Sometimes, life gets messy — even for the tidiest among us. Fortunately, the KonMari Method™ allows for fluctuations and unexpected changes. It’s not about a perfectly tidy home but a life that sparks joy for you.
Everyone is different, and the KonMari Method can work for us all. That’s why KonMari Consultants support clients one-on-one — each of us has unique goals that range from a tidier home to setting priorities in our personal lives.
We asked our Consultant community to respond to common misconceptions about the so-called “perfection” of the KonMari Method and how they recommend you think about it instead.
Misconception 1: There’s Only One Definition of Tidy
No two tidying festivals will look the same, and no two homes will feel the same after tidying. That’s because the KonMari Method emphasizes keeping the focus on yourself — exploring your values, priorities and happiness — rather than following a rigid set of tidying requirements.
“What’s considered perfect for one individual may not be for another,” says KonMari Consultant Ann Dooley. “Hence there’s no perfection, only limitless forms of gratitude and happiness. Part of the work we do is help clients understand their choices and set boundaries. You define your joy.”
Misconception 2: The Method Makes All Homes Feel the Same
For Marie and our KonMari Consultants, there’s no single definition of a tidy home. “When it comes to our home, I’d say we don’t want a perfect home, we want a home that sparks joy,” says KonMari Consultant Bernie Hung, “When we look beyond imperfection and do our best to create our sanctuary, this is joy.”
“Lord knows I would not be able to do this job if everyone and everything had to be perfect, my clients would run a mile!” says KonMari Consultant Tracey Martin. “They are relieved when they find out that the KonMari Method is flexible, and can be tailored exactly to their needs.”
Misconception 3: A Tidy Home is Always Tidy
You’ve likely heard that, with three children at home, Marie’s home is not always tidy. The KonMari Method™ supports her through inevitable life changes, especially with a growing family. It can support you, too, no matter where you are in life.
“I like to tell my clients that [tidying] is about preparation, not perfectionism. Preparing your home’s physical space and your mindset to see the joy around you, not the to-do lists,” says KonMari Consultant Joanne Gryniewicz.
Preparation means that you’re equipped to deal with busy days, evolving values and everything in between.
“Circumstances change, priorities shift, what’s important to you will ebb and flow through the seasons of life,” says KonMari Consultant Raychel Klein “It’s important to acknowledge these milestones and give yourself grace while you transition to a different phase of life. The spirit of the KonMari Method remains as you prioritize whatever sparks joy.”
Misconception 4: People do the KonMari Method™ Once and Are Tidy Forever
It’s true that a one-time tidying festival, in which you assess and organize your entire home in one go, can change your life. But the KonMari Method™ stays with you long after that first festival. You can use it to help guide you through other life decisions, so that you can live a joy-sparking life (what Marie calls kurashi.)
“The KonMari Method is about self-discovery: finding joy and contentment with things in your life,” says KonMari Consultant Stefanie Wiik. “It’s about surrounding yourself with more of what you enjoy and less of what you don’t and can change through the different phases of your life.”
As your family grows or your lifestyle and priorities shift, you may also find that another tidying festival is exactly what you need. Revisiting the Method can help you settle into a new routine or renew your sense of balance.
“As Marie said, ‘Tidying is just a tool, not the final destination,’” says KonMari Consultant Helen Youn. “After implementing the KonMari Method in my home, I feel like I can actually just enjoy life instead of stressing about mess. When you only have what you love and everything has a place, tidying up is easy.”
Misconception 5: The KonMari Method™ Is Only for the Home
The KonMari Method™ can be used to tidy everything from your finances to your friendships, and KonMari Consultants have helped clients with a wide range of struggles. Above all, it’s a way of being in the world — one that emphasizes exploring your personal values and learning to focus on what matters most.
“The KonMari Method has always been — and will always be — a road map to contentment not perfection. It is looking at yourself in the mirror and recognizing everyone and everything has imperfections,” says KonMari Consultant Jillian Archer. “When you realize that your contentment comes not from a perfect home, but from filling it with things, and more importantly, people you love… that is the destination. When you reach that, you have the ability to sit back and enjoy the life that you deserve.”
Truth: The KonMari Method Isn’t Perfection — It’s Self-Compassion
“From the first time I heard about the KonMari Method, I understood that it’s all about compassion for oneself, learning how to prioritize your decisions and understanding that it is okay to have objects, as long as you have them for the right reasons,” says Consultant Nayely Urioste.
The Method is flexible, gentle and designed to allow you to find your own way. “I encourage my clients to understand the method as a path of self-awareness and self-love,” says Urioste. “You learn how to be thankful for and present with the objects that surround you, but most importantly, to find a home within you.”
Tidying is the act, but the goal is self-love and a joy-sparking life. Using the Method is a choice — a decision to embrace change. What comes after is the magic.
We would like to thank all our KonMari Consultants for being a constant source of wisdom about the Method. Special thanks to the ones we featured in this story.