When Marie Kondo (Netflix’s “Tidying Up With Marie Kondo”) needs a place to work in Los Angeles, she sets up in a West Hollywood house. Most often, she finds herself writing at a long, wood dining-room table, which has a view of the backyard pool, if you lean back just right. Since the space is not solely her own, she makes sure to bring specific items to better foster a sense of structure and serenity to get work done. “I am usually writing about how to spark more joy in our lives and how to let the atmosphere around us spark more joy, so it’s very important that the spaces in which I create also spark joy for me,” she says.
PURITY OF PLACE
Some of the most important items with which Kondo travels are crystals: She uses them to purify the air around her. When she is writing, she rests a small one “on or near my laptop,” she says, but decorates the space around her with larger ones as well, a practice she began around the publication of “The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up.” And although one might think she needs more crystals in L.A., the home of smog, Kondo says compared to Tokyo, L.A. air “felt very refreshing to me.”
THE ART OF WRITING
While Kondo works on a laptop when she is writing a book, if she is just “trying to gather my ideas together” or “becomes lost or hits a block,” she prefers to use a notebook and pencil. “It helps me to consciously use my hands in that way. It stimulates different parts of my brain,” she explains, estimating that 10% of her book was written by hand. The texture of the materials of such objects is also very important to her, so she carefully chooses her specific books and pencils; her current go-to is a golf pencil.
When Kondo is writing, it is crucial to have a pot of tea on hand, she says. But what kind of tea — and what it is served in — depends on how she is feeling in the moment, and how she wants to shift that energy. “When I feel my mind is a little too excitable and I need to calm down a little bit, I will use more pottery or earthenware goods. But if I feel I’m a little more low energy and I need a little more movement within myself, I will use a glass pot,” she says. Lately, she has been leaning on mint herbal tea because her home garden has fresh herbs flowering.
Although Kondo’s phone is full of photos of her two daughters, she feels it “replenishes my energy” to carry physical reminders of them. Two items that “give me a little bit of a squeeze in the heart,” she says, are a photo of her youngest, captured in the moment she first smiled a true, big grin, and a self-portrait by her older daughter. Kondo says that if they end up developing their own method of tidying, she will support that: “I want them to be true to their hearts’ desires — because the fundamental point of my tidying philosophy is that you discover the condition that you personally need to spark joy for you.”