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The magic of Marie Kondo: Who is this tidying expert taking over the world?

Kondo started a movement, called the KonMari Method, focusing on transforming homes into spaces of serenity and inspiration.

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Feng shui gathered momentum as an American home trend in the early 2000s. Individuals still dabble in the Chinese technique to guide their décor principals, but Japanese home harmony guru Marie Kondo is receiving much more attention these days.

Kondo is not an interior designer or even a home decorator. The 34-year-old dubs herself a “tidying expert.” At 19, she started a tidying consultant business while still a college student. In other words, she received payment to share wisdom about keeping a home neat and clean.

And millions are jumping on board.

As of Feb. 3, Kondo’s book Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing” was on its 149th week as a New York Times bestseller. She is a sensation not only in Japan, where she has been featured dozens of times on television and radio — her philosophy has grabbed headlines in top American newspapers and magazines, and TIME added her to their “most influential people” list back in in 2015.

The latest hoopla has been over her new Netflix show “Tidying Up with Marie Kondo,” where audiences are finding her primary exhortation — to ask “Do your things spark joy?” — is a simple one. Kondo’s decluttering philosophy, from “Keep only those things that speak to the heart, and discard items that no longer spark joy. Thank them for their service — then let them go.”

Six basic KonMari Method rules include:
1. Commit to tidying.
2. Imagine an ideal lifestyle.
3. Discard.
4. Tidy by category, not location.
5. “Follow the right order”: Clothes, then books, papers, miscellaneous items and, lastly, sentimental items.
6. “Ask yourself if it sparks joy.”

Can’t do it alone? No worries — more than 200 consultants certified in the KonMari Method are listed at Or, if you feel pretty good about your tidying powers and want to become a consultant, steps are on the website, too. The path to consultancy includes attending a seminar, practicing at least 10 sessions of tidying with two clients, a written exam, submitting photos of your own tidy home and paying an annual membership fee of $500.