Marie Kondo is a Japanese organizing consultant, author, and TV personality who gained an international fanbase after her cleaning and organizing methods became the subject of the Netflix reality TV series, Tidying Up with Marie Kondo.
Marie innovated, what is colloquially known as the KonMari method: a method of organizing one's belongings.
Marie's worldwide appeal and spirituality-infused KonMari method lent to her status a millionaire. As of April 2020, her net worth stands at $8 million.
Marie Kondo was into organization and tidiness since she was a child and a student in her school; she used to organize bookshelves and was so obsessed that she had a nervous breakdown and fainted.
In her own words, Marie described the experience and the ensuing epiphany of sorts that was a pivotal moment in her life:
"I was obsessed with what I could throw away. One day, I had a kind of nervous breakdown and fainted. I was unconscious for two hours. When I came to, I heard a mysterious voice, like some god of tidying telling me to look at my things more closely. And I realized my mistake: I was only looking for things to throw out. What I should be doing is finding the things I want to keep. Identifying the things that make you happy: that is the work of tidying."
She realized that she could make a career out of it, and at 19, while still a student, she founded her own organization consultancy. She went a step beyond her obsessive compulsion and researched such novel topics as gender standards and expectations.
Marie pioneered and popularized the KonMari method, which employs aspects of the spiritual teachings of the Shinto religion that she picked up during her five years spent as an attendant maiden at a Shinto shrine.
The KonMari method is a method of organization wherein belongings are organized category-by-category as opposed to room-by-room, and only things that "spark joy" are kept.
She also chronicled her methods and has had a prolific writing career, authoring four books and a manga series to date. Her book, translated into English as The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up) peaked at #1 at The New York Times Best Sellers list. After the birth of her daughters, she authored a children's book, titled Kiki & Jax: The Life-Changing Magic of Friendship.
Her growing popularity made her a Japanese mainstay, and her life was immortalized in TV form. She has also lectured and made videos chronicling her work.
Netflix capitalized on her growing fanfare and produced a reality TV show, titled Tidying Up with Marie Kondo, featuring Kondo helping American families organize their household. The show premiered on January 1, 2019, and received rave reviews.
Marie runs her own online store and lifestyle brand, KonMari Inc., where her years of expertise can be found, including the fabled KonMari method.
Marie Kondo was born on 9 October 1984, in Tokyo, Japan. She was obsessed with the organization even as a child, and while her peers had other interests, she spent her time tidying up the bookshelves in junior school. Her obsession caused a nervous breakdown that, in turn, triggered an epiphany that changed the way she saw organization.
She studied at the Tokyo Woman's Christian University even while running a consultancy specifically related to home organization.
Marie has been married to Takumi Kawahara since 2012.
Takumi worked at the sales and marketing department in a firm in Osaka, Japan. But ever since Marie's job took off, he has been a manager for Marie, helping run her website brand, KonMari Inc., and helping produce the Netflix reality show, Tidying Up with Marie Kondo.
They have two daughters together, Satsuki and Miko. She is currently listed as residing in Los Angeles, California, with her family.