Marie Kondo has built an $8 million empire from cleaning. Her distinct method of organizing is called the ‘KonMari Method’ which involves keeping household items that elicit the most joy, discarding the ones that don’t and giving every item a permanent home. Kondo has been passionate about organizing since she was a child and turned her passion into profit at the age of nineteen when she established her consultancy firm. With over 8.5 million copies of her books sold, she has become a household name and is known globally for her work. Kondo is a tidying expert, bestselling author and star of the Netflix Show “Tidying Up With Marie Kondo”, as well as founder of KonMari Media, Inc., and mother.
Goldie Chan: What do you enjoy about tidying?
Marie Kondo: I have been interested in tidying since childhood, and I became captivated with the craft of organization at the age of 15 after reading “The Art of Discarding,” a bestselling book in Japan at the time. I began to realize early on, that instead of looking for reasons to discard an item, I should look for reasons to keep them. That is how the “spark joy” concept was born, which is the foundation of the KonMari Method™. From that moment on, tidying became a rejuvenating journey for me. Whether tidying my own home or helping clients or friends, I am constantly on a joy-seeking journey through the act of decluttering.
Chan: How did you build your passion into a business?
Kondo: I began my tidying consultant business as a 19-year-old university student in Tokyo. It took years of experience and research to develop the KonMari Method™. Before I leaned fully into professional tidying, I was working before and after my day job for my own colleagues who had hired me to tidy their desks and homes. My clients helped spread my tidying capabilities by word of mouth and that was originally how I explored my passion deeper and grew the business in the very early years. After my first book was published in 2010, “The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up,” it helped raise awareness of the KonMari Method™ worldwide. In 2015, we were ready to expand the KonMari Method™ in a more impactful, global way – which is when we started KonMari Media, Inc. and introduced KonMari Consultant Certification Courses in August 2016. It has been a true joy to be able to share the KonMari Method™ farther and wider than I ever would have imagined. The development of Consultant Certification Courses has made it possible for me to no longer be the sole teacher of this craft. It has been inspiring to teach and meet like-minded people who can share the KonMari Method™ as passionately as I do.
Chan: What are you working on now?
Kondo: I released my latest book, “Kurashi at Home: How to Organize Your Space and Achieve Your Ideal Life” in November 2022 and that was a big accomplishment of mine. In March 2023, I collaborated with OrbitKey to release a limited-edition colorway of their Nest, a compact desk storage solution perfect for those on the go or if you’re looking to keep your workspace better organized. I love partnering with other brands that align with what we are doing at KonMari. That said, we have some exciting projects in the works throughout the remainder of the year, and we look forward to sharing more soon!
Chan: What are you creatively inspired by?
Kondo: Watching my children grow has continued to be a great source of creative inspiration for me. The world through their eyes is so pure and authentic, and they have taught me to look at situations with a different perspective. Motherhood is a constant learning experience and being a mother has helped me be a stronger business leader and creative mentor for other women who are also looking to follow their passions and dreams. Writing has also always been a creative outlet for me. Since I was young, putting my feelings and thoughts into words has always been a passion. When I sit down to write, I feel at ease and rejuvenated.
Chan: What is career advice for someone just starting out?
Kondo: For anyone starting out their career, I recommend honing in on your passions to understand what brings you joy. As a child, tidying with my grandmother always felt like a natural activity I wanted to spend my time doing. When I decided to dedicate more time to it, was when I realized I could make a career out of it. Reflect on your deep interests, and you might be surprised how far they can take you!
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