Marie Kondo Takes On a New Role: Life Coach

There’s a big difference between the way most of us wish we lived and how we actually do. The tidying guru is back with a new book to help fix that.

Move over, hygge. You, too, lykke, lagom, niksen and bella figura.Another international buzzword has come to town, loaded with the promise of improving lives.

“Marie Kondo’s Kurashi at Home: How to Organize Your Space and Achieve Your Ideal Life,” just out from Ten Speed Press, is the Japanese tidying guru’s latest book and the first to dip into her native language to give a little flair to the title. (“Kurashi,” by the way, means “lifestyle.”)

Building on Ms. Kondo’s famed organizational method of sorting through belongings to determine which create a frisson of delight, the book invites us to discover what sparks joy not just among our possessions but also in our environments, relationships and daily activities.

“Tidying up means dealing with all the ‘things’ in your life,” she writes. “So, what do you really want to put in order?”

In a Zoom call, Ms. Kondo recently explained that the word kurashi conveys the comfort and serenity of day-to-day routines more than its English-language counterpart.

“I love the way certain Japanese words sound, and kurashi happens to be one of them,” she said, speaking through an interpreter.

Ms. Kondo suggests not just what clutter to remove from sight (“utilitarian bath and cleaning items”), but also what to add (“favorite bath salts or candles”).Credit...Tess Comrie
Readers familiar with her star-making 2010 book, “The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up,” or her two Netflix series will find similar insights here, in concentrated form. The KonMari method of gathering, fondling and purging that launched a million trips to the dump is recapped on a single, airy page.

Back, too, is Ms. Kondo’s signature animism — her recommendation to look at the world from an object’s perspective, to understand how it might feel crushed or smothered in an undifferentiated heap of possessions. So is her insistence on thanking belongings for their service before disposing of them.

She admits to talking to her bathtub as she wipes it dry, saying, “It’s amazing how you’re always so clean and free of mold.” As always, she appeals to our better angels — at least the ones that shop.

This hardcover book, however, shows as well as tells. More than 100 Instagram-worthy photographs document serene room details, minimalist vignettes of sleek decorative objects, pants hanging crisply in closets (surprisingly so, given the author’s passion for folding) and the author herself, looking relaxed and radiant.

Share this Post

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *