Interior Design

Marie Kondo reveals the one item she regrets letting go – and the lesson she learned from the process

Even the master of organization has regrets after decluttering – but the realization came with an important lesson

Marie Kondo during her speech at the XXIX International Book Fair in Turin
(Image credit: Mondadori Portfolio / Contributor)

Marie Kondo is synonymous with organization. With a portfolio of books and two Netflix series under her belt, Ms. Kondo has convinced a global audience to experiment with her KonMari method and bring order into their home. However, even the tidying guru admits there is one item she regrets letting go. 

In the discussion of her kitchen storage ideas with H&G, Marie shared the revelation – before sharing what she has learned from her experience – and how we can master her teaching in our lives. 

‘I regret letting go of small kitchen scissors that my younger sister gave to me for my children’s food. I thought I would never use them, so I gave them away to another mother,’ Marie says. ‘Now that my children are getting older, I sometimes think those scissors would come in handy and be much easier to use than a knife.’

Marie Kondo’ new Netflix series, organization with Marie Kondo

(Image credit: Courtesy of Netflix)

But what did Marie learn from her regret? ‘The lesson here is that if you’re not sure how an item is supposed to function, it’s important to research it first before letting it go,’ she explains. 

Alongside the research, Marie reminds us of her most famous lesson – centered around ‘sparking joy’ and the idea that you should only keep items that make you happy. 

‘Your feelings are the standard for decision-making – specifically, knowing what sparks joy,’ Marie says. This method is the basis of her living room, kitchen, and small bedroom storage ideas – but how do we know if something actually sparks joy?

Living room wall ideas with book storage

(Image credit: James Merrell / Future)

‘To determine this when tidying, the key is to pick up each object one at a time and ask yourself quietly, “Does this spark joy?” Hug the item if you need to, and hold it close to your heart. Pay attention to how your body responds,’ Marie instructs. 

‘Joy is personal, so everyone will experience it differently. For me, it feels as if every cell in my body lifts up little by little. If the item doesn’t spark joy, it makes my body feel heavy. Some people feel tingling; some feel warmth,’ she adds. 

If you remain uncertain, Marie also suggests choosing your top three favorite items that spark joy and hold one of them in your hands. ‘Just remember that feeling and use that as your reference to "joy check" other items,’ she explains. 

Organised boot room with cupboard and storage system

(Image credit: Future)

Whether you’re looking for small living room storage ideas – or you want to declutter your entire home – the KonMari method will leave your space feeling notably more serene. But as Marie reminds us, research is key.