Millions of Americans turn to a 34-year-old Japanese "organizing consultant" to help declare their homes and for Marie Kondo, the cleaning expert and the eponymous star behind Netflix "Clean up with Marie Kondo", there is nothing like "sparks joy "more than seeing people take ownership of their belongings – and their lives.
Kondo, whose eight episode series premiered on Netflix on New Year's Eve, contributes to the "KonMari method" of organizing, which aims to pair down cleaning experience. Instead of cleaning rooms for rooms, the KonMari method promotes sorting by category and assigns a sentimentality to each object. As Kondo writes on his website, "Just keep the things that speak to the heart and discard things that no longer kick joy. Thank you for their service – let them go."
The Netflix series was based on Kondo's best-selling book, "The Life -Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese art of clarifying and organizing. "First released in 2011, the book has since been published in more than 30 countries. The US edition arrived in 2014 and has become a # 1 New York Times bestseller. (Download the book here – if it is sold on paper, you can also get it to Kindle).
According to Kondo, part of the reason why her book – and the show – has been so successful promotes an effective exercise that not only updates a space, but also helps to transform our ways of thinking. Her belief: If you can make your home a space of calm and inspiration, your mind and overall well-being will follow.
How do you feel about receiving the show so far?
I love to see all the posts and stories about how the show has inspired people to clean their homes and find joy in their lives. What has surprised me most is how fast people have responded. It has only been a week, but the viewers put the KonMari method into action immediately – folding their clothes and checking their belongings! I'm still a little in shock – and overwhelmed with gratitude.
What was your goal or hope for the book when it was first published?
I worked as an independent cleaning consultant in Japan when I wrote my first book, "The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up." I had accumulated a significant waiting list and decided to write the book so that more people could learn to clean with my method. My goal at that time was for everyone in Japan to clean their home.
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Marie Kondo and her children on Instagram
Were there always plans to develop the book for a show?
I had participated in several television segments to promote the book, but it was small local TV shows. I never imagined that one day I would have my own show – with global reach!
How is the Netflix series different from the book?
With "The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up" was able to introduce the foundation of my cleaning method. The advantage of "tearing up with Marie Kondo" is that you can see how it looks when the KonMari method is implemented in a home. My hope is that by witnessing this transformation, viewers will be motivated to join the movement.
What is the greatest lesson people can remove from the show?
My biggest wish is for all viewers to start their own cleaning festivals – and to go through the process. I hope they will develop a greater sense of gratitude for their belongings and that their lives will spark even more joy than before!
"Cleaning with Marie Kondo" is now streaming on Netflix. "The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up" is currently available on Kindle and paperback right now on Amazon.com.