3 Life-Changing Lessons from Japanese Home Organizational Expert, Marie Kondo

Posted by:
Dennis Nottingham
June 24, 2019
6 minutes, 58 seconds

Author of “The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up” and star of Netflix's successful series “Tidying Up with Marie Kondo”, this organizational guru has made her mark on the world. Her trailblazing tidying and organizational method is becoming increasingly popular in households around the world.

Labeled the KonMari Method, Kondo has developed effective ways to help others sort and properly arrange all spaces of the home. The method is designed to allow people to assimilate the relationship they have with items scattered about their living space, and decide whether it is time to find the proper place for it or dispose of the item.

Below are 3 quotes from the expert’s book that highlight essential points to keep in mind when diving into the tidying process. Each excerpt assists the reader in understanding the importance of what aspects are involved in creating a home, the deeper meaning behind creating one’s ideal living space, and the impact a tidy living space has on a person’s overall well-being.

1) “At their core, the things we really like do not change over time. Putting your house in order is a great way to discover what they are.”

The home serves as a source of self-identity. It is the space in which one spends the most time and creates everlasting memories. Many are able to recall fragments from time spent in their childhood home. The sound of coffee brewing may spark the feeling that Mom is awake and on her way to work, or the scent of a burning candle may give off a familiar aroma that once roamed the halls of that home. These seemingly insignificant “events” experienced in that household hold value, and they allow one to manifest memories associated with that home that will travel with them for a lifetime.

According to an article written by the Journal of Environmental Psychology, “Personal possessions strengthen the interconnectedness between self and home, unless they threaten to overwhelm living spaces”. Sort through these personal possessions and as Kondo states, see if they “spark joy”. If these items are things you use on a daily basis and/or bring you immense happiness, find a place for them, if not, properly dispose of them. It is with this that we are able to identify items that are of use to us and will help guide us down a path of well-being and happiness.

2) “Not having a space you can call your own is dangerous. Everyone needs a sanctuary.”

Sanctuary is defined as a place of refuge or safety. With our home, we are able to create a sanctuary of our own. In this space, we are welcomed to feel a sense of comfort and happiness. Take Buddhist monasteries for example. In the early years of Buddhism, monastic complexes were created as a place to assist wandering monks. In modern times, monasteries serve as a place where monks practice inner peace to achieve nirvana, in other words, liberation. (Khan Academy). This place serves as a form of sanctuary where monks are able to experience peace and well-being. As Kondo stated, not having a space (sanctuary) of your own is dangerous. Without this, we are unable to experience peace in the place we call home.

3) “It’s a very strange phenomenon, but when we reduce what we own and essentially “detox” our house, it has a detox effect on our bodies as well.”

Through detoxification of the body, we are able to rid our forms of toxins. Through detoxification of the house, we are able to rid our home of clutter that can have a negative impact on our well-being and even our health in extreme cases such as hoarding. Ways to detox a home can include sorting through a collection of clothes and donating items that are not of value, the discarding of countless bottles of toxic cleaning supplies and rather opting for more 3 or 4 mutli-purpose eco-friendly products, and/or caring for your lawn by finding the proper care and maintenance routine.

Through ridding a home of these nuances and treating it with delicate care, the owner of that home will feel more at peace by having the proper sanctuary for themselves and/or their family. Kondo states, “From the moment you start tidying, you will be compelled to reset your life. As a result, your life will start to change. That’s why the task of putting your house in order should be done quickly. It allows you to confront the issues that are really important. Tidying is just a tool, not the final destination. The true goal should be to establish the lifestyle you want most once your house has been put in order”.

Works Cited:

-“Buddhist Monasteries.” Khan Academy, Khan Academy,


-Roster, Catherine A., et al. “The Dark Side of Home: Assessing Possession ‘Clutter’ on Subjective Well-Being.” Journal of Environmental Psychology, vol. 46, 2016, pp. 32–41., doi:10.1016/j.jenvp.2016.03.003.

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