There are many ways to live a healthy life. The Health Diaries is a weekly series about the habits that keep notable people living well.
It’s been a whirlwind year for Marie Kondo, the beloved professional organizer and sparker of joy.
Between her bestselling book, The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up, and her hit Netflix show, Kondo has reached a level of ubiquity that’s uncommon for book authors. Her approach to cleaning — known as the the KonMari Method — hinges on getting rid of things that do not “spark joy.” She takes a similar approach to her own well-being.
Kondo chatted with Medium about how she uses her tidying methods in her own life to live better and more balanced.
I wake up at 6 every morning, and I do not use an alarm clock. Then I open the window and welcome fresh air into my house, and I burn incense.
I make it a priority to eat Japanese food that I prepare myself. For breakfast, I cook rice in my donabe, accompanied by miso soup mixed with lots of seasonal vegetables. I also like to eat as much fermented food as possible. For example, I like natto (fermented soybeans) and homemade amazake (a sweet fermented rice drink). Overall, I try to eat the foods that suit my physical condition and avoid processed sugar. If I crave something sweet, I’ll look to natural, wholesome foods to satisfy those cravings, like fruit.
Work-life balance is a flexible concept to me. There’s no need to adhere to a strict standard. I prioritize by considering how I want to spend my time in spans of years, quarters, months, and weeks. Then I work my way down to daily routines. By doing this, I can align my time with goals that matter at that particular stage of my life.
I like to consult with my husband so we can figure out the balance that suits us. He works with me. For example, if I have a pending deadline for a book I’m writing, I might need to dedicate a full week to nothing but work. For me, work-life balance is about being aware of what you’re currently working toward and communicating that with your loved ones.