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  • Lahni Carney

UNPOPULAR OPINION: Marie Kondo isn't a Professional Organizer! 5 Reasons why the Magic doesn't work!

Updated: Jun 19, 2020

Contrary to popular belief, Marie Kondo is not truly a professional organizer. I would actually label her as an organizing consultant or someone that just tells you what to do in order to organize your home.


However, if it were that easy, everybody would just google what to do, look at the hundreds of pinterest articles for advice and it would be done.


A professional organizer is an individual who is skilled in the task of organizing physical and even digital spaces to provide comfort, convenience, and to encourage efficiency. A professional organizer works through a space.


While the KonMari Method does hold some truth in the beginning stages of every organizing project, it doesn’t fit American culture.


A commonly held belief celebrated in Japan, called Shinto animism, is centered around the belief that each object has a "kami" or spirit. This is what the entire foundation of the KonMarie Method is based upon. That's why she starts the project by thanking the home and thanking each item as it is discarded.


The question “does this object bring you joy” is a good place to start when you’re organizing, but there is so much more to consider!


Many of my clients don't understand how to organize -- that's why they hire us!


Clients also don't want to do it on their own. Organizing can be extremely overwhelming.



We organize in a ton of homes like this that are piled high with items that are no longer wanted, been missing for months or even have some value!


The thing about organizing is that it's never going to stay perfect (even in an organizers home), but it's important to build the right habits and use the best systems to set yourself up for success.


And the thing about Marie Kondo, is that yes, you can teach someone how to be more organized, but if you teach an unorganized person a method that works for an organized person, it will never stick.


1. The first thing that Marie talks about in the book is taking every item from a specifc category (clothes are the most common example), and pile them all in one area.


This doesn't work on a few levels. My clients are reaching out to me because they're already overwhelmed. Making the space even more of a mess isn't going to make them feel at ease.


Yes, I do agree that it's important to categorize things in order to see how many of those things you have, purge the items you don't need and put them back in the space needed for each category, however, it's best to go room by room.


If you don't have an organizer helping you, this kind of tactic can create more clutter, cause more panic and the mess will continue to grow!


2. Not so much "spark joy" as much as "Do I use this item? Is it practical? Has it gone unused for X amount of time?"


I get this question all the time: "Do you know that famous organizer -- the one who talks about how your items should spark joy?"


Yes! I do! Her method is a great foundation to start on, but there are so many more questions you need to ask yourself about an item than if it makes makes you joyful.


There are plenty of things in life that don't bring joy that are necessary (Example: the DMV).