Marie Kondo Wants to Remind Everyone That the KonMari Method Is Not About Minimalism

published Feb 15, 2020
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We love the KonMari method, and we appreciate minimalism, but the two are not the same. Marie Kondo is often name-dropped in articles about minimalism, but to call her a minimalist is to simplify her whole philosophy, and she wants to set the record straight.

In a post on Kondo’s website called “KonMari Is Not Minimalism,” the tidying guru explains why her approach is not about having fewer belongings or a stark, white-on-white color palette.

“Many people have equated my tidying method with minimalism, but it’s quite different,” she writes. “Minimalism advocates living with less; the KonMari Method™ encourages living among items you truly cherish.”

She points out that following the method laid out in her books (that is, digging out all your belongings from closets and other hiding places and deciding which ones to keep based on whether or not they spark joy) can result in a minimalist living environment for some but not all people.

“The first step in my tidying method is to imagine your ideal lifestyle,” she continues. “For some, this vision might be to surround yourself with the bare essentials; for others, it could mean living in a home teeming with beloved art, books, collections and heirlooms.

“Joy is personal. Each individual’s ideal life – and space – will look different from the next. If minimalism is a lifestyle that sparks joy for someone, I encourage that; in the same way, if someone has determined that many items in their life spark joy, that’s okay, too!”

Kondo understands that people connect her method to minimalism because getting rid of objects that don’t spark joy could leave you with few objects at all. However, she wants us to remember that for her, tidying is not about discarding but about choosing what to keep.

Maybe you’ll keep just enough to fill a tiny home. Or maybe you’ll discover that maximalist style brings you joy. Either way is fine by Marie Kondo.