In 2014, Japanese guru, author, and TV star Marie Kondo released her book The Life Changing-Magic of Tidying Up in the United States. Since then, we have blatantly promised to disorganize every aspect of our lives, removing everything that doesn’t bring joy, from shoes and souvenirs to gifts and even boyfriends. In Kiki Palmer’s words, sorry to this man. Okay, maybe telling our roommates that we won’t take out the trash because it doesn’t create joy is taking it too far, but what can we say? We are obsessed.
Although the celebrity may be behind the most popular Netflix non-fiction series of 2019, Tidying Up With Marie Kondo, she didn’t make it to the top alone. The star’s husband, Takumi Kawahara, has been by her side since before she became a New York Times bestselling author. Unlike many of the A-list couples who came before them, Kondo’s marriage is without scandal. In fact, the strangest thing about the couple, who share two young daughters, is how well they seem to get along. Who would have thought?
Marie Kondo met her husband years before she became famous
Hollywood doesn’t exactly create lasting relationships. Marriages seem to happen overnight and dissolve just as quickly (see: Carmen Electra and her 1998 quick escape with Dennis Rodman or Britney Spears and her famous 55-hour marriage to a childhood friend). Marie Kondo and Takumi Kawahara seemingly broke the cycle, as the cleaning queen met her king years before they got married.
According to a profile by Fast Company, Kondo and Kawahara met in an elevator when they were 21-year-old college students. She noticed him because he had a badge attached to his suit that said “dream” in Japanese. “When I saw that, I thought, what a passionate person!” she said to the outlet. She gave Kawahara her business card, but they didn’t reconnect until years after the Kondo book. The Life Changing-Magic of Tidying Up became a hit in Japan after the 2011 earthquake.
In a fortuitous twist of fate, Kawahara, who was working in human resources when Kondo first tried to reconnect, had no idea that the author had become famous. As a result, he had completely ordered the pop culture of his life. “I had organized my house so much that I didn’t have a television, so I had no idea,” he said. The couple married in 2014 (although some reports say 2012) and moved from Japan to the San Francisco Bay Area two years later.
Takumi Kawahara gave up her career for Marie Kondo
It seems that Marie Kondo got an Instagram husband, except multiply that by 100. Takumi Kawahara doesn’t just take photos of his wife on social media; He helps her in all facets of her business. In fact, the father of two left his career to help Kondo follow her dreams.
According to Good Housekeeping, the businessman was working in a corporate job “in support of sales and marketing” when he decided to resign and become the manager of Marie Kondo. Quick Company reports that the couple co-founded the KonMari Media company in 2015, a year after they married, and Kawahara took over as CEO. Now she’s left behind the scenes securing book deals, producing Kondo’s Netflix series and accompanying her on photo shoots. “We are always talking about work, even in our private moments,” Kawahara said to Quick Company. “She was an author who was very good at transmitting a message to the world. I was good at creating businesses and networking.”
While quitting his job and pursuing Kondo’s career was a risk, it was certainly worth it. According to Quick Enterprise, Rakuten, the $ 12 billion Japanese e-commerce giant, acquired a majority stake in KonMari Media in August 2019. This, they report, is roughly the equivalent of Amazon buying the Gwyneth Paltrow Goop. Actually, in Japan, it is even better. Unlike Amazon, Rakuten “owns banks and mortgage brokerage services.”
Marie Kondo needs help facing the cameras
Marie Kondo’s personality is slightly at odds with her stardom. The author is naturally an introvert, which seems like a contradiction to someone with over 3.7 million Instagram followers. Bottom line: The spotlight doesn’t necessarily bring joy to the ordered guru, but Kondo has to do it, especially after her monster year of 2019.
According to Quick Enterprise, Kondo started the year with the launch of her first Netflix series, Tidy Up with Marie Kondo, which quickly became the platform’s most-watched non-fiction show in 2019. By the end of the year, she had expanded her network of consultants to 40 different countries and launched a new e-commerce site, selling things like a $ 75 fretboard or $ 22 facial brush that would rival anything on the Goop, sometimes grim. “I have to be a public figure to be able to spread this message,” she explained to Quick Company. “But it is much more difficult for me than for people who naturally stand out for being in front of many people. Takumi has really helped me.
Kawahara has a specific method to make Kondo more comfortable in front of the cameras. According to the media, he is “the life of the set” and relieves Kondo’s nerves by “grimacing, telling jokes and reassuring everyone.” He is the yin for your yang. “Although Takumi is more outgoing and I am much more introspective, we are the same inside,” said Kondo.
Takumi Kawahara didn’t need to put a ring on it
Marie Kondo may have an estimated net worth of around $ 8 million, but the cleaning guru wasn’t always right. Before the acquisition of Rakuten, the best sellers and the Netflix show, Kondo’s husband could not raise enough money to buy her an engagement ring, but love prevails, new diamond or not. In a blog post on his website, Kondo explained that he ended up wearing her grandmother’s ring, which was given to her when she passed away, rather than buying a new one. After all, it is not the diamond that causes joy. Hopefully, it’s the husband.
“When Takumi, my husband, proposed to me, he had no money to buy me a ring,” she wrote. “I said, ‘I don’t need a ring! You can give me this ring instead. ‘ Her ring is the one he gave me when he proposed to me. ”
Kondo’s entire philosophy is firmly anti-acquisition, and she regularly pushes against buying things just for the sake of buying things. According to The Atlantic, the idea of a diamond engagement ring is just that: buying things because someone said they had to. The whole tradition was created by an advertising campaign, and Kondo doesn’t need it.
They planned their married lifestyle in a spreadsheet
Most of us love a good Google or Excel spreadsheet, but for work – not for fun. You couldn’t pay us enough to use it in our spare time, but then again, we are not all Marie Kondo and Takumi Kawahara. For the couple, spreadsheets actually create a lot of joy. In fact, they are more or less an integral part of your marriage.
In an interview with El Corte, Kondo revealed that she and Kawahara basically negotiated the terms of their married lifestyle through a spreadsheet right after they were married. “We sat down and talked about the kind of home life we wanted and what it would take to achieve it. We put all of this in a shared Google spreadsheet,” she said. “When one of us completes a task, we mark it as done and then the other can leave a message saying ‘Thank you’ or something like that. It was all very systematic.”
It is unclear whether they delved into who has the TV remote control or who could. Please stop putting dry cleaning in the basket with the rest of the dirty laundry, but have managed to move from the Google master spreadsheet to a Shared online calendar, which by comparison seems daring.
Two peas in a meticulously organized pod
Marie Kondo seems to have truly found her person. While most of us are busy arguing with our spouses about leaving their gym socks all over the floor, Takumi Kawahara was already hyper-organized before meeting the ordained guru. “He was able to clean up and be very organized even before reading my book, but it was certainly even more pronounced after he read my book,” said Kondo Good Housekeeping in 2016. “He became even more efficient. Fundamentally speaking, we are at the same pace.”
em.The couple seems to be completely in sync with their anti-disorder values, and this was never clearer than when they were preparing to have their first child. During this time, most parents are acquiring a lot of things, from cribs and clothes to changing tables and a pile of diapers, but Kondo and Kawahara took the opportunity to have what Kondo described to The Wall Street newspaper as a “festival of disorder.” As she went on to explain, “By creating clear boundaries for children’s things … they made it easier to decide how much was too much.”
Even her children are neat machines
Marie Kondo planned to teach her daughters, Satsuki and Miko, the Konmari Method once they were three years old, but do you really think the spawn of two of the most ordered parents on the planet really needed help? It was already running through their veins. In an interview with the Wall Street Journal, Kondo revealed that her children began to order before showing them the ropes.
“I was surprised to see [Satsuki] placing books, stuffed animals, and house toys in their place more accurately than I expected,” Kondo explained. “She’s also trying to copy me by folding clothes, although I secretly fix them when she’s not looking.”
Sadly, children are children. They are still learning. There is no way they can make a shirt fold as perfect as their mother. “Of course they are not at my level,” Kondo said to The Cut. “They are still young and I just have to accept that they will mess things up for now.” Yes, even Kondo and Kawahara have to put up with the mess from time to time. No one is immune to the children’s mess.
Bless the Marie Kondo’s mess
After Marie Kondo married, she had to accept that her lifestyle was going to be a little different. Her married life has not always been as orderly as she had hoped (she says we all look at our couple’s collection of half-full glasses of water who have been on vacation at the nightstand for a week). Allowing disaster was a bitter pill, but once Kondo swallowed it, she learned a great lesson by letting go and was no longer held back by the shackles of the immaculate organization. Seriously, how many hours a day did she come back?
In an interview with Better Homes and Gardens, Kondo admitted: “To be honest, my situation has changed since I was single. I stopped having to maintain a perfect home all the time.” Letting go of your partner’s mess is actually one of the Kondo principles. The author said Good Housekeeping that you should always focus on your own items before dragging your family members, and you should respect their things, even if it hurts.
“Regarding the things you love your husband, even if you hate that item, you cannot ignore it without your permission,” she said, adding, “You don’t need to force yourself to love those items, but you can accept them in your life.” Unfortunately, accepting your partner also means accepting their mess, too.
Household chores are divided in half
If the newlywed’s spreadsheet wasn’t enough to figure it out, Marie Kondo and Takumi Kawahara divide household chores like they’re on a factory line. While most of us are arguing about who’s turn to make the bed or pick up the kids, these lovebird business partners are complete relationship goals. In an interview with The Cut, Kondo revealed: “We have a very clear division of work at home. My husband is in charge of the kitchen and I am in charge of cleaning. So my husband will make breakfast and I will put the dishes in the dishwasher, put things away, set and clean the table.”
Kondo and Kawahara know their strengths and use them to their advantage. Of course, Kondo is in charge of cleaning. There are few people who can order with such fervor, but Kawahara is also a great cook. Kondo said that she usually makes him a “Japanese-style breakfast, with rice, miso soup, dried radish, and fermented soybeans,” at least on days when they don’t have much time. In that case, they have a toast or fruit. Easy!
The only habit Marie Kondo took from her single life
Most of us maintain negative habits in our individual lives, like going to Tinder at two in the morning because we are bored. That’s only because none of us are Marie Kondo. The only main habit she retained from her single life helps her connect with the world around her (and not just six faceless packages on a cell phone screen).
According to The New Yorker, Kondo “was an assistant at a Shinto shrine” before finding success as the best-selling author and organizational consultant. She continued to practice at home, recounting The Cut that she keeps a Japanese-style kamidana (or Shinto shrine) on a shelf with some salt, rice, and evergreen leaves. Every morning she refreshes the altar and says a few prayers before starting her day.
“I will pray for the health of my family and friends, and also for myself to do what needs to be done as much as possible,” she said. “Actually, this is not a religious thing. It is only for me to take advantage of this hour every morning to feel gratitude. It is a practice that I started when I was still single, maybe about seven years ago. ”It’s true: We could all use a little more gratitude when our alarm clocks wake us up at dawn. Kondo, on the other hand, naturally wakes up around six or 6:30 am. When the cleaning powers call, she responds.
Marie Kondo and Takumi Kawahara struggled with their Netflix series
Marie Kondo’s Netflix series Tidying Up With Marie Kondo undoubtedly made it a crossover success in the United States, but that doesn’t mean it was easy. She and her husband struggled with this significant change in energy. According to Quick Company, the couple had brushes with television fame before their series premiered in 2019. Kondo’s book had already morphed into a Japanese drama, NBC ordered (and scrapped) a possible comedy, Kondo even had a two-part special called Tidying Up with KonMari on a Network in Japan. It wasn’t until Gail Berman, the producer behind the failed NBC sitcom, released Tidying Up Amazon and Netflix that the series was secured. Netflix won the deal by ordering a complete series from the start.
Despite the success, Kondo Quick Company said that she “was not used to the process” of making a series and was “really physically exhausted.” Takumi Kawahara agreed, claiming that the series “became a source of enormous stress” for his wife, and the couple “struggled to maintain” a healthy balance between work and personal life. Netflix tried to make things easier for the star by struggling by modifying the production schedule to give him time off set, but it was still on offer for season 2, which should have been obvious. Eventually, the author decided to return to the broadcasting giant with a new show called Sparkling Joy with Marie Kondo, which focuses on the small town of America.
The unique mess that Marie Kondo and Takumi Kawahara let pass
It’s hard to imagine Marie Kondo keeping something in her house that doesn’t have a different purpose. After all, the woman believes that a bag should be emptied every day (tell that to the mint that has been floating in our grandmother’s bag since 1995). Sometimes, however, we all give in to our vices, and Takumi Kawahara had no qualms about sharing his wife’s dark secret with the world. In an interview with Good Housekeeping, the businessman reminded Kondo that she does, in fact, have a “secret departure” from her typical clutter-free home: a stuffed seal. Kondo immediately started to laugh. “It is very small. It was a gift from my father, and although I’m an adult, I still keep it on my shelf. It is something that I cannot separate myself from ”, she admitted timidly.
Kondo also revealed that she owns only one random shirt, which was free loot from a 2005 show, and for some reason, he can’t let it go even though he prefers prettier lounge wear. “This shirt stands out like a sore thumb from all my elegant and feminine clothes,” she revealed. Hey, if it causes joy, it causes joy, right?