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What is the Japanese approach to tidying?

Japanese-style tidying is based on learning to live in harmony with your possessions. Every object has a soul, so we should choose them carefully, treat them with kindness, and put them away in their designated place so that they can rest. If we let go of what no longer serves us, we can better savour the present moment and stir up stale energy. ​​ Much more than a simple organising method, Japanese tidying is a life philosophy. By allowing yourself to choose only things that you truly love, you can begin to free yourself from objects (and much more) without guilt. By learning to take care of your belongings, you also learn to take care of yourself.

Is Japanese tidying for me?

Who is Marie Kondo and what is the KonMari method?

Marie Kondo KonMari

Photo courtesy of KonMari Media, Inc.

Marie Kondo is a Japanese tidying expert who achieved worldwide fame with her book, The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up (2011). Her books have been translated into 40 languages and have sold over 10 million copies. She is the star of the hit Netflix series, Tidying up with Marie Kondo. Her name in Japanese is "Kondo Marie", or "KonMari" for short. The KonMari method is Marie Kondo's approach to tidying up. The guiding principle is to surround yourself with items that spark joy. Put simply, the KonMari method codifies Japanese tidying, makes it easy to put into practice, and gives it a good boost of joy.

Is the KonMari method the same as minimalism?

The short answer is "no". The objective of minimalism is to drastically reduce the number of items you own, whereas the KonMari method is guided by tokimeki or the "spark joy" feeling. For example, rather than choosing which three pairs of socks to keep, you are encouraged to keep all the pairs that you love and let go of the rest with gratitude. In many cases, people end up discarding a significant portion of their possessions simply because they come to realise that they do not feel tokimeki for them.

I'm convinced that this method can be adapted to everyone according to their own definition of tokimeki, or spark joy. The only condition is to be open to transforming your space and your lifestyle.

Why should I hire a consultant if I can just read the book?

Tidying is like any other skill: you will get further and faster by hiring a personal coach than reading the how-to guide. The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up is a great place to start your tidying journey and I highly recommend it. It will give you a good overview of the KonMari approach and how to apply it in your own home. However, for most people, this is not enough. Having a consultant guide you through the tidying process means having a caring, experienced ally by your side. A consultant teaches you the methodology step by step, answers your questions on the spot, provides motivation and reassurance, keeps you accountable and, above all, inspires you to succeed.

What should I expect from working with a consultant?

My services are tailored to your needs. This is why the first step that I propose is a 30-minute introductory call to understand your situation and discuss how I can help you achieve your tidying goals. My objective is not to make you to get rid of your possessions, but rather to carefully select them so that each and every item you own sparks joy, or tokimeki. During a consultation, I explain the method, demonstrate tidying techniques, ask you guiding questions, give you advice and tips, and help you stay focussed, but the decision of whether or not to keep an item remains with you. After all, only you can know whether an item makes you feel tokimeki.  The number of hours it will take to tidy depends on each person and how much "homework" they can do on their own. My clients take around 20 to 30 hours of lessons to complete a tidying festival.

Are sessions in-person or virtual?

I offer both in-person and virtual sessions, according to your preference.

What should I do if I have other questions?

I would be happy to answer your questions, please get in touch.

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