Organization Guru Marie Kondo Has A Fascinating New Approach To Tidying Up

Marie Kondo rose to fame as an organizing expert with a viscous approach and a calming demeanor. The Netflix series "Tidying Up with Marie Kondo" made the term "spark joy" become a part of everyone's vocabulary and had people asking whether the items in their lives brought them true happiness. Her principles led many to clean up, declutter, and downsize, clearing both their minds and their homes. However, Kondo's strict approach to cleaning and organizing has seemed to soften in recent years.

Since Kondo welcomed her third child in 2021, she has embraced more of life's chaos rather than trying to control it. "My home is messy, but the way I am spending my time is the right way for me ... at this stage of my life," Kondo said in a webinar, according to The Washington Post. Extensive organizing has been set on the back burner; Instead, Kondo is focusing more on daily life while cultivating happiness and calmness. 

In her new book, "Marie Kondo's Kurashi at Home: How to Organize Your Space and Achieve Your Ideal Life," Kondo emphasizes "kurashi." This is a Japanese concept that translates to "way of life." "Tidying up means dealing with all the 'things' in your life," she writes in the new book, per The Washington Post. "So, what do you really want to put in order?" Kurashi is more about prioritizing all tasks — even leisure — rather than just cleaning.

Spark joy with kurashi

Marie Kondo made a name for herself with her extreme cleaning and organizing tactics. But it's only in recent years that the professional tidier has stopped striving for perfection in her own home. "I have kind of given up on that, in a good way for me," Kondo said in a webinar, per The Washington Post. Kondo's philosophy is more about embracing daily life, accepting some of the chaos it brings, and focusing on happiness. "What if every decision you made, every goal you set, and every aspect of your life was guided by what sparks joy?" Kondo asks in her new book, per the KonMari website. 

Kondo is now following the Japanese concept of kurashi, and she encourages others to do so as well. Kurashi is a concept that encourages you to "[see] the world through the lens of what matters most,"  according to the KonMari website. It's is a highly-personalized experience and narrows in on what things in your life bring you joy. The focus is more on how you want to live your life rather than getting rid of everything to create a pristine and clean space.

How to practice kurashi

Both of Marie Kondo's practices of kurashi and The KonMari Method start with imagining your ideal lifestyle. Considering what the perfect life would be for you is the guiding force in how you spend the day, set goals, and tidy your home. With this method, it's also important to let go of any constraints you may be putting on yourself. "Never hold back when imagining your ideal home and lifestyle,"  Kondo says in her new book, per the KonMari website. "Give yourself the freedom to imagine your own personal 'wouldn't it be nice if' living space and let your heart brim with joy."

Next, Kondo encourages people to commit to making time for themselves and cultivating the lifestyle they want. This is when you'll do the activities that bring you joy which may include decluttering, completing hobbies, sitting with a good book and cup of tea, or whatever else you want to do in your ideal life. Finally, don't forget to reflect on and appreciate the life you've created.