This Is The Next Wave Of The Kondo Method (And It Makes It Way Easier)
A few weeks ago, I walked into an event space and was immediately greeted with a cold scented towel. Soft melodic music whirred in the background of the white, minimalist room. It was completely bare, save for rows of chairs facing a presentation table topped with a single vase of gorgeous flowers. It could only be a Marie Kondo event.
You could have heard a pin drop as the de-facto queen of decluttering made her way to the front of the room in a beautiful white gown cinched with a dramatic (and undeniably joy-sparking) belt to announce the next iteration of her brand.
With the help of an English translator, she walked the crowd through her home empire: The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up has sold more than 10 million copies and will soon be adapted into a Netflix show, and there's a global community of "Konverts" out there, including hundreds of certified KonMari consultants.
Ultimately, Kondo wants to prove that decluttering is about more than just a pretty home. "Tidying has the power to change and transform lives," she said in a soft, smiley voice. "When you're choosing what to keep and what to let go of, it's essential to touch each item and see how your body responds. By repeating this process, you're honing your intuition and sensitivity to joy. You will be able to apply this sensibility to other aspects of your life that require decisions—like your profession and personal relationships."
She believes her method can help people get to know themselves and more easily identify their likes and dislikes—but only if they finish it.
After quickly polling the room, she found that a handful of audience members had started the Kondo method, but none of them had confronted all of the estimated 10,000 to 20,000 items present in the average home.
"I've started to wonder what I can do better to help more people finish the process," she explained. The answer she came up with? Boxes.
"I'm probably the only person in the world who makes such an official occasion to introduce empty boxes," she jokes. "But to me, there is no other tool more useful for tidying than boxes."
Decorative boxes jibe with the KonMari method because they allow people to foster a greater appreciation for their items. When something is really special to you, you want to treat it with care and give it a home. That's where her new product, the Hikidashi (Japanese for "drawer") box comes into play.
A set of six durable boxes of various sizes, they are white on the outside but decorated on the inside—in keeping with Kondo's philosophy that your prized possessions deserve a beautiful home. She designed them to store clothing and accessories and break up drawer space, she explained, demonstrating how to gently place items into them (it was probably the first time so many iPhones came out to film someone folding socks). When mbg caught up with Kondo after the event, she said that one of her favorite box hacks is to use larger lids as trays for bras and smaller ones as resting places for accessories.
"These are meant to enhance your experience of the KonMari method," she continued, explaining that when you purchase a box, you'll get a series of emails that give you specific, step-by-step tidying instructions and connect you with fellow Konverts. "I feel that it's difficult to sustain the motivation to tidy when you're by yourself, so having this community is important."
While it's a lot of fanfare for a box, the idea behind it is easy to get on board with: We can all benefit from taking more moments to really identify what makes us happy enough to display—in our homes, yes, but you can get metaphorical here too. "We are in a tumultuous time with a lot of stresses and chaos," Kondo said to wrap things up. "But our homes are there to protect us. It is my wish that through tidying, we will be able to foster an appreciation for the people and things that protect us."
If you're interested in getting your hands on the product, you can pre-order yours starting today and you'll get it in September. And even if you don't feel like shelling out $89 for a set, at least the practice of honoring your possessions is totally free.
But what do other pro organizers think of the KonMari method? We asked 'em.
Emma Loewe is the Sustainability and Health Director at mindbodygreen and the author of Return to Nature: The New Science of How Natural Landscapes Restore Us. She is also the co-author of The Spirit Almanac: A Modern Guide To Ancient Self Care, which she wrote alongside Lindsay Kellner.
Emma received her B.A. in Environmental Science & Policy with a specialty in environmental communications from Duke University. In addition to penning over 1,000 mbg articles on topics from the water crisis in California to the rise of urban beekeeping, her work has appeared on Grist, Bloomberg News, Bustle, and Forbes. She's spoken about the intersection of self-care and sustainability on podcasts and live events alongside environmental thought leaders like Marci Zaroff, Gay Browne, and Summer Rayne Oakes.