The Biggest Reasons People Hate The Marie Kondo Method

When Marie Kondo and The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up made the New York Times Bestseller List in 2014, her name became synonymous with decluttering. Like literally. People who were adopting the KonMari method called themselves "Konverts" who "Kondoed" their various living spaces. Konverts lived "for the high of domestic purging" and worked to Kondo everything in their lives that no longer "sparked joy" (via The Cut). The world even got to meet Marie Kondo when she swept onto Netflix and into the homes of self-confessed hoarders like a pixie version of Mary Poppins.

But for every Konvert, there are critics who feel Marie Kondo goes too far. She is even accused of hypocrisy over her company's decision to release a branded collection of three boxes called "Hikidashi," which is Japanese for "to draw out." The boxes are designed to fit inside your drawers, organize your clothes, and cost a whopping $89 per set. Hikidashi is seen as Kondo's bid to make a name in the home organization market, which is forecasted to be worth $11.8 billion in 2021 by the Freedonia Group. The boxes may be fully recyclable and designed by a former Apple employee who worked in package design, but aren't they just another way to create more clutter (via Fast Company)?

Hikidashi boxes aside, Kondo's critics have taken a stand against the cult of decluttering for reasons that range from a lack of time to a lack of sensitivity.

Who has time for KonMari closets?

Marie Kondo suggests rolling socks a specific way, and adopting a virtually origami-style of folding shirts so they can stand, which must be done before putting all laundry away in organized rows and boxes. And while there may be folks that have the energy and the bandwidth to deal with piles of clothes the Kondo way (think Camp Clean), there are those for whom putting away laundry away takes seven to 10 business days (Camp Clutter). If you don't have time, or thrive in organized (or disorganized) chaos, Kondoing isn't for you. 

"I know there must be people who have oodles of time to neatly fold and put away laundry," writes Kondo skeptic Cathy Ericson (via "Please, watch Kondo videos and tell me if you could do this while you were on a conference call or simultaneously checking homework and making dinner."

Clutter is comforting for some anti-Kondo folks

Purging and the KonMari method may be good for some folks, but it doesn't have the same magic effect for others, says Daniel Levitin, a neuroscientist and author of The Organized Mind. "I'm wary of a prescription for everyone because we are all different and need different things," he tells Insider. "I want public figures to embrace diversity rather than saying we have to [organize] a certain way." 

He also points out that the KonMari method doesn't distinguish between tidiness and organization because he believes a person can be organized without looking that way to others. A professor, for instance, might have what looks like a cluttered office because it could be piled high with books and papers, but the professor would know exactly where everything is... which means he or she is organized. In this instance, Levitin doesn't think tidying would make life easier or better.

Hey Marie Kondo — books are not the enemy

Discuss Marie Kondo's method of waking up books by touching them lightly and with the intent of culling your book collection, and you may as well be issuing a declaration of war against book lovers everywhere. "Do NOT listen to Marie Kondo or KonMari in relation to books," novelist Anakana Schofield tweeted. "Fill your apartment & world with them. The woman is very misguided about BOOKS. Every human needs a v extensive library not clean, boring shelves."

While Kondo's actual advice is to see if every single one of your books sparks joy for you, book lovers like Book World critic Ron Charles consider the advice to be problematic when it comes to literature. "We're not after sparks of joy — we want to swim in wonder," he writes in the Washington Post. He describes his home after he was named a judge for the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction as being filled to the brim with literature — and he was OK with that. "Books started piling up in the kitchen," he wrote. "Under the table. On the table. On all horizontal surfaces. Stalagmites of books rose from the living room floor. Streams of books converged into rivers that emptied into oceans of literature."

Clutter is a privilege for some

Marie Kondo is also skeptical of hanging onto things that have sentimental value. She warns against giving things to family and friends unless they ask, and doesn't appear to be a fan of items that may have sentimental value. Unsurprisingly, those ideas don't sit well with families who might have been forced to abandon their homes and belongings due to tragedy. 

"For affluent Americans who've never wanted anything, Kondo sells an elegant fantasy of paring back and scaling down at a time when simplicity is a hot trend," writes Arielle Bernstein in The Atlantic. "It's easy to see the items we own as oppressive when we can so easily buy new ones. But for families that have experienced giving up their dearest possessions up unwillingly, 'putting things in order' is never going to be as simple as throwing things away."