Marie Kondo Admits That Her Own Home Gets Messy Sometimes
"Being pressed for time is common for all of us," says Kondo, the world-renowned organization expert behind the KonMari method, in a new interview.
For the millions of people who have read her books or watched her organize other people's lives on her Netflix show, Marie Kondo seems like the kind of person that wouldn't stand for an untidy home. But if you were to visit the 34-year-old organization expert in her home, you'd see that even she struggles with keeping her home in order—and is often seeking her own advice. In Better Homes & Garden's September issue, which features Kondo as its cover star, she shares that she isn't seeking "perfection" anymore in an interview on how her everyday life differs from public perception.
"To be honest, my situation has changed since I was single," Kondo, who is a mother of two children, told BHG through an interpreter. "I've let go of needing to maintain a perfect home all the time." Living in Los Angeles with her husband, Takumi Kawahara, Kondo admits she finds herself attempting to balance family with work at her lifestyle media company—and sometimes, housekeeping falls by the wayside.
Initially, Kondo's career began with humble beginnings as a local consultant in her native Japan—she first found worldwide success after releasing The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up in 2011. In it, she details her approach to maintaining a well-functioning, organized home, developing a unique process that's known as the KonMari method; while the book has been republished in multiple languages, the KonMari method gained even more traction in American homes this year when Netflix released Tidying Up with Marie Kondo in January. Kondo's trademark strategy to reducing clutter has to do with keeping items that "spark joy," and releasing (without tossing!) the items that are no longer being used in your home.
"Being pressed for time is common for all of us," Kondo tells the magazine. "You just have to accept the fact that you don't have a lot of time, and that it is okay." Kondo has started to set the record straight on what exactly she stands for; some have misinterpreted aspects of her maxim, she says, including "rules" on how many books one should own. "That's a complete misconception," she tells BHG. "What's important is not necessarily quantity, but understanding what quantity works for you."
Rather than focus on how much you're donating or the hours spent cleaning, Kondo believes you can clear your mind by approaching the task holistically. "Maybe do socks one day, and shirts the next. Do a smaller amount when you have time," she says. "Tidying itself is not the be-all and end-all goal… 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."