Meeting Marie Kondo

We are sentimental beings.

I bet that some of you still have your very first blanket, very first toy, or maybe your or your child’s very first dislodged tooth. If ever you have given them away or thrown them out, I am pretty sure that the experience was not easy. But there are some things that you can never be able to give or throw away, like memories.

One year ago, I was on the plane bound to New York to attend the KonMari Consultancy Training. I could tell that there were many others who shared the same passion with me as I had to wait to get a slot in the celebrated event. During the flight, high above the ground, all I could think about was how excited I was to finally meet Marie Kondo. As a homemaker and professional organizer, I hoped to learn more so I could share more with all of you.

I hoped for a Marie Kondo experience, and a Marie Kondo experience was what I got!

Attending the Training

The three-day seminar screamed Marie Kondo’s name to me: everything was in place, everything was in order. Even if you randomly scan the room, there was nothing that can make you ask, “Why is this here?” or “What is happening?”

The workshop itself was effectively compartmentalized. The trainers followed a schedule to make sure that everything started and ended on time. The flow of the discussion left no room for unnecessary chitchat. No distractions or questions were entertained in the middle of the talk, so everything was on the dot! I can tell that I really attended an organizing seminar.

While I was seated there, I greatly appreciated the community that Marie Kondo built. Anyone can be a professional organizer, but it takes more than just having knowledge and skills to be one.

Belonging to a Community

As of writing, no college courses are available to prepare someone to become a professional organizer. (Who knows, right?) However, even without it, anyone with a purpose and passion not only to organize but also to learn and share can become one.

I think that’s why Marie Kondo did not stop at tidying up her own home. Maybe that’s also why she extended her gift to those who needed guidance.

In this particular seminar, I was the only participant from the Philippines. However, I did not feel out of place. The audience wasn’t just filled with people who are starting to get into organizing. The participants are a mix of existing professional organizers, individuals who shifted careers, and professionals who want to apply the KonMari method in their lives.

I had my own “Eureka!” moment as I took my seat in the sea of participants. I felt everything I do in the Philippines make sense – that I was at the right track, I was at the right place.

The long travel from the Philippines to New York is very much worth it, because of the people I met, the stories we shared, and the relationships we built.

Meeting Marie Kondo

When Marie Kondo entered the room, she had this energy that immediately attracted us to her. It was amazing to me, how a woman of a tiny stature has such a bright aura! It felt like her Netflix series came alive right before my eyes!

I am amazed how a professional organizer can create that kind of impact. It might not be a well-known profession in the world, but to be able to impart something in the community and to be able to touch people’s lives through it is really a good feeling. I wouldn’t want to trade it for the world.

Although it was only a three-day training, the experience was definitely life changing.

Remember what I said earlier about being sentimental?

I hope this recollection will also encourage you to take a good look at the items and memories you hold dear. There might be some things that you know, deep within yourself, that you don’t need anymore – things that have already outlived their purpose.

As for me, I will keep this experience close to my heart. This is one of the experiences that helped me define my profession. Flying to New York validated the work that I do – that even if at many times, organizing gets physically exhausting, it is fulfilling in such a way that at the end of the day, it is always a work of the heart.  

I look back at this memory with so much gratitude. It was at that point in my life that I realized that people come together to speak a language the heart understands, no matter where they come from:  

For Marie Kondo, it is tidying.

For me, it is homemaking.