Here Are 10 Things You Might Not Know About Marie Kondo

updated May 30, 2019
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(Image credit: Ariel Knutson)

It’s never been a better time to learn to live like decluttering expert Marie Kondo, the author of the New York Times bestseller The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up and star of Netflix’s new series, Tidying Up with Marie Kondo.

Since she’s just about everywhere these days — and we can’t get enough — we thought we’d put together a list of little-known (to some!) facts about her. Here goes.

1. She spent her 18th birthday at the national library of Japan reading a collection of decluttering books.

Marie Kondo fondly remembers having a passion for tidying up from an early age. But it wasn’t until she officially reached adulthood that she was granted access to the national library of Japan’s organization collection.

2. She wrote her college thesis about tidying.

Kondo attended Tokyo Woman’s Christian University, where she wrote her thesis titled, “How to Declutter Your Apartment — From a Sociological Perspective.”

3. She is 4-feet, 8-inches tall.

Although she may be small in stature, there is definitely no shortage of tidying wisdom here! For reference, here’s Marie next to Lifestyle Director, Lisa Freedman, and News and Culture Editor, Arie Knutson, when she visited the Kitchn/Apartment Therapy offices for a video project!

4. She spent time working as an assistant at a Shinto shrine.

Kondo credits her time working at a Shinto shrine as a teenager to many of her tidying principles. It’s where she picked up lessons about treating objects with respect.

5. The first recipe that she ever cooked was chicken soup.

In an interview with Bon Appétit, Kondo revealed that the first recipe she learned to cook was her mom’s chicken soup. (Where can we get the recipe?)

6. She only keeps five spices in her kitchen.

She also dished to Bon App that she keeps the contents of her spice cabinet pretty limited, only storing black pepper, two salts, cumin, and turmeric. (They spark joy!)

7. In 2010, her book proposal for The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up won first prize in a publishing training course called “How to write bestsellers that will be loved for 10 years.”

News flash — although her book was first published in 2011, it’s still on the New York Times bestseller list! She even has her own Netflix special, out this year. Seems like the publishing training course was onto something.

8. She uses a spray bottle to waft a certain scent into the air, signaling the end of the work day.

In her New York Times profile by Taffy Brodesser-Akner, Taffy observed her evening ritual to transition out of a space of daily obligations.

9. She rarely wears pants because they don’t bring her joy.

ME NEITHER! In an interview with The New Yorker, in which they shopped at Anthropologie together, Kondo revealed that she stopped wearing pants “because several years ago they stopped bringing her joy.” Who else can relate?

10. She now lives in LA with her husband and their two adorable daughters.

Perhaps due to filming obligations for her Netflix show, Kondo, her husband, and their two daughters, Satsuki and Miko, live in Los Angeles.