Frequently Asked Questions

The KonMari Method®

What is the KonMari Method®?

The KonMari Method® is a japanese-based professional organizing technique, made popular by Marie Kondo’s bestseller The Life-changing Magic of Tidying Up and Netflix series Tidying Up with Marie Kondo and Sparking Joy with Marie Kondo. The method celebrates what you choose to keep (does it “spark joy?”), rather than focusing on what or how much you discard.

For a comprehensive overview of the KonMari Method®, check out Spark Joy podcast Episode 1: KonMari® 101.

How does the KonMari Method® differ from conventional professional organizing techniques?

Examples of how signature KonMari® techniques differ from conventional professional organizing strategies are available here.

What does “spark joy” mean?

Spark joy is the English translation of the Japanese word “tokimeku.” Tokimeku has two definitions: 1) enjoy [be in] great prosperity; be prosperous; prosper; flourish; thrive; have one’s day; be powerful; be influential; be in power. 2) throb; palpitate; pulsate; pulse; beat fast.

When Cathy Hirano translated the phrase from Japanese to English she considered many alternatives, including:

“Does it inspire you?”

“Does it speak to your heart?”

“Does it give you a thrill?”

“Does it make you happy?”

During the tidying process, the feeling can be described as the visceral response a person has upon engaging an item they really love.

Check out this deeper exploration of the signature KonMari® question in Spark Joy podcast Episode 1: Does it Spark Joy?.

How will I know if I’m ready to commit to tidying my home, mind, and life once and for all?

To determine if you’re ready to get started, say the following statement out loud to assess your priorities: “Tidying up my home is not a priority.”

How does saying that make you feel? If it feels uncomfortable and untrue, you’re ready to invest in putting things in order. You can also take this assessment to check your progress thus far.

Whether you’re working with a professional home organizer or on a solo journey, tidying your entire home requires time and dedication. Therefore, you’ll need to be able to dedicate 15-30 hours to choosing joy (3-5 hours per day).

If tidying is not a priority at this moment in your life that’s 100% OK! Just please be aware of the cost of delaying your Tidying Journey as covered in Spark Joy podcast Episode 37: The True Cost of Clutter.

What are some of the benefits I can expect while tidying my home the KonMari® way?

Tidying is not just about managing stuff. It positively impacts every aspect of your life (your finances, relationships, career, spirituality, health, hobbies, community, etc.). Check out the KonMari® Tidy Wheel of Impact for examples. Benefits include an improved self-image, more time to entertain and spend with those who matter, and an enhanced understanding of your values and belief system.

I’m experiencing a life transition and/or preparing for a major milestone. How can tidying my home help me reach peak success?

Just got engaged or married? Selling a home? House hunting or moving? Launching a new business idea? Retiring?

Putting your home in order is the first step to managing the ups and downs of life. For the Love of Tidy specializes in helping clients navigate transitions by letting go — and attracting an outcome that reflects their ideal life. Our organizing services teach you the skill of organization while actively applying the KonMari Method®. This best prepares you to 1) maintain a tidy home day-to-day and 2) lean on the method in the future (“KonMari® Lite") when facing new life transitions that result in an acute onset of clutter (merging households, new baby, an inheritance, a downsize, etc.)

I’m a messy person by nature. Can this method work for me?

Anyone can benefit from applying the KonMari Method® to their home. Even those who consider themselves hopelessly messy, lazy, busy, or chronically disorganized can learn to organize and clean properly. The method is structured in a way that offers a permanent solution for changing habitual and/or learned behaviors. After completing the entire journey, interacting with every item in your home, and being surrounded by joy, it is highly unlikely that you’ll return to a cluttered lifestyle ever again.

I’m terrible at letting things go. Are you sure this process can help me?

Yes! The KonMari Method® gives you the permission to keep whatever you want to, as long as it sparks joy and aligns with the person you’re becoming. Its emphasis on gratitude and respect allows you to mindfully and ceremoniously let go of things that have served their purpose, with intention.

Does the KonMari Method® only work for minimalists?

Minimalism is a lifestyle choice that centers around a reassessment of your priorities in order to strip away excess stuff (possessions, ideas, relationships, activities, etc.). The goal is to bring value to your life. These values are in alignment with KonMari® principles.

However, you don’t have to have the goal of living a minimalist lifestyle to benefit from decluttering your space. For more on the difference between KonMari® and minimalism, check out Spark Joy podcast Episode 34: Incremental Minimalism.

Will the KonMari Method® work for me if I’ve been diagnosed with a compulsive hoarding disorder?

Compulsive hoarding is a mental disorder marked by an obsessive need to acquire and keep things, even if the items are worthless, hazardous, or unsanitary. If you suspect you or a loved one may be suffering from hoarding, contact us prior to committing to a KonMari® Tidying Lesson to ensure proper support is in place.

We discuss chronic disorganization with experts Dorothy Breininger and Dr. Melva Green in Spark Joy podcast Episode 3 and Episode 19.

KonMari® Consultants

What are the benefits of working with a KonMari® Consultant vs. tidying up on my own?

Consultants spread joy and work toward the larger KonMari® mission: to inspire the world to choose joy. Similar to personal trainers, physical therapist, or nutritionist, consultants provide scheduled accountability, customized guidance, and KonMari® expertise when you feel overwhelmed or unsure of where to begin.

While you’re organizing your home independently, if you find you’re yourself wondering “where should I put this?,” or “am I doing this right?,” or “am I letting go of enough?,” over and over again, you’ve reached a clutter plateau and it’s time to reach out for help. The answers to those questions aren’t in an organizing book or reality show. It’s time to lean on scheduled accountability, efficiency, and expert guidance customized to fit your unique clutter challenges.

To support your process, Kristyn provides custom tools such as The Tidy Home Joy Journal and in-depth virtual and in-person guidance to answer any tidying questions you may have along the way.

If you’re on the fence about hiring a consultant check out Spark Joy podcast Episode 33: Why Hire a KonMari® Consultant? to help you decide.

How much KonMari® training, certification, and experience does For the Love of Tidy have?

Kristyn Ivey is Chicago's first KonMari® Master and has been in business for over five years; tidying with clients for over 1,700 hours. Kristyn is America's only black certified KonMari® Master Consultant and For the Love of Tidy is a black and woman-owned business.

Kristyn completed Marie Kondo’s Consultant Certification Course in August 2016. After successfully completing 50 practice hours and an exam, she became certified KonMari® Consultant #12 in March 2017. To date, there are over 570 certified KonMari® Consultants worldwide.

With 14 years of project management experience, a MA Interior Design, and Master level KonMari® certification, Kristyn Ivey is uniquely trained to identify creative solutions that transform your home with both order and style. 

For more on Kristyn, check out her 11 minute TEDx Talk which has more about her journey, perspective on the method, and advanced application.

I am a prospective consultant/active trainee/emerging certified KonMari Consultant. Can I chat with you about the business of tidying and pick your brain*?

Happy to share some insights and calendar availability here

*Note: My brain contains a TON of valuable information and costs money to maintain! Fees apply. 

Tidying Lessons & Programs

How do I schedule a KonMari® Tidying Lesson?

To get tidy now, instantly book a virtual or in-home KonMari® Tidying Lesson.

If you’re not sure which service is a fit, book a FREE 30 minute clutter call to express interest and get started.

What are your business hours?

Tidying Lessons can be scheduled:

Tuesday – Thursday 9:00am-2:00pm or 5:00-10:00pm

Saturday – 9:00am-2:00pm or 3:00-5:00pm

What safety precautions are you taking during the pandemic?

As of May 3, 2021, For the Love of Tidy is a fully vaccinated business. Kristyn works with fully vaccinated clients, taking precautions such as masking and social distancing when necessary and as requested.  

Where can I find client reviews and testimonials of your organizing services?

Graduates of Tidy who have given permission to share their KonMari® story are regularly featured on Instagram, blog, and Spark Joy podcast.

Reviews are also available on:
Google Business

How many Lessons are required to get my entire home in order?

Tidying times vary. On average, you’ll need 3-6 tidying lessons (~5 hours each) to complete ALL five clutter categories. Each KonMari® experience is customized and scoped based on three factors: 1) size of home, 2) volume of clutter, and 3) pace of decision-making. The more effort applied to “Home Work” assignments in between appointments, the fewer Lessons required to complete your Tidying Journey.

For details on how to plan your tidying event, check out Spark Joy podcast Episode 73: How to Plan Your KonMari® Tidying Journey.

Five hours seems like a long time. Can I shorten my lesson?

Tidying is a special, one-time series of activities meant to be executed “quickly.” Therefore, it is highly recommended that all Lessons are completed within 90 days or up to 6 months from the date of Lesson 1 to achieve an optimal state of order. Avoid letting more than 30 days pass before scheduling each successive Lesson.

To avoid tidying a little bit here and a little bit there, it’s important to prioritize large chunks of time to the process whenever possible for the best impact. Each Lesson requires a minimum of three hours to yield impactful results. Five hours is the maximum amount of time you should dedicate to tidying per day/Lesson to avoid burning out. You’ll be amazed at how fast that time flies!

For more on the timing/planning aspect of your tidying journey check out Spark Joy podcast Episode 73: How to Plan Your KonMari® Tidying Journey.

What should I expect during my Virtual KonMari® Tidying Lesson?

A comprehensive walk-through of a Virtual KonMari® Tidying Lesson is available here.

How should I prepare for my Virtual KonMari® Tidying Lesson?

Tips to help you prepare for your first Lesson are available here.

What should I expect during my in-home KonMari® Tidying Lesson?

A comprehensive walk-through of a In-home KonMari® Tidying Lesson is available here.

How should I prepare for my in-home KonMari® Tidying Lesson?

Tips to help you prepare for your first Lesson are available here.

What tools will Kristyn provide to keep me moving through the process?

Once you commit to an in-home KonMari® Tidying Lesson, you will receive a copy of The Tidy Home Joy Journal to hold your thoughts, actions, and progress throughout this life-changing transformation.

As you work through the KonMari Method® category-by-category, you can document your path to joy in words and visuals. Keeping this journal will allow you to gain better insight about yourself, which can help you set goals, solve issues, or address emotional concerns. Your Joy Journal will keep you on task, headed toward your personal goals. Record your memories and milestones for future reference!

I haven’t read Marie Kondo’s books or watched the Netflix series. Am I required to do that prior to my first lesson?

Many “Kon-verts” ask if they need to finish Marie Kondo’s books (The Life-changing Magic of Tidying Up or Spark Joy: An Illustrated Master Class on the Art of Organizing and Tidying Up) or watch Netflix series Tidying Up with Marie Kondo or Sparking Joy with Marie Kondo prior to their first KonMari® Tidying Lesson.

This is not a requirement. Neither the book or the Netflix special are substitutes for the in-home practical application. While having a general understanding of the KonMari Method® is useful, your Lessons will cover the book and beyond.

What is the difference between tidying and cleaning?

The words tidying and cleaning are often considered synonymous, but they are two completely different actions. Tidying addresses objects, while cleaning addresses dirt. Both are aimed at making a room look clean, but tidying means moving objects and putting them away, while cleaning requires wiping and sweeping away dirt.

PLEASE NOTE: Professional cleaning services are outside the scope of For the Love of Tidy’s services. Please lean on our verified cleaning Power Partner to make your home sparkle and shine.

Do I have to be active and engaged during the organization process or will Kristyn do all of the work for me?

Your active engagement is the key to your success. It’s also a way to reclaim ownership and responsibility for the belongings you’ve acquired. Tidying is a hands-on process that requires physically touching each item in your home. During a 5-hour in-home KonMari® Tidying Lesson, you and Kristyn will pile, sort, and store items to determine what “sparks joy,” taking breaks as needed. Please be aware that this requires some physical exertion and stamina.

I just want to organize one room in my home. Why does the KonMari® Method require tidying by clutter category?

Organizing by room does not give you the opportunity to grasp the volume and scope of things that you actually own and make decisions based on a collection of like-items.

Tidying by room also results in shuffling or scattering items in the same category around your home, further diffusing the process’s impact and your ability to maintain lasting change.

Additional information on how signature aspects of the KonMari Method® differ from traditional professional organizing methods are available here.

Why do we start with clothes?

The degree of difficulty around what you keep and discard varies based on the clutter category, and the process sharpens your intuitive senses. To hone your sensitivity to joy without derailing progress, it is important to begin by addressing clothes. Why? Because, in general, their rarity and value are low.

Clothes also innately reflect your character, personality, and the person you’re becoming. They’re the only items that regularly leave your home and support your public life. In addition, clothes are close to your body, thus requiring special attention and consideration.

Why do we have to displace everything from its current location? Won’t that get messy?

It’s only natural for a room to get messy at some point while actively moving through your KonMari® Tidying Journey. This is a necessary part of the process. It is important to confront your clutter with full awareness and feel the weight of these items in your space. Removing items from the context of storage allows us to determine what to keep confidently before resetting the space storage wise. This messy stage is temporary and is resolved at the end of each Lesson.

Will Kristyn insist I get rid of most of the items in my home?

The beauty of the KonMari Method® is that it gives you the permission to keep whatever you want to - restoring harmony between you, your possessions, and the boundaries your home presents you. Therefore, you make the final call based on what sparks joy.

Am I responsible for discarding, donating, or selling items I’ve determined don’t spark joy?

Tidying naturally yields items that require proper disposal. This includes transferring them to a donation facility, making pick-up arrangements, recycling, or selling. While Kristyn will provide a list of recommended local resources, you’re ultimately responsible for ensuring items that don’t “spark joy” are permanently removed from your home.

It’s also important to set aside fragile or particularly valuable items to avoid mishandling or accidental disposal.

Will Kristyn provide me with organizational and storage supplies?

Practicing the KonMari Method® often results in a reduction of the volume of items in your space, which frees up existing bins, boxes, and storage systems you already own. Kristyn will work with you to identify home decor or sentimental objects in your home to creatively re-purpose. Mindful storage solutions that spark the most joy and complement KonMari®-style tidying are featured on Spark Joy podcast Episode 85: KonMari® Approved Storage Solutions.


I share my home with my friend/spouse/children/parents. How can I encourage them to commit to a tidy lifestyle?

As you’ll soon notice — tidying is contagious! Naturally, those in your household will be inspired by your progress and have a change of heart regarding their potential to tidy. Yet, it is important to note that you can’t force a person to tidy if the desire is not there. In the meantime, accept that the person’s values differ from yours and accept them unconditionally! Remember that this is an exercise in self-care, self-awareness, self-discovery, and self-love. Therefore, tidying items that you have ownership of should be your number-one priority. For more tips on co-tidying visit Spark Joy podcast Episode 91: How to Motivate Others to Tidy Up.

I have kids who are untidy. Does this method work for busy parents?

Yes! Parents can be tidy too! It’s all about taking care of yourself first and leading by example, rather than forcing your kids to tidy. Tips on how to KonMari® with kids are featured here and on Spark Joy podcast Episode 76: KonMari® Quick Tips: Tidying with Kids.

I know someone who could use your services. Should I refer them or gift them with a lesson?

Gift certificates in the form of e-cards are available at $150 and $500 levels.

Please note, tidying is an extremely personal process and is best executed in a situation where the client is ready and committed to making a change. Therefore, approach gifts with caution and contact us if you have questions.

Tidy Maintenance

I’ve completed my entire Tidying Journey. What’s next?

The possibilities are endless! When you’re not concerned about organizing your living environment, you begin to improve your habits, prune relationships that no longer positively support your life, and put other areas into focus — such as health or finances.

Also, check out Spark Joy podcast Episode 41: How to Maintain a Tidy Home Post-KonMari®, which addresses the maintenance aspect of the KonMari® lifestyle.

What is a Graduate of Tidy?

Tidying is a commitment which requires your time and dedication. Clients who put their homes in order category-by-category by using the KonMari Method® over a 3 to 6 month period are recognized as Graduates of Tidy (GOTs) upon the completion of their Tidying Journey.

Graduates of Tidy receive:

● Access to and recognition within The Spark Joy Club (private Facebook community)
● Exclusive access to the Power Partners and referral bonuses
● On-going opportunities to share your life-changing magic and encourage others on the path to joy

Will I be able to maintain a tidy lifestyle after I’ve completed my Tidying Journey? Guaranteed?

While the KonMari Method® is truly a magical event, it can’t fix everything! While it’s highly unlikely, rebounding (the state where things without a designated storage space begin to inundate your home again) may occur. After you’ve completed your Tidying Journey, For the Love of Tidy cannot guarantee that you won’t experience a rebound. But again, with practice, this is a highly unlikely circumstance.

If you’re not satisfied with the services after the completion of an In-home KonMari® Tidying Lesson or the entire Tidying Journey, please contact For the Love of Tidy within 30 days of service. Kristyn will be happy to address outstanding concerns free of charge, either on the phone or in-person until all established goals are achieved.

Now that I’m surrounded by only things that spark joy, I would like to update my home decor. Does Kristyn offer design services?

KonMari® Master Consultant Kristyn Ivey also holds a Masters in Interior Design in addition to professional organization training. For the Love of Tidy offers home styling recommendations to further refine your vision for your home and ideal lifestyle. This includes decorating or storage advice and other cosmetic design considerations. This is included within an in-home KonMari® Tidying Lesson and occurs primarily on site.

Interior design requiring a third-party contractor or extensive structural home renovation exceeds the scope of decorating services at this time.

Other Ways to Connect

How can I partner with For the Love of Tidy or book Kristyn to speak at my upcoming event?

Whether it’s a keynote for your organization or a casual gathering with a smaller group, For the Love of Tidy loves to spread the joy of tidying whenever and wherever we can.

Kristyn is available to anyone interested in booking an engaging speaker for their next client, customer, or employee appreciation event or wellness conference in Chicago, a city near you, including virtual programs.

Executives, community groups, financial institutions, home & design shows, retailers, and relators have hired Kristyn to create a unique and engaging tidying experience for their fans.

Current signature talks & workshops topics (delivered virtually or in-person) include:
  → “Tidy Up: Home & Life”
  → “Tidy Up: Home & Work” 
  → “Tidy Up: Home & Legacy” 
  → Plus customized experiences — Created to meet your unique presentation and workshop needs (Tidy Up: Self-care Summit, Home & Travel, KonMari® & Wine, Lunch & Learn, Tidy Desk Day live 1:1 virtual organizing, Explore Your Amazon Order History, and more)

Learn more about hiring Kristyn to deliver just what your audience needs.

Does For the Love of Tidy offer gift certificates or corporate gifting opportunities?

Yes! Give the gift of tidy:

→ A Tidy Desk Day includes 1:1 appointments with a KonMari® Master Consultant virtually or in-person

→ Gift Certificate Packages for virtual or in-home KonMari® Tidying services (applicable to those with clutter at home or the office)

The Tidy Home Joy Journal shipped to home offices/onsite workplace

Reach out to Kristyn here to discuss what would be the best fit. 

Can Kristyn organize my retail space or small business?

Yes! For the Love of Tidy designs customized tidy plans for entrepreneurs, small businesses, and commercial retailers. Contact us to discuss your tidying needs.

I don’t live in Chicago, but I’m interested in hiring Kristyn. Can I still sign up for a Lesson?

For the Love of Tidy currently conducts in-home KonMari® Tidying Lessons in the city of Chicago and immediate suburbs (Evanston/Skokie, Oak Park, and Hyde Park). 

A two hour Virtual Tidying Lesson is always available for clients that fall outside of that service area.

You can also join For the Love of Tidy’s KonMari® private Facebook community The Spark Joy Club by purchasing The Tidy Home Joy Journal.

I am a prospective consultant/active trainee/emerging certified KonMari® Consultant. Can I chat with you about your tidying business and pick your brain*?

Happy to share some insights and calendar availability here

*Note: My brain contains a TON of valuable information and costs money to maintain! Fees apply. 

Sparking joy in:

Are you ready to put your life in order?