Marie Kondo has 'given up' on tidying, but it isn't a surprise – here's why

The world's most famous organizer no longer prioritizes a tidy home – but this is fulfilling her KonMari method, experts say

Marie Kondo
(Image credit: Courtesy of Marie Kondo)

Marie Kondo, the most famous organizer of our age, has said she has 'kind of given up' on tidying following the birth of her third child. So, naturally, this made headlines around the world. 

The tidying guru has spent years reshaping our decluttering habits with Japanese organizing techniques – whether through one of her best-selling books or in her Netflix shows. However, Marie Kondo admitted that tidying up was less of a priority in her busy family home. '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 told the Washington Post.

Before welcoming her third child, Marie said she was a professional tidier who tried to maintain order in her home at all times. Now, however, she is more focused on spending time with her young family. 'I have kind of given up on that, in a good way for me.' Marie Kondo says. 'Now I realize what is important to me is enjoying spending time with my children at home.'

As the queen of cleaning, you'd be forgiven for being shocked at Marie's revelation. However, KonMari Master Sue Spencer (who was trained by Ms. Kondo) is not surprised by the news.

Marie Kondo

(Image credit: KonMari Media, Inc.)

'As a KonMari Master, I’m not at all surprised by this,' Sue says. 'Marie is actually following her KonMari Method and living her ideal lifestyle. At the heart of Marie Kondo's tidying method is the aim of focusing on the things that are most important to you. Discovering the things you love – the things that spark joy – and then creating the time & space to enjoy them.'

Sue Spencer
Sue Spencer

Marie Kondo-trained consultant Sue Spencer left her 20-year corporate career to study the KonMari Method from the guru herself. The consultant now works with clients to help create a simpler, clutter-free space that enhances ordinary life. Sue is one of only 8 UK KonMari Master Consultants and uses her role to organize decluttering sessions and KonMari organizing courses that make everyday living simpler. 

As Sue explains, the famed 'KonMari Method' was never about perfectionism or maintaining a pristine home. Instead, it's about curating a home that nurtures and works for you – wherever you are in your life.

'The second ‘step’ in Marie's Method is to ‘imagine your ideal lifestyle’ – this means so many different things to people,' Sue says. In the case of Marie, she is aiming to spend time with her children, and this is what her home allows her to do.

Marie Kondo

(Image credit: KonMari Media, Inc.)

'A lot of parents I work with say they want to feel that they don’t have to tidy up all the time and can have more time to be with their children,' Sue adds. 

'There is an element of guilt and stress associated with the fact that when they sit down at home, it feels cluttered; they don’t know where to start. They feel they should tidy up rather than spend time doing the stuff they really want to do.'

The KonMari master says that there is no set approach to home organization – but first and foremost – it should support how you want to live your life. 'That doesn't have to be about tidying up all the time,' she says.

'There are no 'rules' with the KonMari Method. You don't have to fold your clothes, and your home doesn't need to be perfect. As long as you know what you have, can find it easily, and pop it back when you have time then you are sorted.' 

You can discover more about curating a home (and life) that works for you in Marie's new book below. 

Kurashi at Home by Marie Kondo | $19.69 on Amazon

Kurashi at Home by Marie Kondo | $19.69 on Amazon

Marie's book explains the Japanese concept of kurashi, or 'way of life,' that you can celebrate in your home. Her teaching invites you to visualize your best life from the moment you wake up until the end of each day, and we're adding it to our basket right now. 

Megan Slack
Head of Celebrity Style News

Megan is the Head of Celebrity Style News at Homes & Gardens. She first joined Future Plc as a News Writer across their interiors titles, including Livingetc and Real Homes, before becoming H&G's News Editor in April 2022. She now leads the Celebrity/ News team. Before joining Future, Megan worked as a News Explainer at The Telegraph, following her MA in International Journalism at the University of Leeds. During her BA in English Literature and Creative Writing, she gained writing experience in the US while studying in New York. Megan also focused on travel writing during her time living in Paris, where she produced content for a French travel site. She currently lives in London with her antique typewriter and an expansive collection of houseplants.