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Marie Kondo says she’s ‘kind of given up’ on cleaning

The organisation guru welcomed her third child, a boy, in April 2021

Meredith Clark
New York
Monday 30 January 2023 06:26 GMT

Tidying Up with Marie Kondo

Marie Kondo has admitted she’s “kind of given up” on tidying up after welcoming three children.

The decluttering expert welcomed her third child, a son, in April 2021. Kondo, 38, and her husband Takumi Kawahara, whom she married in 2012, are also parents to daughters Satsuki and Miko.

Since becoming a family of five, Kondo has now put organisation and decluttering on the back burner and started to embrace the mess.

“My home is messy, but the way I am spending my time is the right way for me at this time at this stage of my life,” she told The Washington Post in a recent interview.

“Up until now, I was a professional tidier, so I did my best to keep my home tidy at all times,” she said through an interpreter. “I have kind of given up on that in a good way for me. Now I realise what is important to me is enjoying spending time with my children at home.”

Marie Kondo’s latest book – called Marie Kondo Kurashi at Home: How to Organise Your Space and Achieve Your Ideal Life – focuses on the Japanese concept of kurashi, or “way of life”. The Tidying Up with Marie Kondo star acknowledged that, with three children, messiness may be her new way of life, at least for now.

“I will keep looking inward to make sure I am leading my own kurashi,” she said.

Marie Kondo rose to decluttering prominence with her unique tidying technique called the KonMari Method. She first outlined the method in her bestselling book, The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up, which was published in 2011 and has since sold more than six million copies worldwide.

The key to the KonMari Method encourages separating personal items into certain categories – starting with clothes, then books, papers, miscellaneous items, and sentimental items. Then, the next step is to figure out which of these possessions ”spark joy” in your home, a phrase that Kondo famously uses.

Kondo – who now lives in California with her family – announced the birth of her baby boy on Instagram in April 2021. “It’s a boy!” she captioned the post, which showed one of her daughters cradling the newborn and holding his head.

“I am over the moon welcoming this bundle of joy into our family,” she said. “We are all doing well. Now comes the fun part – spending this special time with our little guy.”

Kondo previously shared her thoughts about motherhood and parenting on her personal KonMari website. After welcoming her baby boy, Kondo explained how watching her “two daughters become such caring big sisters to their little brother” has been a “source of daily happiness”.

“Just after my older daughter was born, I felt unable to forgive myself for not being able to manage my life as I had before,” she wrote. “But, with time, I eased up on myself; then, after I gave birth to my second daughter, I let go of my need for perfection altogether. I am busier than ever after having my third child, so I have grown to accept that I cannot tidy every day – and that is okay!”

Kondo added that becoming a mother of three has made her more appreciative of her own mother, and especially her grandmother, Oba-chan.

“When I was little, I imagined being a good mother to my children one day – just as my own mother was to me,” she said. “But the time and labour involved in raising a family is more than I ever imagined – especially in their infant years, when I had virtually no time for myself. The experience has made me more thankful toward my own parents.”

Before the birth of their eldest daughter, Satsuki, Kondo revealed to the Wall Street Journal that she and her husband had a tidying up “festival” to make way for their little one.

“When we found out we were having a child, my husband and I went through a decluttering festival by reviewing things we had,” she said. “And we discussed how much space – for example, how many drawers – we could give to our daughter.”

They’ve already begun teaching their children the importance of tidying up, and her daughter already seems to be following in her mother’s footsteps.

“I was surprised to see her putting books, stuffed animals and toys for playing house back in their place more precisely than I expected,” Kondo said at the time. “She is also trying to copy me folding clothes, though I secretly fix them when she’s not looking.”

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