Kondo has said that she was interested in organizing since childhood. In junior school, she ran into the classroom to tidy up bookshelves while her classmates were playing in Physical Education class. Whenever there was nomination for class roles, she did not seek to be the class representative or the pet feeder. Instead, she yearned to be the book shelf manager to continue to tidy up books. She says she experienced a breakthrough in organizing one day, "I was obsessed with what I could throw away. One day, I had a kind of nervous breakdown and fainted. I was unconscious for two hours. When I came to, I heard a mysterious voice, like some god of tidying telling me to look at my things more closely. And I realized my mistake: I was only looking for things to throw out. What I should be doing is finding the things I want to keep. Identifying the things that make you happy: that is the work of tidying.