Who Is Marie Kondo? 7 Things You Might Not Know About the Japanese Decluttering Guru

Marie Kondo
Photo: Gary Gershoff/WireImage

Unless you've been living under a rock, Marie Kondo is a name you've been hearing quite a bit. The Japanese organizing expert's first book, The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up ($11; amazon.com) has sold over two million copies worldwide, spawning celebrity fangirls the likes of Kate Hudson and Jamie Lee Curtis, and landed her a coveted spot in the cultural pantheon as one of Time magazine's 100 Most Influential People. Now, the 31-year-old self-professed neat freak is cementing her legacy with Spark Joy ($12; amazon.com), an illustrated follow-up to her 2011 decluttering bible. We attended a talk with Kondo last night at the Japan Society in N.Y.C. and learned more about her much-ballyhooed KonMari method, and the woman herself. Read on below for some factoids.

1. She's been interested in organizing since the ripe age of five.

Kondo spent the bulk of her adolescent and teenage years tidying her home "all day, every day." She confesses: "I used to throw away my dad's suits and my mom's purses without any permission. But I feel bad about it now."

2. She launched her home-organizing consulting business when she was 19.

It has a three-month-long waiting list.

3. The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up was borne out of her infamous waiting list.

Since Kondo's business was in such high demand, one of her clients requested that she write a book so they don't have to wait so long for her services. Obviously, she obliged.

Spark Joy Book LEAD
Sarah Balch for InStyle.com

4. Tidying was the subject of her college thesis.

"Basically I've always been a crazy tidying fanatic," she says.

5. Her "personal power spot" is in her living room.

For the uninitiated, a "power spot," according to Kondo, is an area that holds items that bring you the most joy. Hers exists in a small corner, where there are framed photos of her family.

6. She has a six-month-old daughter.

For all the moms out there attempting the KonMari method, Kondo says, "It's okay to decide which of your child's items to keep and what to let go."

7. She believes that tidiness will ultimately lead to world peace.

"By facing your things, you're facing yourself," she says. "It will make you happy and everyone around you happy."

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