Marie Kondo’s do­ing what she can to make your kids tidy

The Peterborough Examiner - - ARTS & LIFE - LEANNE ITALIE

NEW YORK — Not even Marie Kondo can fol­low all her rules for tidy­ing all the time.

“Of course, when things get very busy, I need to let go of some of my stan­dards and meth­ods, and I think that’s a com­pletely nat­u­ral thing,” the de­clut­ter­ing guru, Net­flix re­al­ity star and mother of two told The As­so­ci­ated Press.

The soft-spo­ken Kondo was tight-lipped on ex­actly what she lets slide, be­sides leav­ing her house slip­pers in the mid­dle of the floor oc­ca­sion­ally, but one thing’s for sure: When it comes to Kondo, the em­pha­sis is on busy th­ese days.

Kondo has amassed an em­pire by urg­ing the world to de­cide if their be­long­ings “spark joy” and has ex­panded her reach yet again with her debut chil­dren’s pic­ture book, “Kiki & Jax: The Life-Chang­ing Magic of Friend­ship,” co-writ­ten and il­lus­trated by Salina Yoon.

For grown-ups who fight chaos on the job, she has part­nered with or­ga­ni­za­tional psy­chol­o­gist Scott So­nen­shein on a new book due out in April, “Joy at Work: Or­ga­niz­ing Your Pro­fes­sional life,” aimed at sort­ing out desks, sched­ules and in­boxes.

Kondo and the first sea­son of her Net­flix se­ries, “Tidy­ing Up with Marie Kondo,” were nom­i­nated for two Em­mys this year, with no wins. While dis­cus­sions are un­der­way for a sec­ond sea­son, she has slowly gone about dis­pens­ing ad­vice on a broader range of life­style top­ics, from know­ing when a re­la­tion­ship no longer sparks joy to mak­ing the per­fect bento box for kids.

Later this month on her web­site,, she’ll start sell­ing some of the things that spark her own joy at home but are made by oth­ers, such as her favourite in­cense and rice cooker.

And in the last year, she has ex­panded her net­work of Kon-Mari-cer­ti­fied con­sul­tants to about 300 in more than 30 coun­tries.

With Kondo’s Net­flix show came a move to Los An­ge­les with her hus­band and daugh­ters, ages 4 and 3.

Now Kondo is pro­mot­ing her pic­ture book. The story of Kiki, a squir­rel with a hoarding prob­lem, and Jax, a metic­u­lous owl who loves to sort, is a sweet ex­ten­sion of the best­seller that led to her global in­flu­ence, “The Life-Chang­ing Magic of Tidy­ing Up.”

Kiki’s in­abil­ity to find any­thing at home gets in the way of their friend­ship. Jax presents Kiki with a scrap­book of their bond and helps her dis­or­ga­nized friend put his home in or­der. They sort piles of stuff to do­nate, recycle or throw away, us­ing Kondo’s method of fold­ing clothes and stack­ing them up­right in his draw­ers.

“After I be­came a mother, I wanted to teach my chil­dren how to tidy,” the 35-year-old Kondo said. “I was won­der­ing how could I make that process more fun? The pic­ture book seemed like the per­fect idea.”

Is it eas­ier to fol­low the KonMari method of tidy­ing if one was raised in a tidy house­hold?

“Of course, it’s im­por­tant to have a tidy home, but there’s no need for it to be com­pletely per­fect or ab­so­lutely or­ga­nized,” Kondo said. “What’s more im­por­tant is that the chil­dren get to see their par­ents tidy­ing.”

Kondo had no chil­dren when she first set out to con­quer the world of tidy­ing. That trig­gered some par­ents who chided her for hav­ing no real idea just how big a mess kids can make and how dis­or­ga­nized har­ried par­ents can be­come.

“I think my stan­dard for tidy­ing def­i­nitely changed after I had chil­dren,” she said

“Before, I think my ideal was a per­fectly or­ga­nized home, but nat­u­rally chil­dren do tend to make a mess, and I’m also lim­ited in time as well. It can be quite ex­haust­ing as all moth­ers know.

“I think I’ve be­come much more for­giv­ing of my­self.”


Au­thor and tele­vi­sion per­son­al­ity Marie Kondo has writ­ten a chil­dren's book "Kiki & Jax: The Life-Chang­ing Magic of Friend­ship.”

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