How much it really costs to tidy up like Marie Kondo
Tidying expert Marie Kondo believes the key to transforming a cluttered home into a peaceful sanctuary is to keep only the items that spark joy, and discard everything else. And thanks to the popularity of her Netflix series, “Tidying Up With Marie Kondo,” it seems that everyone has jumped onto the “KonMari method” bandwagon.
But is the KonMari method affordable to put into practice? Decide for yourself whether living minimally is worth the cost.
Read the Book
- Cost: $16.99 for “The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing”
The first step to the KonMari method is reading “The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up,” Marie Kondo’s New York Times best-selling guide to her particular method of organizing. The book explains Kondo’s category-by-category system to tidying up and is based on her principle that you should only keep belongings that spark joy within yourself.
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Watch the Netflix Show
- Cost: $8.99 to $15.99 for a monthly subscription
To see the KonMari method in action, it’s worth streaming the hit Netflix series “Tidying Up With Marie Kondo.” Kondo meets with clients in need of a home makeover, and she uses her method to teach them how to be tidy and guide them through the decluttering process. You’ll be able to pick up some useful tips as you watch.
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Hire a Consultant: Green Level
- Cost: $99 for an in-home consultation
If you want to take your tidying to the next level, consider hiring one of Kondo’s certified KonMari consultants. The cost of services will vary by their certification level — there are six levels ranging from “green” to “master” — as well as the types of services that you’re seeking.
A certified green-level consultant has performed at least 10 tidying sessions with two clients. Sunny Juan, based in San Diego, Calif., is one of these consultants, and she charges $149 for a virtual video call, $99 for an in-home consultation and $75 an hour for in-home sessions. During the initial in-home consultation, Juan will help you decide how to choose what to keep and what to discard by teaching you how to tell if an item “sparks joy.”
Hire a Consultant: Bronze Level
- Cost: $250 for a three- to five-hour session
Want a more experienced consultant to handle your home? Certified bronze-level KonMari consultants have completed at least 50 tidying sessions with five clients. Yoko Saito-Thompson is an Idaho-based bronze-level consultant who charges $250 for each three- to five-hour work session. She also offers session packages ranging from $1,350 for six sessions to $3,000 for 15 sessions.
During the first session with Saito-Thompson, she will help you come up with a tidying plan and spend the bulk of the session decluttering your clothes — which of course entails Kondo’s signature method of folding them in a way that enables them to stand up vertically.
Hire a Consultant: Silver Level
- Cost: $375 for a five-hour session
To reach silver status as a KonMari consultant, you have to complete at least 100 tidying sessions with 10 clients. Erin Mursch is a silver-level KonMari consultant based in Austin, Texas, and she offers three-hour sessions for $250 and five-hour sessions for $375. Mursch says the average home should have six separate five-hour sessions, which she offers as a bundle deal for $2,150. Each session might tackle one of the categories of organization: clothing, books, paper, komono (miscellaneous items) and sentimental items.
Hire a Consultant: Gold Level
- Cost: $3,000 for a two-day “tidying intensive”
You have to complete at least 200 tidying sessions with 20 clients to become a certified gold-level KonMari consultant. Patty Morrissey has enough experience to reach this distinction, and she passes along everything she has learned to her clients.
Morrissey charges $750 for an initial session, and offers monthly subscriptions that range from $500 to $2,000 depending on the desired number of sessions. She also offers “tidying intensives” for people who want their organizing done fast — they’re ideal for people who are moving and want to do a full purge, or who just moved into a new home and want to get unpacked quickly. A two-day intensive will set you back $3,000.
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Hire a Consultant: Platinum Level
- Cost: $323 plus travel expenses for the first session
Platinum-level KonMari consultants have completed a minimum of 300 tidying sessions with 30 clients. Currently, there aren’t any platinum consultants in the U.S., but if you live in the U.K., you can hire Aline Lau to transform your tidying process. Lau charges 250 pounds ($323) plus travel expenses for the initial session, and 40 pounds ($52) per hour plus travel expenses for each additional session.
Having someone with this kind of advanced knowledge will help ensure you don’t abandon the KonMari method and fall into bad habits.
Hire a Consultant: Master Level
- Cost: $575 for an introductory lesson
There are currently only two people who have earned the distinction of being a certified master-level KonMari consultant. Master consultants have completed at least 500 tidying sessions with 50 clients. Caitlin Roberts, who has achieved master-level certification, charges $575 for an introductory lesson, during which someone from her Minimize With Purpose team will come to your home and help you set tidying goals. If you want further one-on-one help with your tidying, you can buy monthly lessons for $400 a pop.
Note that if you live with a spouse, partner or children, everyone needs to be on board. “In order for the process to work effectively, we recommend that each member be an active participant,” Roberts said on her site. “If there is a family member or spouse who is unwilling, their spaces inside the home will be avoided during the decluttering and organizing process.”
Buy the Official Hikidashi Box Set
- Cost: $89 for six boxes
Kondo believes that everything in your home should have its place, and is a big fan of using boxes to keep things organized within closets and drawers. So, it’s only natural that the creator of the KonMari method has launched her own set of boxes.
The Hikidashi Box set is named for the Japanese word for “drawer,” and features six boxes of three varying sizes. The set sold for $89, but good luck buying them currently — it’s out of stock as of January 2019, according to Good Housekeeping. However, you might be able to purchase cheaper alternatives on Amazon or other retailers.
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Purchase an Organizer for Your Utensil Drawer
- Cost: $19.99 for a Madesmart Expandable Cutlery Tray
Declutter your kitchen drawers with a utensil tray, which ensures that every knife, fork and spoon has a place. It also keeps your utensils from becoming a jumble of metal and plastic.
Buy Bins to Tidy an Overflowing Pantry
- Cost: $10.99 to $19.99 for iDesign Cabinet Binz Storage Bins
To tidy a pantry, Kondo recommends using the “box within a box” strategy. Use clear storage bins on shelves and in drawers to store items vertically so that you can easily see everything you have.
Get a Keepsake Box to Store Sentimental Items
- Cost: $19.99 for a Pink My Baby Keepsake Box
For sentimental items that you don’t necessarily want to display, Kondo recommends buying a keepsake box as storage. You can find several keepsake boxes for sale on Amazon.
Display Other Sentimental Items in a New Bookscase
- Cost: $54.99 for Room Essentials Three-Shelf Trestle Bookcase
Sentimental items might look like clutter if they’re not neatly displayed. A new bookcase can serve as a more organized way to show off these items.
Purchase a Dresser to Keep More Items Organized
- Cost: $412.49 for Threshold Gilford Six-Drawer Dresser (on sale)
Sometimes, you simply have too much stuff to neatly store in the closets and drawers you already have, which can result in messy piles. Adding another dresser to a bedroom or living room is an easy solve. For more inexpensive options, you could buy your home goods at Ikea.
How 'Tidying Up' Has Made Marie Kondo Rich
Through her book, Netflix show, products and consulting services, Kondo has amassed a net worth of $8 million, according to Celebrity Net Worth. “The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up” has sold several million copies worldwide, and her Netflix series has sparked a cultural phenomenon. Kondo also makes big bucks through her consultant certification program. Consultants must attend seminars that cost about $1,500, and pay an annual membership fee of $500 to keep their certification.
She might be helping others tidy up, but Kondo is the one who’s cleaning up in the process.
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