The year was 2019 and the world was gripped with a need to neaten. The premiere of Tidying Up With Marie Kondo on Netflix inspired a wave of home organizing and de-cluttering so rabid that thrift stores became overwhelmed by the number of donations people were dropping off.
In the eminently soothing Netflix series and its similar follow up, the eponymous organizational consultant entered peoples homes and taught them to let go of clutter and embrace only what “sparks joy.” And as the heart and center of the Tidying Up and Sparking Joy, Marie Kondo became so recognizable that her name transformed into a verb. Memes were made out of her catchphrases. Her message of tidying one’s physical space to tidy the mind resonated across cultures and languages. Through her trademarked KonMari Method, Kondo became a global icon of cleanliness and order—the patron saint of well-folded laundry.
But now it’s 2023. A lot has happened in the world since the pre-covid days of yore. And if your once perfectly catalogued dresser drawers aren’t so neat anymore, you’re not alone. In fact, you’re in good company with this Gizmodo writer and with the queen of clean, Kondo herself.
“Up until now, I was a professional tidier, so I did my best to keep my home tidy at all times,” she said via interpreter in a recent media webinar, as reported by the Washington Post. More recently though, “I have kind of given up on that,” she noted. And declared, “my home is messy,” in no uncertain terms.
Kondo gave birth to her third child in 2021, and has seemingly been re-evaluating her priorities since. She said she’s abandoned peak organization “in a good way.” Instead of dedicating endless hours to ensuring her home is perfectly put together, “Now I realize what is important to me is enjoying spending time with my children at home.” To her, focusing on family over folding is time spent “the right way for me at this time, at this stage of my life.”
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To which Gizmodo says: good for her! She may have built an organizational empire off of books, TV shows, brand partnerships, and home goods all essentially bearing the message of “get yourself together,” but everyone deserves a break from the unending work of categorizing life’s clutter.
Plus, if Marie Kondo isn’t even KonMari-ing, maybe that means the rest of us are free to stew in our slop. Does the ever-growing pile of documents and unopened mail on my desk “spark joy?” No Comment. But With Kondo’s blessing I will leave it there another day.