What if a relationship no longer sparks joy? Here's Marie Kondo's answer

Karen Flores Layno, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Aug 23 2021 04:03 PM | Updated as of Aug 23 2021 05:23 PM

Marie Kondo stars in her second Netflix show,
Marie Kondo stars in her second Netflix show, "Sparking Joy with Marie Kondo." Handout

MANILA -- Tidying expert Marie Kondo is back with a new Netflix series, where she expands her "Spark Joy" philosophy to include other aspects of people's lives.

"Sparking Joy with Marie Kondo," which will premiere on August 31, shows the Japanese best-selling author applying her signature approach to tidying outside the home.

In a virtual interview with Philippine media, Kondo admitted that her second series is "more of like a trial and error process" as she had to learn with her clients.

"I think the biggest difference for this current show is I went to places I have no experience tidying: nurseries, churches, and coffee shops. I think before, in the last show, I was much more confident starting in, but this time I really had to learn with my clients as we tidy," she said through a translator.

"With this current show we go much deeper and more expansive, and I hope that the viewers will be able to really apply the methods of tidying to all aspects of their life," she added. "It's my hope that not only are they moved by the show but apply the methods into their lives and really change their life in a big way."

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Kondo said she first saw the connection between tidying and human relationships in her clients, when she was starting out as an organizing consultant.

"Once we finished tidying, they would always tell me that tidying has had a very positive impact on all aspects of their life. So this is how I made the connection," she said. 

"And it's by choosing joy constantly throughout the tidying process that you are able to apply that sensor to other aspects," she added.

When asked by ABS-CBN News to give advice to those who feel like an important part of their life -- such as a relationship or a job -- no longer "sparks joy," Kondo said the first step is to practice deep self-reflection.

According to the tidying guru, they should see the situation from as many perspectives as possible. 

"I think when you feel that way, when you feel that your career or interpersonal relationship no longer sparks joy, it's very important to start to reflect on, 'Is there any part of those things that still you can feel grateful for?' 'Is there any part of your career that you can still feel positive about?'" Kondo suggested.

"It's very important to have that very large overall perspective before you judge whether something sparks joy or not. So really consider it as a whole," she stressed.

Kondo went on to point out that being able to see what is -- or used to be -- good in a relationship or job will help people let go and find inner peace.

"It's important to do this because when you are ready to let go of a relationship or or your career... you can do so with gratitude," she said.


For Kondo, tidying remains relevant even at a time such as the pandemic, saying that it is a way to "spark joy" as people stay in the same place all day, every day to prevent the spread of the COVID-19 virus.

"Even if you're staying at home all the time, you want to make that space as comfortable as possible for you," she said. "And you really want to reflect and ask yourself: 'What can I do to achieve that?' And tidying can come very handy in that process."

A scene from
A scene from "Sparking Joy with Marie Kondo." Handout

Kondo, who lives with her husband and two daughters, also sees tidying as an opportunity to teach children about care and respect.

She said those who want to practice her KonMari method on their kids can have them start as early as two years old. 

"You can start little by little. When I started with my daughters, I taught them to fold smaller items like handkerchiefs or socks, and we did it as sort of like a game or part of a play," she said. 

Kondo added that timing is also "very important" in starting the tidying process, saying that it would be hard for anyone who is not enthusiastic about it.

"My most difficult case (as an organizing consultant), I would say, is when the clients themselves are not enthusiastic about tidying. They are either made to do it because their parents told them or their other family members told them to clean or tidy, and they themselves are not ready," she said. 

"I really believe that there is a time in your life where you will feel ready to tidy, and I think you should take advantage of that," she added.

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