THE WASHINGTON POST – In the chill of January, we often examine how we are living. And right now, many of us are revisiting the tidying principles of Japanese lifestyle queen Marie Kondo.
But the ever-organised Kondo, it seems, is a bit frazzled since giving birth to her third child in 2021. Like most of us, she’s having trouble keeping up with all of it. Never fear, though: She is still sparking joy. It’s just that, these days, that doesn’t hinge on having a tidy house. Her new rituals turn inward, to more thoughtful things than a drawer full of perfectly folded T-shirts or an Instagram-worthy spice cabinet.
In her latest book, Marie Kondo’s Kurashi at Home: How to Organize Your Space and Achieve Your Ideal Life, Kondo expanded on the Japanese concept of kurashi, or “way of life.” She elaborates on simple ways to bring calmness and happiness to everyday things.
Yes, that can mean cleaning out your purse every night, but it can also mean playing classical piano music during breakfast. Or making your mom’s recipe for black vinegar chicken wing stew. (The recipe’s included in the book.)
This book is a bit of a reality check. Kondo, 38, has caught up with the rest of us, trying to corral the doom piles on our kitchen counters while on hold with the plumber and trying not to burn dinner.
The multitasker seems somewhat humbled by her growing family and her business success, maybe realising that you can find peace in some matcha even if you drink it in a favourite cracked mug rather than a porcelain cup.
“Tidying up means dealing with all the ‘things’ in your life,” Kondo wrote in the book. “So, what do you really want to put in order?”
Kondo said her life underwent a huge change after she had her third child, and external tidying has taken a back seat to the business of life. “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 said through an interpreter at a recent media webinar and virtual tea ceremony.
She encouraged everyone to create their own rhythm, their own routines, based on what makes them happy, and she offers more than 125 serene photographic examples to inspire. (Most are not, however, from her own house.)
Her assignment for readers: Come up with a doable joy routine and stick with it for 10 days, then see whether the daily habit changes are making you feel better.
Kondo said that, for many, the perfectly organised space is not realistic. “Up until now, I was a professional tidier, so I did my best to keep my home tidy at all times,” she said at the event. “I have kind of given up on that in a good way for me. Now I realise what is important to me is enjoying spending time with my children at home.”