaming now on Netflix.

Produced by Chris Trowbridge



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