What's Next for Marie Kondo?

April 12, 2017

Yesterday, the folks at Ten Speed Press took to Instagram to announce that Marie Kondo will be releasing her next book at the end of June. Her 2011 book, The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing, has gained near-biblical significance for those of us whose domestic interiors (and resultant psychological states) resembles natural disaster sites. “I believe this must be the first time that a book from Japan has sold so well except manga and fiction,” the editor-in-chief of Unmark Publishing, Kondo’s original Japanese publishing house, once commented of that original book’s stratosphere-shattering success. Well, looks like Kondo’s trying to capitalize on that territory, too. Her next book is a manga.

Gaze longingly at this cover art! Photo by Ten Speed Press

The Life-Changing Manga of Tidying Up (“A Magical Story,” boasts its subtitle) pivots on the life of Chiaki, a Tokyo resident whose apartment, you guessed it, is in a ghastly state of disarray. The mess extends to her personal life, too; poor Chiaki’s career is errant, her love life in shambles. After a neighbor politely tells her that it’s perhaps time to get her life in order, Chiaki bucks up and decides he’s right. So she enlists the help of Kondo, this domestic magician, to kickstart this process. What follows are 192 pages, illustrated by mangaka Yuko Uramoto, of Kondo impressing her belief system onto Chiaki, improving her quality of life in the process.

This manga seems, at first glance, to be relaying the same messaging of her earlier literature in an accessible illustrated form. Perhaps it’s a ploy to introduce a younger generation to KonMari's domestic gospel. Who knows?

Over the past few years, Kondo's attracted a coterie of believers around the world, far outside her native Japan. As for me, well, I’m far from a Kondo acolyte, resistant to her charms by honest-to-God accident. I just wasn't paying attention Kondo during her meteoric rise, and I've always feared it was too late to hop on her bandwagon. But I’ll be honest that I'm pretty intrigued by this particular project. I know there are some who’ve suffered from Kondo fatigue as of late. If the world’s looking for an antidote, perhaps this will be it.

Shop the Story

Marie Kondo's new book comes out June 27, 2017. It's available for preorder here. Have a favorite KonMari technique? Let us know in the comments.

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Mayukh Sen is a James Beard Award-winning food and culture writer in New York. His writing has appeared in the New York Times, the New Yorker, Bon Appetit, and elsewhere. He won a 2018 James Beard Award in Journalism for his profile of Princess Pamela published on Food52.

1 Comment

Whiteantlers April 12, 2017
I bought the book and it did not give me joy, so it is gathering dust somewhere on a bookshelf. If you read it, she mentions getting into problems because she was throwing away other people's property. Ummm-slippery slope here? I have my own control issue and they don't need any more fuel.