Marie Kondo has ‘kind of given up’ on tidying up—welcome to the club
The life-changing magic of MESS.
Almost a decade ago, professional organizer and lifestyle guru Marie Kondo was coming for our clutter — she published “The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up.” Within a few years, most moms knew to periodically head into the playroom (either in secret or with their kids), hold up items one at a time, and ask “Does this ‘spark joy’?” Kondo’s go-to phrase became a cultural tagline, and her business has grown exponentially in the last decade, as has her family.
Now, her empire is dubbed “KonMari,” which shares a name with her tidying method meaning to look inward and forward to get yourself and your house in order. She has seemed like the picture of organization, tidiness, and simplicity, in all the ways us frazzled messy bun mamas can’t fathom achieving. Until now.
On Thursday, in a Washington Post story, Kondo says she’s “given up” but in a good way, pointing to how things have changed since having her third child in 2021. Moms across the world collectively breathed a validated sigh together when they read her admission that her home is now “messy,” so that she can spend time the right way for her and her family in this stage of life.
Related: Self-described ‘Messy Mama’ goes viral on TikTok
Now 38, Kondo is reevaluating her priorities. She says, “Tidying up means dealing with all the ‘things’ in your life…so what do you really want to put in order?” Her question has us all stepping away from the disheveled toy bins, and plopping down right in the middle of the messy playroom to spend some quality time with our little heathens instead. She has also pointed in the past to finding the difficult balance between respecting kids’ wants while pursuing a cleaner house.
Kondo’s recent Instagram posts have also reflected her shift away from the perfect clutter-free space, to reexamining her lifestyle. “When tackling a new tidying project, I begin by envisioning my ideal lifestyle. How do you motivate yourself before practicing organization as self care?” she writes. As they tend to do, followers keep pushing for more realistic portrayals of motherhood and lifestyle from the seemingly perfect organizer. “Mostly, I procrastinate,” one follower writes back.
In spite of her admission that life is messier, her public life has always been a bit under wraps, with her social media accounts still showing clean white lines, picture-perfect orchid-filled counters, and not a single snack wrapper or broken toy in sight. But in her new book, “Marie Kondo’s Kurashi at Home: How to Organize Your Space and Achieve Your Ideal Life” she hints at more going on behind the scenes. “Sometimes I pack my schedule so tightly I feel frazzled or am overcome with anxiety,” she says. In addition, she says she feels pressure to have her house in order, Washington Post reports.
Related: I finally Marie Kondo’d my home—and here’s what happened
But she will always be the picture of gratitude, thanking items for their service, whether she’s cleaning them and putting them away or they are heading out to the donate bin. And her ruthless approach to decluttering will forever be ingrained in millennial moms’ minds — she even rips out photos from scrapbooks that no longer spark joy.
Kondo’s admission that parenting with three is a little messier than it might seem comes as a relief to parents everywhere struggling to live up to Insta-worthy images of empty counters and sparkling bathrooms, while surviving the day-to-day chaos.