At the core of KonMari is a desire for everyone in the world to experience the life-changing magic that comes from tidying. The KonMari Consultant Program is the realization of that dream – a global offering that enables Marie Kondo to share her joy-centering philosophy and unique tidying method with as many people as possible.
“I'm moved by how many people find a sense of purpose in this work.”
Organize the World
When Marie emerged as a tidying expert in Japan, she often received outreach from clients who had completed their tidying festivals and wanted to help others do the same. Inspired by their passion, Marie began offering trainings in the KonMari Method™, planting the seeds for what would grow into the Consultant Program.
The first official certification course was held in New York in 2016. By then the demand for Marie’s help had skyrocketed. The success of her books, “The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up,” and “Spark Joy,” had introduced the KonMari Method™ to millions of readers around the world. More and more people were seeking one-on-one tidying support, and the waiting list for Marie’s services was months-long. Marie and her husband, Takumi Kawahara – Co-founder and CEO of KonMari Media, Inc. – launched the Consultant Program to keep up. “The Consultant Program is very special to Marie and me,” says Takumi. “With each certified Consultant, we feel like we’re one step closer to achieving our mission of organizing the world. Watching the program grow truly sparks joy for us!”
The Certification Process
Since the program’s New York launch, certification courses have been held in San Francisco, London, Chicago and Los Angeles – with participants traveling from as far as South Africa and Australia. To meet the demand for more offerings, virtual certification courses – which can be attended from the comfort of a participant’s tidied home – were added in 2020. To attend either course, you must first read both of Marie’s tidying books, conduct your own tidying festival and submit photos of your tidied home for verification.
In the virtual and in-person courses, everything from folding to the art of active listening is covered. “We focus on teaching both the principles and the power of the method,” says certified Master Caitlin Roberts, who serves as a course instructor. “People walk away with a better understanding of what makes this method unique and how we’ve been able to help people create major change in their lives.”
After the course, Consultants-in-training are required to conduct at least 10 client practice sessions, submit tidying reports and help at least one client complete a tidying festival. For many, the process is longer and more rigorous than they anticipated – they may be asked to conduct more client practice sessions to ensure that they’re upholding Marie’s method.
Throughout the process, the KonMari team provides detailed and personalized feedback. As trainees become more adept at the method and hone their skills and intuitions, the reports they submit include excerpts of life-changing moments – not just for their clients, but also for them. Witnessing the magic of a KonMari tidying festival can be as rewarding as having completed your own!
A Joy-Sparking Community
Now in its fifth year, the Consultant Program has a vibrant network of trainees and certified Consultants who come to the program from widely diverse backgrounds – former psychologists, empty nesters, actors and scientists! For all of them, the KonMari mission – to help others discover what sparks joy – has become a way of life. “The process of becoming a Consultant has been completely transformative,” says Patty Morrissey, who attended the first event in 2016 and now serves as a lead instructor for the Certification Courses. “You really do start to apply that lens of ‘Does it spark joy?’ to every other area of your life. The KonMari Method™ is an ongoing practice that I will use forever.”
“The sense of community has also been really valuable to me,” Patty adds. “The courses are not just about learning how to fold – you could get that from watching a YouTube video. The experience of each weekend is co-created by everyone in the room. The value is in the energy and collective wisdom – and the beginning of new relationships.”
Fellow instructor and Platinum level Consultant Tricia Fidler agrees: “There’s nothing like being in a room of over 100 men and women who are looking to facilitate joy in their lives and the lives of others.”
Consultants stay in touch in person and on the group’s private Facebook page; many of them work together and even make cameos on each other’s tidying podcasts. “I’ve made some of my best friends in the Consultant community,” Caitlin shares.
As the field of qualified and talented Consultants has grown – and the demands on Marie’s time has increased – she’s been able to step back from the certification courses, entrusting the trainings to a circle of skilled instructors. For Marie, the continued growth and success of such a personal offering is humbling. “I’m moved by how many people find a sense of purpose in this work.”