You may know Marie Kondo from her popular Netflix series, Tidying up With Marie Kondo and Sparking Joy, or her international bestseller, The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing. The Marie Kondo brand conjures images of minimalist homes, paired down to only items that spark joy, with streamlined storage solutions and perfectly folded clothing. It can seem an unobtainable standard. Well, now even Marie herself is admitting that it’s not always the right organization strategy for everyone.
Following the birth of her third child in 2021, Marie Kondo says that her priorities have shifted from keeping a tidy home to spending time with her family. “My home is messy, but the way I am spending my time is the right way for me at this time at this stage of my life”, she says, as reported by the Washington Post.
With that in mind, I’d like to ask Marie Kondo, and all of us, to grant ourselves more grace. Let’s please change our perception of messy. What may be messy to one person may not be so to another. I think we often judge ourselves based on how we imagine others to perceive us. We can be our own worst critics. When you say your home is “messy”, do you truly believe it is messy, or are you afraid visitors and guests will see your house and deem it messy?
I’m a firm believer in running a household that works for you. If your house, your space, your routine, is working for you, then I say that’s not messy. The root of it is functional vs. aesthetic organizing. Functional organizing may not always be pretty, but if it works for you and you’re overall happy, great! On the other hand, your home may look pristine but be a nightmare to maintain, or your color-coded pantry may make it impossible to find that jar of pasta sauce among the bags of Doritos.
My philosophy is that organizing is a form of self-care. It should make your life easier and happier. It shouldn’t be an unsustainable chore. Marie’s recent book, Marie Kondo’s Kurashi at Home: How to Organize Your Space and Achieve Your Ideal Life, shares her perspective on balancing family, home, and happiness and is what I strive to give my clients – a space that brings joy from the things that matter.