From her grandmother’s home in Miyazaki to the homes of A-list celebrities, Kondo has been sparking joy for decades.

Self-professed “crazy tidying fanatic” Marie Kondo has taken the world by storm seemingly overnight, with her new Tidying Up series on Netflix drawing a huge crowd of followers devoted to the KonMari Method of decluttering.

However, Kondo’s celebrity status has been a long time in the making, starting way back when she was just a five-year-old girl who was drawn to Japanese home lifestyle magazines like ESSE and Orange Page, which her mother subscribed to.

Esse and Orange Page usually attract a much older readership.

View this post on Instagram

#掲載誌 本日発売のESSE3月号にちょこっと掲載していただきました。 「収納上手がやめたこと」の企画ページに2枚使っていただいています。 beforeの、ソファに洋服を散らかしていた写真、これはマシなほう。 もっとひどいときの写真撮っておけばよかった💦 このページは、毎日、ふたり暮らしのしおりさん @14_shiori がメインで取り上げられています✨ 同じ雑誌に掲載なんてうれしい😊 それと、昨年お声かけいただいて、ESSE公認インスタグラマーをさせていただいているのですが、おすすめ文房具教えてくださいとのことで、色々送ったところ、ココフセンが採用されていたので、名前を載せていただきました😊 座談会は一度も参加できずにいますが、誌面に参加できて嬉しい✨ 本屋さんやコンビニなどで見かけたらぜひお手にとってみてください。 ・ #掲載 #掲載誌のお知らせ #esse #エッセ #収納 #整理収納 #持たない暮らし #シンプルな暮らし #すっきり暮らす #無印良品 #スチールユニットシェルフ #掃除道具 #掃除道具収納 #片付け #片づけ #文房具 #ココフセン #整理収納アドバイザー #インテリアコーディネーター #国分寺 #恋ヶ窪

A post shared by みよ|汚部屋専門整理収納アドバイザー (@miyo_344) on

Kondo credits her grandmother, who lived in Miyazaki Prefecture, as the inspiration behind her own desire to live neatly and simply. According to Kondo, her grandmother taught her to “value what cannot be seen from the outside”, and when Kondo was 15, she started tidying in earnest, cleaning her own home, including her brother’s and sister’s room, and even the bedrooms of her friends.

In 2003, at the age of 19, she became an organising consultant while studying sociology at Tokyo Woman’s Christian University. After graduating she went on to found her own organising consultancy, publishing The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up in 2011, which went on to become a bestseller.

Two years later, Japan’s national broadcaster NHK screened a two-part TV drama based on Kondo and her tidying up methods.

After marrying her husband Takumi Kawahara in 2012, the couple had two children, and Kondo says they’re both very involved in tidying up with their mother.

Once Kondo’s career began to take off in earnest, her husband left his sales and marketing job at a corporation in Osaka to become her manager. Now he’s the CEO of Konmari Media, and after years of teaching others how to organise their homes through TV appearances, lectures and videos, 34-year-old Kondo was given her own series on Netflix, which began screening on 1 January.

▼ And the rest, as they say, is history.

View this post on Instagram

来年1月1日より、Netflixにて新番組が公開されます!   『KonMari~人生がときめく片づけの魔法~』  (英題:Tidying Up With Marie Kondo)  8つのそれぞれ事情の違うご家庭が、  片づけレッスンを受けて、家も人生も変わっていく様子をご紹介した番組です。   公式ページでは現在、予告編がご覧いただけます✨ ぜひプロフィールのリンクをチェックしてみてくださいね😊  ——————————————  #こんまり#konmari #TUWMK #NewYearNewJoy #こんまりメソッド #近藤麻理恵 #人生がときめく片づけの魔法 #ときめき #片づけ #片付け #収納 #整理整頓 #マイホーム #シンプルライフ #シンプルホーム #シンプルな暮らし #シンプルな生活 #ライフスタイル #日々の暮らし #丁寧な暮らし #暮らしを楽しむ #すっきり暮らす

A post shared by 近藤麻理恵(こんまり) (@mariekondo_jp) on

Now Kondo has become a household name in the U.S., and famous celebrities are all clambering to meet her and try out the “Does it spark joy?” technique central to her trademarked KonMari Method of tidying up.

One of the first celebs to jump on the KonMari bandwagon was Kristen Bell. In February 2018, she had Kondo help out her friend and Scandal star Katie Lowes for a “Momsplaining” clip on The Ellen Show.

▼ Other celebrities in love with the KonMari Method include actress Jennifer Garner

▼ Actor and comedian Hasan Minhaj

▼ Journalist and author Katie Couric

▼ Talk show host Jimmy Kimmel…

▼ And talk show host Ellen Degeneres.

▼ Kondo also helped tidy up an Ellen writer’s office as well.

Stephen Colbert is the latest talk show host to feature Kondo, tidying his desk and holding on tightly to a whisky that “sparks joy” for him.

With her simple message of “Does it spark Joy?” and a method that everyone can easily adopt into their lifestyles, Kondo’s star looks set to grow even brighter in the future. And as we wait to see whether another season of her show will be approved on Netflix, we’ll be busy KonMarie-ing our drawers and cupboards, which is a lot easier to do when you’re living in one of Japan’s many tiny homes.

Featured image: Instagram/Marie Kondo
[ Read in Japanese ]

Follow Oona on Twitter and Instagram for more news updates from Japan.

[ Read in Japanese ]