FAQs

The KonMari MethodTM

What is the KonMari MethodTM?

The KonMari MethodTM is a revolutionary professional organizing technique, made popular by Marie Kondo’s bestselling book “The Life-changing Magic of Tidying Up” and Netflix’s series “Tidying Up 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 KonMari 101, check out Spark Joy podcast Episode 1 or see Kristyn chat about clutter live in Chicago or a city near year.

How does the KonMari MethodTM 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?”

Joy is ultimately a personal experience that manifests in different ways for different people. Finding what sparks it is an intuitive exercise. 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 13: 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.

Tidying also 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 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 relocating? 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 MethodTM. 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 MethodTM to their home. Even those who consider themselves hopelessly messy, lazy, busy, or chronically disorganized can learn to tidy 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 MethodTM 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 MethodTM 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 MethodTM 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 Episodes 3 and 19.

KonMari Consultants

What are the benefits of working with a KonMari Tidying 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 encouragement when you feel overwhelmed or unsure of where to begin.

While you’re tidying 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 TV series. It’s time to lean on scheduled accountability, efficiency, and expert guidance customized to fit your unique situation.

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

With 14 years of project management experience and a MA Interior Design, Kristyn is uniquely trained to identify creative opportunities to repurpose storage solutions and offer home styling support post-tidy.

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 can I become a KonMari Tidying Consultant?

The KonMari Consultant certification process covers the KonMari MethodTM philosophy, skills, and techniques needed to conduct private sessions. Prospective consultants must successfully complete the following steps: 1) verify that their home is tidy; 2) participate in an in-person, two-day KonMari Consultant Seminar; 3) join a network of other consultants in training; 4) complete practice sessions reviewed by KonMari Media, Inc.; 5) complete and pass an online assessment; and 6) apply for certification.

For a comprehensive overview of the KonMari Consultant certification process, head over to Spark Joy podcast Episode 33: How to Become a KonMari Consultant. If you’ve already completed a KonMari Consultant certification course, consider joining the Tidy Mastermind community to help you grow and organize your business. You can also schedule a call with Kristyn at any time to receive one-on-one tidying business coaching.

How can I work for For the Love of Tidy. Are there positions available?

Currently, For the Love of Tidy does not have any job opportunities available, but we’d love to chat with you about your interest in KonMari in case future opportunities open up. Please contact us here.

Tidying Lessons & Programs

How do I schedule a KonMari Tidying Lesson?

To get tidy now, instantly book a KonMari Tidying Lesson here. If you’re not sure which service is a fit, book a clutter call to express interest and get started.

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 categories of tidying activity. Each KonMari experience is customized and scoped based on three factors: 1) square footage, 2) volume of clutter, 3) pace of decision-making. The more effort applied to “Home Work” assignments, the fewer Lessons required to complete your 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 an In-home KonMari Tidying Lesson?

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

How should I prepare for my KonMari Tidying Lesson?

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

What tools will For the Love of Tidy 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 MethodTM 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’s Tidying Up with Marie Kondo prior to their first KonMari Tidying Lesson.

This is not a requirement. Neither the book or the Netflix special are a substitutes for the in-home practical experience. While having a general understanding of the KonMari MethodTM is useful, our in-home 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 refer to our referral partner network  for a verified cleaning service.

Do I have to be active and engaged during the organization process or will my tidying consultant 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 the client’s home. During a 5-hour KonMari Tidying Lesson, the client and the KonMari Consultant 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 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 MethodTM 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 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 my KonMari Tidying Consultant force me to get rid of most of the items in my home?

The beauty of the KonMari MethodTM 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. 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 For the Love of Tidy will provide a list of suggested local resources, you’re ultimately responsible for ensuring items that don’t “spark joy” are permanently removed from the home.

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

Will For the Love of Tidy provide me with organizational and storage supplies?

Practicing the KonMari MethodTM 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. We’ll work with you to identify décor items or objects in your home to creatively re-purpose in your space. We’ve also featured mindful storage solutions that spark the most joy and complement KonMari-style tidying on Spark Joy podcast Episode 85: KonMari Approved Storage Solutions.

Co-Tidying

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 MethodTM 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:

  • Mindful gifts that spark joy marking major clutter category milestones
  • A custom, surprise gift to mark the end of their tidying journey and the beginning of the next chapter of their life
  • Recognition via The Spark Joy Club (private Facebook community)
  • One complementary consultant-led, joy-filled tidying demonstration in their home during their next party or capstone event
  • On-going opportunities to share their life-changing magic and encourage others on the path to joy
  • Exclusive access to Power Partners and referral bonuses

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

While the KonMari MethodTM 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. We 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 décor. Does For the Love of Tidy offer design services?

Founder and KonMari Consultant Kristyn Ivey holds a Masters in Interior Design in addition to professional organization training. Therefore, 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 tool advice and other cosmetic design considerations. This is included within a 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 casual gathering at home or a keynote, 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 or a city near you. 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.

Currently booking:

“Tidy Up: Home & Life” 
“Tidy Up: Home & Work” 
“Tidy Up: Home & Legacy” 
Customized Experiences — to meet your unique presentation and workshop needs (Tidy Up: Home & Travel, KonMari & Wine, Lunch & Learn, Tidy Desk Day, etc.)

Please contact Kristyn with your ideas and interest.

Can For the Love of Tidy 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 working with For the Love of Tidy. Can I still sign up for a Lesson?

For the Love of Tidy currently conducts in-home KonMari Tidying Lessons primarily in the city of Chicago and adjacent suburbs. Travel beyond Chicago city limits may be subject to a flat administrative fee per in-home visit. Additional fees associated with traveling and conducting business outside of the state of Illinois will be assessed on a case-by-case basis and subject to availability.

A two hour  Virtual Joy Check is always available for non-local clients to start your Tidying Journey. 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 and listening to Spark Joy podcast.