12 fascinating facts about Netflix's organising queen, Marie Kondo

Photo: Marie Kondo/Netflix
Photo: Marie Kondo/Netflix Photo: Supplied.

Since Netflix's Tidying Up With Marie Kondo was released on Jan. 1, just as the ink was drying on New Year's resolutions everywhere, viewers have become obsessed with organising their homes (or totally confused by the folding method).

Even skeptical parents are trying it out, not to mention celebrities like Jennifer Garner and Mindy Kaling. Some, like those who fell in love with sparking joy after Marie's 2014 US book release, are hooked once again. Is there anyone who isn't folding everything into tiny rectangles at this point?

Now that you've got the basics of the decluttering method down, it's time to learn more about the woman behind the organising empire. It turns out the petite, quirky 34-year-old from Japan, who uses a translator to reveal her words of wisdom on the show, isn't faking her almost annoying levels of excitement over organising. She's been living and breathing tidiness her entire life.

Keep reading for 12 fascinating facts about Marie.

1. She's been married since 2012

Marie and her husband, Takumi Kawahara, were married in 2012. Both Marie and Takumi were born in 1984 in Osaka, Japan.

While the pair haven't revealed many details about their relationship, Marie told Good Housekeeping in 2016 that "fundamentally speaking, we're in the same groove" and that he "was able to clean and be very organised even before he read my book, but it was certainly even more pronounced after he read my book. He became even more efficient."

2. She has 2 daughters


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Living with little ones makes maintaining tidiness all the more difficult, but Marie has firsthand experience with that! She has two daughters, Satsuki, 3, and Miko, 2, and sometimes shares snaps of the girls on Instagram.

3. Her organising obsession started at a young age

If you've watched Tidying Up, it's evident how sincerely Marie not only believes in her method but is also excited by it. And it's not for show. According to The New York Times Magazine, Marie's penchant for tidiness began as a child when she'd read homemaking magazines and research organising methods.


She told The Cut that even at a young age, she "actually executed all the tidying up" in her home. She even spent her 18th birthday at a Japanese library with a large collection of decluttering and organising books.

4. She's tiny

The queen of decluttering stands just 4'7", which won't surprise you if you've seen her petite presence on screen. That makes her a whole five inches shorter than the average Japanese women.

5. Tidying up isn't her only book

Marie wrote her first and most successful book, The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up, in just three months as a way to help her clients, many of whom were on long waiting lists for consultations from the organising guru, learn her methods.

Since its 2011 release, the book has sold more than eight million copies around the world and spent countless weeks on bestseller lists, but there's more to read from the famous author. Spark Joy: An Illustrated Master Class on the Art of Organizing and Tidying Up was released in 2012 and The Life-Changing Manga of Tidying Up: A Magical Story in 2017.

Up next for Marie is Joy at Work: The Career-Changing Magic of Tidying Up, which will reportedly be published in 2020.

6. She studied sociology in college

Marie attended Tokyo Woman's Christian University, where she studied sociology. But, of course, she still managed to focus on her passion by writing a thesis titled "How to Declutter Your Apartment."

7. She started her first business at 19

Marie has seen explosive success over the past few years, but she's been hard at work helping others declutter since she was a teenager. At 18, she worked at a Shinto shrine keeping order for a shrine elder, and at 19, Marie started a home organising consulting "business" when her friends offered to pay her for her tidying help in college. This is when she first used the "spark joy" method that would become synonymous with her name.

After college, Marie kept up her tidying business on the side, seeing clients before and after working at her staffing company job. Eventually, she turned to tidying full-time.

8. Her Japanese name inspired KonMari

​You might be surprised to find out that the catchy KonMari moniker given to her trademark tidying method actually comes from her Japanese name, Kondo Mariko.

9. Her husband works with her

Takumi left his corporate job to join his wife's organising empire as CEO and founder, and he also acts as her manager and photographer. Takumi is also one of the executive producers on Netflix's Tidying Up.

10. She's very private


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Despite being invited (and excited!) to inspect even the most personal spaces of strangers, Marie herself is intensely private. She hasn't shared much about her husband or family, and aside from a few snaps on Instagram, you'll be hard pressed to find images of her house.

According to The Wall Street Journal, she's never invited a reporter into her home and even declined their request for a tour in 2015, leaving us to wonder (hopefully not forever!) just how perfect her closets must look.

11. She lives in LA

Marie was born and raised in Osaka, Japan, and attended college in Tokyo. She lived in Japan until the last few years, when she and her family moved to the US, first residing in Northern California (KonMarie Media is headquartered in San Francisco), then landing in Los Angeles, where her Netflix series was filmed.

12. She's worth millions

Between her books, Netflix series, and consulting business — not to mention her branded products — Marie has amassed an $8 million net worth.


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This story originally appeared on POPSUGAR Australia, read it here.