Since it’s publication in 2011, The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying-Up has made author Marie Kondo a household name. The groundbreaking book encourages readers to follow her KonMari Method of tidying up to create a clutter-free home, and transforming your life in the process.
Inspired by her considered approach to buying and owning, Positive Luxury caught up with Marie to find out how she’d suggest you get started on your tidying journey and what sustainability means to her.
What inspired you to develop the KonMari Method?
Nothing in particular inspired me to develop the KonMari method, but I was significantly influenced by the idea that all things have a soul, which is a common idea among Japanese people that applies to everything from nature, such as mountains and rivers, to household items, such as pots and rice. I experience this feeling when tidying even without thinking about it.
This belief influenced the KonMari method’s emphasis on appreciating even the things you discard or give away.
If people are starting from scratch with your method what would you suggest?
I would suggest those beginning my method to set a goal for tidying. They should ask themselves: ‘By what point do I wish to finish?’ and ‘How do I want to live after I’ve tidied?’
When they establish a timeline, they should make it as concise as possible. They should not try to prolong the tidying process for too long.
Lastly, I would remind them that it is easier to stay motivated to tidy by clearly envisioning their ideal life that they will begin once they’ve completely finished organising.
What is sustainability to you?
Sustainability is keeping only those things that spark joy to you. Know what brings you joy (who you like to be with, what things you like, and how much of each you need to be happy), and keep making those choices.
By prioritizing what is really important to you, you maximize your time, money, and mental energy. This decision-making process allows you to live more healthily and in a less stressful state.
What do you do on a daily basis to live a positive life?
I keep my house clean and tidy at all times, and express gratitude to the things that I use daily. By living in a clean and refreshed house, I keep your mind and heart refreshed.
Also, I can obtain a sense of safety in my daily life when I realize that the things I own are protecting me. For example, I try to say “Thank you for making me look pretty again today” or “Thank you for protecting me” to the things I wore that day before I return them to their usual spot.
Who inspires you?
My grandmother. She passed away when I was in school, but she really took care of things and lived a beautiful life. Even her drawers were perfectly organized. She often taught me to “value what cannot be seen from the outside,” to clean inside the shelves, and to wear beautiful garments as a way of cultivating self-image.