Tidying Guru Marie Kondo explains why she’d happily be forgotten

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Colin Crummy
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What will Marie Kondo, the author of The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up, make of our existential questions?

What is the meaning of life? 

You must search for the answer to that yourself. You may be able to answer it if you tidy.

What is the difference between right and wrong? 

What determines right and wrong depends on whether you are able to listen to your inner voice and your sense of what sparks joy.

Where is your happy place? 

My home. The time I spend with my family is when I am happiest.

Nature or nurture?

Nurture. You always possess the ability to change yourself. I’ve witnessed people transform their lives.

Is it more important to be liked or respected? 

You can’t control what others think about you, so I don’t put a lot of emphasis on being liked or respected. It’s most important to honour what sparks joy for you. What sparks joy is different for each person.

If you could be remembered for one thing what would it be?

Actually, I think it would be great if the world has no need to remember me and completely forgets about me. What do I mean by this? I want the act of tidying and cherishing one’s belongings to be so normalised and part of the culture that there’s no need for my help.

Who or what is your greatest love?

My family.

When did you last lie in? 

I was so nervous and anxious all the way through filming the Netflix show [Tidying Up With Marie Kondo] that I never slept in. The day after filming ended, I slept like a baby for hours.

Does the supernatural exist? 

I believe that there is a higher power. There are times when things occur that cannot be readily explained by things we can see with our own eyes.

Are you fatalistic? 

I believe in fate, but I also believe it’s possible to grow closer to our desired future by changing what we do. I recommend beginning by tidying your home. Clearing physical clutter can have a profound effect on mental clutter. Tidying reveals your values, and I believe it is the best way to understand your presence on this Earth.

What is your greatest fear? 

My greatest fear is whether or not we can leave a healthy environment for the children of the future.

Animals or babies? 

Babies. I have two daughters and cannot express in words how cute and sweet they are to me.

What talent do you yearn for?

I would like to be someone that’s well balanced. When I focus too much on my work, I tend to lose sight of what’s around me. This causes me to forget and neglect things occasionally, so I’d like to be a little more balanced in my approach to life.

Do you like to be complimented? 

Yes, I do.

Do you have a high pain threshold? 

I don’t have a high pain tolerance.

What book do you recommend most to others? 

Big Magic, a book about creative living by Elizabeth Gilbert [the author of Eat , Pray, Love].

Marie is a fan of the Eat, Pray, Love author’s take on creative living.

What food sums up happiness? 

The rice I cook with my donabe – a Japanese clay pot. When you cook rice this way and take the time to savour and chew the rice, you can actually taste its sweetness. While I eat it, I think, “Wow, I’m so happy and blessed.”

What have you never understood? 

There are quite a lot of things that I do not understand. The only thing I truly understand and can talk about with confidence is the value of tidying.

What is the one thing you want to know before you die?

I would like to know what the world would look like if everybody finished tidying.

Are you scared of dying or what happens when you die? 

Of course thinking about being involved in an accident or natural disaster and so on causes fear, but I don’t think I’m scared of dying itself or what happens after we die. Because we know our time on Earth is limited, we have the opportunity to value each moment of our lives.

Quinoa or Quavers?


Tidying Up With Marie Kondo is available to stream on Netflix now

Image: Rex Features


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Colin Crummy

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