It has been two weeks since completing the KonMari Consultant training program in New York and a few people have already contacted me about my experience. I'm happy to share what I can, keeping in mind that much of the material presented during the seminar is proprietary.
This is the first time that consultant training has been available outside Japan. I heard rumours that it was coming, so I kept a close watch on the website for the announcement. Good thing I did, as the San Francisco workshop sold out in less than 24 hours and New York sold out following day. Who knew so many people were Kondo-crazy!
Participants knew little before arriving, but once there we learned that 120 people would attend the workshops across both cities. I expected to see Americans and maybe a few Canadians, but was thrilled to meet attendees who flew in from around the world, including Brazil, Belgium, Costa Rica, Dubai, England, Ireland, Mexico and even far off New Zealand!
There was a buzz in the air as everyone gathered in a small conference room in mid-town Manhattan. We were divided in groups according to our geographic area. I sat with 5 Canadians from Ontario, Quebec and Nova Scotia, as well as an Aussie and a Kiwi. We called ourselves Team Commonwealth and quickly became good friends.
The program kicked off with a lecture by the Queen of Tidy herself! Marie shared the story of how she built her business from scratch. You could call it Rags-to-Riches, but it feels wrong associating dirty rags with Marie Kondo. I can’t deny tearing up when she explained her hope that by making the world a more joyful and tidy place, we could contribute just a wee bit to achieving world peace. Perhaps it’s the Brazilian in me that longs for a less chaotic world!
Marie then introduced us to her first trainee, Mitsugu, a former client, who is now the President of the Konmari Association in Japan. She was a wonderful instructor and had a wealth of experience to share.
The first day of training focused on how to support clients during sessions. We broke it down by category and identified common challenges with each one. If you have gone through the KonMari process you know that each category presents a unique challenge. For some people, discarding clothes is no sweat, but books are scary. For others, books are no big deal, but discarding mementos produces anxiety overload. To address this, we learned how to provide individualized support while staying true to the system.
While most of the session was devoted to hearing from the trainers, there were still opportunities to share and ask questions. The training ended for the day around 5 pm but I wasn’t ready to part ways with my new friends. We ended our evening with a glass of Prosecco to celebrate our first day at Kondo University.
Day two began with a Q&A session on topics from the previous day. There were lively debates over how to handle situations which shed light on the backgrounds of some of my fellow participants. It was fascinating to see issues approached from the perspective of a lawyer, a banker, a professional organizer. Each person brought a different lens and allowed us to see problems from many angles.
The impressive nature of my fellow participants also reflected the influence of the KonMari system. There is a reason Marie Kondo is one of Time Magazine's 100 Most Influential People - I think it has as much to do with the clutter in our minds as the clutter in our homes. When you take the time to transform your home, you start to re-imagine your life. I recall a story from one of the trainers about a client who took discarding unwanted objects so seriously that she had shed a husband by the time she was done!
The final day was spent on the practical side of how to run our business. We pitched our marketing strategy and everyone received feedback from each other. I have to say, the camaraderie between participants was one of my favourite things about the experience.
At the end of our final day, Marie congratulated us on finishing the first step in the certification process and encouraged us to keep learning. Despite her tiny stature, she is an inspiring force of nature and just so gracious, attentive and accessible! We also took some photos with her and she signed our books.
And that’s it folks. My first step to become a Konmari consultant! I learned a lot, met some new friends and departed with excitement and optimism for the journey ahead.
If you have questions about my experience please do comment or send me a message.
2017 Update: In November 2016, I successfully completed the KonMari Consultant certification process, becoming the first Canadian and second-ever consultant certified outside of Japan. It was an amazing experience that began with this truly life-changing seminar.