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Cannes Lions 2019: “Less Stuff, More Joy”, Marie Kondo Takes Her Life-Changing Tidying Expertise to Cannes

Words by Jamie Tolentino-Deludet; Photos from Cannes Lions Festival 

Lynne Anne Davis, President of Fleishman-Hillard Asia Pacific interviewed tidying expert Marie Kondo and her husband Takumi Kawahara on the Konmari method at the Lumiere Stage, Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity 2019.


The Japanese art of minimalism is unfolding on a massive scale, thanks to Marie Kondo, star of the hit Netflix series based on her best-selling book, “The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up.”

Marie’s simple but effective mantra “Does it spark joy?” has inspired millions to confront their possessions and let go of anything that no longer serves them. Marie – and her KonMari Method – now has a global following, with 3 million followers on Twitter to boot.

Marie’s top tips are the following:

Let go of anything that doesn’t spark joy.

She claims that it’s not enough to just look at all your possessions. If you touch each item, you will either feel uplifted or heavy. This reaction will tell you whether to keep or discard the item.

Put an order to your tidying

Tidy by category and not by location so that you see everything at once. You should tidy in the following order: Clothing, books, documents, miscellaneous items then sentimental items.

Takumi shares that he met Marie in an elevator when they were 20. At first, he didn’t understand what Marie meant when she introduced her profession because tidying expert is not a traditional career in Japan.

However, Marie’s career started to take off when people were so impressed by her book that they started sharing it to their friends and posting about it on social media. It was also a book that was gifted to other people a lot.

The Netflix documentary came about later and it turns out that a number of people including camera crew, production team and lighting crew were Konmari fans. Fans are not gender specific because men were equally interested in the method.

Marie Kondo shared a story about a friend who was thinking about divorcing her husband. Surprisingly, after tidying all her belongings and only being surrounded by items that sparked joy, she touched her husband. Upon realizing that she felt joy, she revoked her decision to divorce.

Takumi shares that tidying is not just an action but also a process of self-reflection. This is probably why the Konmari method is a global phenomenon today.

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