×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Marie Kondo on Turning Her ‘Life-Changing’ Book Into a Hit Netflix Show

Millions of Americans are turning to a 34-year-old Japanese “organizing consultant” to help de-clutter their homes, and for Marie Kondo, the tidying expert and eponymous star behind Netflix’s “Tidying Up With Marie Kondo,” there’s nothing that “sparks joy” more than seeing people take ownership of their belongings — and their lives.

Kondo, whose eight-episode series premiered on Netflix on New Year’s Day, touts the virtues of the “KonMari Method” of organizing, which aims to pare down the tidying experience. Rather than cleaning out room by room, the KonMari Method promotes sorting by category, and assigning a sentimentality to each item. As Kondo writes on her website, “Keep only those things that speak to the heart, and discard items that no longer spark joy. Thank them for their service — then let them go.”

The Netflix series was based on Kondo’s best-selling book, “The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing.” First released in 2011, the book has since been published in more than 40 countries. The U.S. edition arrived in 2014 and has become a #1 New York Times best-seller. (Get the book for $10 on hardcover, or download the audiobook or Kindle-version here).

marie kondo book review tidying up
CREDIT: Amazon

According to Kondo, part of the reason why her book — and the show — has been so successful, is that it promotes an effective exercise that not only refreshes a space, but also helps to transform our ways of thinking. Her belief: If you can turn your home into a space of serenity and inspiration, your mind and overall well-being will follow.

How do you feel about the reception to the show so far?
I love seeing all of the posts and stories about how the show has inspired people to tidy their homes and find joy in their lives. What has surprised me the most is the speed at which people have responded. It’s only been a week, but viewers are putting the KonMari Method into action immediately — folding their clothes and joy-checking their belongings! I’m still a little bit in shock — and overwhelmed with gratitude.

What was your goal or hope for the book when it was first published?
I was working as an independent tidying consultant in Japan when I wrote my first book, “The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up.” I had accumulated a significant waitlist and decided to write the book so that more people could learn to tidy using my method. My goal at that point was for everyone in Japan to tidy their home.

Were there always plans to develop the book into a show?
I had participated in several television segments to promote the book, but these were small, local television programs. I never imagined that I’d one day have my own show — with global reach!

How is the Netflix series different from the book?
With “The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up,” I was able to introduce the fundamentals of my tidying method. The benefit of “Tidying Up With Marie Kondo,” is that you can see what it looks like when the KonMari Method is implemented in a home. My hope is that by witnessing this transformation, viewers will be motivated to join the movement.

What’s the biggest lesson people can take away from the show?
My greatest wish is for all the viewers to begin their own tidying festivals — and to move through the process. I hope that they will develop a greater sense of gratitude for their belongings and that their lives will spark even more joy than before!

“Tidying Up With Marie Kondo” is now streaming on Netflix. “The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up,” meantime, is available on Kindle and paperback right now on Amazon.com. You can also download and listen to it for free on audiobook with a 30-day free trial to Amazon Audible.

VarietySPY editorial products are independently selected. If you buy something through our links, PMC may earn an affiliate commission.

More TV

  • Contract Placeholder Business WGA ATA Agent

    Signs of Solidarity and Strain Emerge as Week 2 of WGA-Talent Agency Standoff Begins

    Hundreds of WGA members rallied solidly behind their union last week as the industry grappled with uncertainties spurred by the sudden break between writers and their talent agency representatives. But as the standoff heads into its second week, signs of strain among some WGA members are beginning to emerge. Shalom Auslander, author and creator of [...]

  • Jon Snow Arya Stark Game of

    'Game of Thrones' Final Season Vegas Odds Reveal Wild Theories

    With “Game of Thrones” hype at an all-time high, Las Vegas may be raking in as much money as the Iron Bank. HBO’s fantasy masterpiece has seized the gambling world’s attention nearly as much as the Super Bowl or Kentucky Derby. Fans spew countless theories on social media, such as which characters will be axed [...]

  • FX's 'Snowfall' Panel TCA Winter Press

    John Singleton Hospitalized After Suffering Stroke

    UPDATED with statements from John Singleton’s family and FX Networks John Singleton, the Oscar nominated director and writer of “Boyz N’ the Hood,” has suffered a stroke. Sources confirm to Variety that Singleton checked himself into the hospital earlier this week after experiencing pain in his leg. The stroke has been characterized by doctors as [...]

  • Adam Lambert, of Queen, performs at

    Adam Lambert Back to 'Idol' to Mentor Finalists Through Queen's Catalog

    Adam Lambert famously launched his career on “American Idol” a decade ago performing a brilliant audition of Queen’s “Bohemian Rhapsody.” He wrapped that amazing eighth season performing with the band on the season finale, and years later earned his current spot as the front man touring as Queen + Adam Lambert. On April 28, Lambert comes full circle as he steps [...]

  • Lily Tomlin SAG Lifetime Acheivement Award

    TV News Roundup: Netflix's 'Laugh-In' 50th Anniversary Tribute Sets Premiere Date

    In today’s TV News roundup, Netflix sets the premiere date for its 50th anniversary special of “Laugh-In.” DATES “Laugh-In: The Stars Celebrate,” the 50th anniversary tribute to the original series by Dan Rowan and Dick Martin, will premiere on Netflix on May 14. The special, which was taped at the Dolby Theater in Hollywood, pays [...]

  • Texas Tech's Norense Odiase (32) shoots

    Live+3 Ratings for Week of April 8: NCAA Championship Game Dunks on Competition

    The final of the 2019 NCAA basketball tournament, in which Virginia triumphed over a spirited Texas Tech team, unsurprisingly finished way out in front in the Live+3 ratings for the week of April 8. Although the sports broadcast’s scripted competition made some gains, its 5.4 ratings still more than doubled that of “Grey’s Anatomy” in [...]

  • Mueller Report Release Draws 11 Million

    Mueller Report Release Draws 11 Million Total Viewers Across TV News

    Coverage of the release of special counsel Robert Mueller’s report into whether President Donald Trump committed obstruction of justice unsurprisingly caused a ratings bump across TV news yesterday. In terms of overall viewership, around 11 million people tuned in to see Attorney General William Barr’s news conference regarding the report’s release, and the news coverage surrounding it. According [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content