Is Home Organization Still Sparking Joy for Marie Kondo?
Has Marie Kondo Stopped Organizing?
When I arrived at a client’s house recently, she excitedly shared with me that Marie Kondo had given up being tidy. “WHAT?! It can’t be!” I thought to myself and immediately started Googling the moment I got home. Sure enough, there were the headlines - “Marie Kondo’s house is messy,” “Marie Kondo has quit tidying,” etc.
Let me just say, everyone needs to calm down, and not take the headlines quite so literally.
After reading a couple of the articles, including this one in the Washington Post, I realized that Marie is doing what we all should be doing - making adjustments to her habits and organizing systems based on her current phase of life.
Marie Kondo’s New Perspective on Home Organization
I don’t think it’s any coincidence that these articles have come out just a few months after the release of her new book “Marie Kondo’s Kurashi at Home: How to organize your space and achieve your ideal life.”* It doesn’t ignore tidying but looks at sparking joy more holistically. Bravo, Marie! When we organize for our clients, we are making space for what you love…not just things, but the people and activities as well.
For us, helping you get organized is to open up space for you to “achieve your ideal life.” Marie says “...If we lose sight of the lifestyle we want or of where we are at in the tidying process, we begin to neglect our sense of joy…I sometimes pressure myself with expectations that my house should always be in order.” Marie has learned, as her family has expanded, that life happens, and having a “tidy” house may not always be the top priority.
Kondo gave birth to her third child in 2021. As any parent knows, there is no amount of tidying that makes parenting easy, much less parenting three small children. Marie is simply shifting her focus. And while her new life might not have her prioritizing a “drawer of perfectly folded t-shirts,” I seriously doubt that those drawers are what most people would consider a “mess.”
Marie’s original tidying-up method was pretty stringent. She lives in Japan, where homes, and therefore the number of belongings in them, are typically smaller. So when she says her house is messy, I would bet that she’s still pretty tidy by most standards.
Personalized Home Organization and Decluttering Services
I used Marie’s Tidying Up to “Kon Mari” my home after the death of my father had me reflecting on what I was leaving behind should something happen to me. I found the structure and clear steps of her method resonated with me. I did not, however, follow each and every step of her process exactly. I made adjustments for my lifestyle and what worked for my family. And because everyone’s life is different, that means there is no one process that will work for everyone, or even one process that all aspects will work for one person or family.
The flexibility to adjust systems to best work for whatever phase of life you're in is an important part of the home organizing journey. Toddlers become school-aged kids who become teenagers. Less toys, more food, bigger shoes. Pre-Covid you worked in an office, now you may work from home. A home office quickly becomes a priority.
As a professional home organizer, there are things that help me personalize my services for each client - decluttering and systems are the pillars of home organizing, but the right amount of stuff is different for everyone, and so is the level of organization. In Good Order systems are created specifically for each client’s lifestyle - not only how they are living in their home, but how much time and energy they want to dedicate to staying tidy. If lining up cereal bars perfectly in your pantry bin brings you joy, that is awesome. If you don’t have time for it, dump them in - you still know where to find them! Your systems must work for YOU.
Home Organization That Works for You
Being organized or tidy doesn’t mean your house is always Insta perfect. It means you have the systems in place to prevent wasted time and energy on things that don’t serve you. It means freedom and space to enjoy life. So before you “give up” on tidying, follow Marie’s lead and figure out what your priorities are. “Tidying is far more than putting your house in order. It has the power to change your life.”
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