Marie Kondo has 'given up' on keeping tidy and it's the wake up call we needed

The tidying expert and mum of three is letting go of constant perfection

Marie Kondo standing next to stone wall
(Image credit: Kurashi at Home is available now)

Marie Kondo has admitted that she's 'given up' on trying to keep things tidy all the time after becoming a mother of three.

The tidying expert's folding methods have transformed messy drawers and wardrobes across the planet, and almost everyone's familiar with the idea of only keeping items that spark joy. With millions of books sold, a Netflix series and an online shop, Marie Kondo is synonymous with clutter-free spaces, storage and organisation

'Kondo-ing' has even become a verb. When we spoke to the tidying expert about her latest book, Kurashi at Home she shared an insight into her home life that will be a small comfort to parents of young children.

kids storage with clothes and toys

(Image credit: Kurashi at Home is available now)

In her new book, Marie explains that 'kurashi' can be translated as the ideal way to spend one's time. When speaking to her about things she finds difficult to organise, she said she has 'given up' on keeping things tidy all the time. 

'What I struggle with right now? My children are little, I've got three of them, and so it's the children's mess and not having time to tidy,' Marie shares. 'And the way that I've dealt with that is to just give up on expecting it to be tidy all the time,' she says. 

'So, recently, what I've been doing is just leaving the mess during the day, turning a blind eye to that, and just doing a big tidy once the children go to bed.'

Marie Kondo's book cover Kurashi at Home

(Image credit: Marie Kondo, Kurashi at Home)

Kurashi at Home: How to Organize Your Space and Achieve Your Ideal Life | £12.50 at Amazon

On her website, KonMari, Marie shares her thoughts on motherhood. We all know that she popularised the notion of only holding onto things that 'spark joy' during the decluttering process, but now admits that instead of tidying, watching her children grow is her source of daily happiness and that her 'little ones exude joy!'

There's something beautiful about letting go of perfection to be present in the moment, and Marie shares the perfect example of that practice.

Marie Kondo

(Image credit: KonMari Media, Inc)

Busy parents can relax a little in the knowledge that the world's most famous figurehead of tidiness faces the same challenges as everybody else. Marie's comments also highlight that our own expectations around how our homes should look can be unnecessary pressure.

If your living room resembles a mini Legoland despite post-bedtime tidying sessions, we'd recommend trying out some different toy storage ideas, having a relaxed approach like Marie, and remembering that the big plastic toy phase is not forever.

Trying to tidy up throughout the day can also be counter-productive, so follow Marie Kondo's lead and just let it happen rather than having to get toys back out repeatedly. If you are lucky enough to have the space, playroom ideas can help contain the sea of toys, providing a dedicated area for kids to play.

open shleving with vases, plant and painting

(Image credit: Kurashi at Hoe is available now)

Hey, if Marie Kondo can embrace the mess, so can we.

Kurashi at Home: How to Organize Your Space and Achieve Your Ideal Life by Marie Kondo is available now.

Millie Hurst
Senior Content Editor

Millie Hurst was Senior Content Editor at Ideal Home from 2020-2022, and is now Section Editor at Homes & Gardens. Before stepping into the world of interiors, she worked as a Senior SEO Editor for News UK in both London and New York. You can usually find her looking up trending terms and finding real-life budget makeovers our readers love. Millie came up with the website's daily dupes article which gives readers ways to curate a stylish home for less. 

With contributions from