Since January 1st, it seems that the world has gone KonMari mad with the premiere of organization guru Marie Kondo’s new series, Tidying Up. While the Queer Eye-formatted makeover show might be inspiring the masses to declutter their homes, people are purging their inevitable memes and pointless backlash on Twitter, while Beacon’s Closet and consignment stores have reportedly become a dumping grounds for audiences’ inspired efforts. A recorded trend in patronage at The Container Store could also be chalked up to Kondo’s influence, but for someone building an empire on letting go, we needed to know, what warrants the keep pile for Netflix’s new queen of clean? Here, Marie Kondo reveals her inspirations, how to apply her methods outside of the home, and what’s currently sparking joy in her life.
Aside from your Netflix show, what are you streaming at the moment?
That is a very difficult question for me. Ever since I was little, I have been so focused on my research for tidying, that I am very horrible when it comes to latest trends. I rely on my husband for the newest information, but right now we’re into a Japanese comedy show. It’s called M-1 Grand Prix and it’s a competition among stand up comedians, but they talk so fast that it’s a little hard to follow.
Are you more of a book person?
My daughter just started elementary school, and last year I really got into cooking, so we look at and read quite a lot of cookbooks, and try out new recipes.
What are some of your favorite dishes to make?
I primarily cook Japanese dishes, and rice is a very important ingredient and something we eat every day. Instead of using a rice cooker, I cook with a donabe, which is an earthenware pot. It's becoming more popular in the states too. I cook the rice from scratch, but when I'm preparing a soup, I use a stock.
Do you have any diet tips that you recommend?
One thing I’m very aware of is what I consume, [and] what I put into my body. When I was little, whenever my mother would prepare a meal she would explain what each ingredient does to the body. For instance, we eat pork because it has Vitamin E and that’s good for the skin. It’s great to have an awareness of what we eat and how it functions with the body.
What other advice has your mother given you about beauty and wellness?
My mother always said that the foundation of beauty is what we consume, so she always recommended a healthy chicken soup, a recipe that she passed down to me that I swear by.
Give me your skincare routine. What are your must-have products?
When it comes to makeup, it’s not so much what I put on my face, but the condition of my skin itself. I’m always careful of cleansing makeup off. I love the brand SK-II. They have this cream-based cleanser that I rely on.
Aside from tidying, how do you like to relax?
There is nothing better than Japanese onsen or hot springs to relax.
What does your daily routine look like?
Purifying the air inside my home is very important to me, so every morning when I wake up I burn some incense to cleanse the air around me. I love frankincense.
Do you have any guilty pleasures? I can’t imagine that you do.
It doesn’t come immediately to me. Probably because I just don’t have guilt? I think it all comes down to tidying. I am always tidying right up to the point I need to leave my house and sometimes I miss appointments or flights.
On your show, you’re always so put together and wearing light colors. How do you like to shop? Do you have any favorite designers?
When it comes to fashion, as you can see I’m very small so the only thing I need to care about is the size and whether or not it’s perfect or not. More than brands, it’s important to me that I get my clothes tailored, and when I wear white clothes,I make sure to handle it well and take care of it carefully so it maintains in pristine condition.
__Can the “spark joy” method apply to social media?___
Absolutely! Evaluating whether particular information does make you happy or truly brings you joy is a standard that you should be asking yourself.
What do you like to follow on Instagram?
I’m always drawn to what looks beautiful—that’s what I rely on Instagram for. Certain hashtags I like are for flower arrangements or, #wagashi, which are Japanese confectionery that are very beautiful.
You’ve inspired so many people with Tidying Up, but who is your ultimate icon?
My grandmother will always remain as my ideal woman figure. She always paid attention to every aspect of her life however small. If you opened her draw it was perfectly immaculate, she decorated with flowers, and carefully cleaned her home.