Marie Kondo’s name has become synonymous with order — but she’ll be the first to admit that her life is far from flawless.
The 34-year-old organization expert confessed to Better Homes & Gardens that she’s begun to let go of perfection — both in her life and in her home — in the magazine’s September 2019 cover story, a statement that may shock many of her followers.
“To be honest, my situation has changed since I was single,” the married mother of two told BHG, speaking through a translator. “I’ve let go of needing to maintain a perfect home all the time.”
Since starting her career as an organization consultant in her native Japan, Kondo has made a name for herself through her obsession with tidying. Her debut book, The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up, has been read by millions across the world, and her Netflix show, Tidying Up with Marie Kondo, was instantly beloved when it hit the streaming service in January 2019.
The book and show teach homeowners Kondo’s organizational method for a spotless home and soul: Keep only items that “spark joy,” and say goodbye to those that no longer serve you.
A blend of home-improvement and self-improvement, Kondo’s brand is all about being spic-and-span — but Kondo admits that she just doesn’t have the same amount of time that she used to to dedicate to decluttering. “Being pressed for time is common for all of us,” she tells BHG. “You just have to accept the fact that you don’t have a lot of time and that it’s OK.”
These days, Kondo is busy balancing a family with growing entrepreneurial endeavors. She and her husband, Takumi Kawahara, spend their days raising their two daughters, Satsuki, 3, and Miko, 2, at their home in L.A., while building their joint lifestyle venture, the KonMari company. They’re currently seeking funding for an online platform, licensing tidying consultants to send into people’s homes and writing books for younger audiences.
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Though she’s begun to relax the sometimes drastic-seeming practices she’s known for, Kondo still believes that you can clear your mind by clearing your closets, and better yourself by bettering your home. “Tidying itself is not the be-all and end-all goal,” she tells BHG. “It’s much more introspective. It’s about checking in with yourself and choosing joy in your daily life. I just show how you get there through tidying.”
For more on Kondo and her family, pick up the September issue of Better Homes & Gardens, or visit bhg.com.
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