Marie Kondo's KonMari tidying up method is taking the world by storm, and it all started with her 2014 best-selling book "The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing." Her unique methods for simplifying, organizing and storing are unlike anything we've ever seen before, and at just 31 years old, she's sparked an organizing phenomenon. From perfectly folding bras to fit in your drawer, to folding t-shirts like tacos, to organizing a bookshelf, Kondo does it all, and she does it in a way that also tidies up areas of your life as well.
Her new book, "Spark Joy: An Illustrated Master Class on the Art of Organizing and Tidying Up," just came out on Jan. 5 and is already a best-seller and one of the most talked about books of the year, and it all starts with one question that you should be asking yourself when cleaning your home: "Does the item spark joy?" With this one question, Kondo promises that you can clean out your space, and your life, because if the answer is no, than that item should not be in your home.
With these types of questions, the KonMari method helps fix the inner chaos that clutter causes and helps better your overall judgment skills. So many people have gotten behind her ideas, and it's incredible to see the results.
"Your inner you is impacted so much by what's around you, whether it's clothes, book, drawers, closets," Piedmont's Whole Life Coach Donna Burick, who is a huge fan of the KnoMari method, told Fox News. "Once you have those areas tidied up, there's a different energy there. There is more calm, focus, and joy. I have seen this so much with the clients I work with. It's absolutely life-changing."
Kondo's methods have become easy to mock, as well as DIY addicts' new best friends. After "The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up" became such a huge hit, "Spark Joy" gained a similar momentum, and everyone could use some aspect of the KonMari method in their lives. Here are five things you need to know about the organizational expert behind this magical idea...
1. Her book success
"Life-Changing Magic" was released in October 2014 and became a New York Times best seller and a #1 best seller on Amazon. As of January 2015, it has sold 5 million copies worldwide and is the reason her KonMari tidying method has become a household name, according to CNNMoney. "Spark Joy" was released in Jan. 2015, is a #1 new release on Amazon and is considered to be one of the best books of the month. It already has a print run of about half a million.
2. How it all started
"At the age of five, I was very interested in tidying," Kondo said on Wednesday, Jan. 20, in New York City, according to The Guardian. "I devoted all my teenage years to tidying. My thesis at college was on tidying. I started my consulting business at 19."
She began forming her method at 16. "When you organize things, you can put your life in order, too. At that time, I was more focused on looking for things to throw away," she told USA Today. "But then I realized that's not the way to go; you have to find things you want to keep, things that spark joy." She went on to explain that her followers are predominantly female. She assumes it's this way "because women and girls tend to be more interested in tidying in general at an earlier age...Some are still in elementary school."
Kondo is currently married to Takumi Kawahara, who is also her business partner. The two welcomed a daughter six months ago. "When I had a baby, I had no idea how much stuff comes with it," she explained. "My daughter's too young to make a mess now. But I'm looking forward to the new tidying challenges I'll be faced with."
3. Could she be the next Martha Stewart?
Many people believe that's the case. While she may be Japanese and only 31 years old, she's on her way to unseating DIY expert Martha Stewart as the world's "diva of domesticity," according to CNN. Stewart recently announced layoffs at her own company, but Kondo's methods and ideas are only growing. She's currently on a global tour, already has two best-sellers and is about to launch an app. Fans will come out from all over just to see her fold clothes and organize closets.
"Tidying isn't just a physical thing, it's an emotional thing," she told a sold out crowd in NYC on Jan. 22. "You face things around you and you face your inner self."
4. How her life has changed since becoming a celebrity
While many people idolize Kondo as the master of the KonMari method, she doesn't see it that way, and she definitely doesn't see herself as a celebrity despite all the money her books have brought in and the worldwide book tour she's currently embarking on. "I don't think I've bought that much after my success because I don't have time to shop anymore," Kondo told CNNMoney on sticking to her usual lean and clean ways.
She even believes her that methods can help others find ways to save money themselves. "When you tidy your home or around you, you'll be able to hone your judgment skills, so you'll be smarter with your money as well," she explained. "You will eventually be able to save money a little bit."
5. Her most important piece of advice
Does this item spark joy? This is the one question Kondo asks, and the one question her entire second book is based off of. She believes that if you can answer this form the start, you can tidy up your entire home. If it doesn't spark joy when you hold it, then you get rid of it, it's as simple as that. If you're having trouble parting with items because you paid a lot of money for them or because they hold sentimental value or you feel guilty getting rid of them for some specific reason, then she advises that you give gratitude for what they brought you in life. Then, you'll be better able to release the items and you'll be one step closer to a tidier and more organized life.