The 'Tidying Up' phenomenon: What you didn't know about Marie Kondo

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Publish Date
Friday, 1 February 2019, 1:29PM

Her books and hit Netflix show have turned the world gaga for "Tidying Up", but how much do we really know about Marie Kondo?

Unless you've been hiding under a pile of junk, you'll know Kondo's method is based on only keeping things that "spark joy". If they don't, you must thank them for their service then toss them.

Kondo has mastered the art of drawers full of perfectly folded T-shirts, decluttered many a bursting wardrobe and taught us we probably don't need that comically giant-sized pen we picked from a 2013 secret Santa.

But beyond the house blessings and cute boxes to store your joy-inducing junk, who exactly is Marie Kondo?

Here are five things you probably didn't know about the woman behind the world's tidying up phenomenon.

1. Her obsession began in childhood

According to the Wall Street Journal, when Marie Kondo was in junior school (for 12 to 15-year-olds), she enjoyed tidying the bookshelves in her Tokyo classroom while classmates were off at PE.

She also nominated herself as the class' bookshelf manager, vowing to keep things in an orderly manner.

2. She had a nervous breakdown while tidying - it only fuelled her obsession

In 2014, Kondo told The Australian that a nervous breakdown while tidying up one day helped lead her to the method she's now shared with the world.

"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," said Kondo, now 34.

"And I realised 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."

3. She dabbled in other careers

While Kondo always knew her passion was tidying up and founded KonMari, her organising consulting company, when she was 19, she has tried her hand at other jobs.

Kondo studied sociology at Tokyo Woman's Christian University and spent five years working as an attendant maiden at a Japanese Shinto shrine.

4. She is married with two children

In 2012 Kondo married Takumi Kawahara who, according to E! News, now works as her manager and is the CEO of Konmari Media.

The pair have two girls, Satsuki and Miko, who Kondo enjoys sharing precious photos of on Instagram.

5. Kondo's new home

While Kondo grew up in Tokyo, she moved to San Francisco with her family after her work began gaining more widespread popularity.

Kondo now lives in Los Angeles, California, no doubt to cope with the her demanding media and filming schedule.