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What Marie Kondo Can’t Live Without

Photo-Illustration: The Strategist; Photos: KonMari Inc

If you’re like us, you’ve probably wondered what famous people add to their carts. Not the JAR brooch and Louis XV chair but the hair spray and electric toothbrush. We asked Marie Kondo — who recently published a new book, Kurashi at Home — about the bath salts she uses to unwind, the matcha she prefers for her tea ceremonies, and the seaweed chips she snacks on while working.

I’m a huge fan of bath salts. I really love the scent of this soak. It’s very reminiscent of Japan for me — in addition to cedarwood, it uses a type of Japanese pine. I think there might be a Himalayan pink salt in there as well. So it has a very calming effect. When time allows, I use this every day. It helps me unwind and really gives me that moment of relaxation. Even if I’m running short on time and I can’t take a bath, I will just take a little bit and make a foot bath to keep my feet warm. That alone gives me a hugely refreshing feeling as well.

I personally love a very traditional-style Japanese bento. That means there will usually be some rice inside the bento as well as cooked veggies — simmered daikon, for example, or maybe some boiled broccoli — plus a protein. But what I do try to be very mindful of is the overall presentation and nutrition balance. And, of course, things that look really pretty spark joy for me, so I definitely want to get all the colors right and placed nicely inside the bento box. I would use this in any scenario — if I’m working, I may premake something for myself, or use it to pack my kids’ lunch for school.

I absolutely love matcha, not just for the taste and the benefits but also the ritual component — the ceremony of preparing the tea itself. It’s more of a day or afternoon routine for me; I definitely wouldn’t drink it at night, just because of the caffeine content. After I finish the work I wanted to get done in the morning, I would sit down and have a little tea ceremony for myself to calm my mind. As for the process itself, I first use this tool called the chashaku, which is like a tiny little spoon. I take the matcha powder, put it into a vessel or a bowl, and slowly pour the hot water over it. Then I take the chasen, which is anther tool, usually made out of bamboo, that you use to stir and whisk the tea. You want to give it enough of a stir that it creates these tiny, very fine little bubbles at the top. That’s when you know you have a really smooth texture for your green tea. The reason I chose the Sayuri brand is, of course, the availability — it’s accessible in North America — but also the design and how it’s packaged. When there’s a lot of thought put into the brand, it makes me feel good bringing it into my daily life.

I’m personally a huge fan of nori seaweed. The wasabi-flavored one has an extra little zing of spice that gives me a refreshing feeling to help clear the mind. I will usually grab a bag and snack on it while working or maybe during a break in between tasks.

I actually started using this particular purifier very recently. A friend of mine recommended it. For me, home appliances are something that you really don’t know how it will perform when you’re looking at it on the store shelf; you have to take it home and live with it. Because it came with such a high recommendation from a friend, it gave me a little more confidence going into it, and after experiencing it, I can introduce it to you as well. Noise-wise, it’s quite quiet from what I’ve seen so far. What I like about it is not just its filtering capability but how the design integrates into our home and life.

I use these brushes before bathing at night. It’s a very important self-care routine for me and helps put my mind at ease. It’s part of my evening ritual because it feels like it purifies everything you’ve been through during the day. It helps improve blood flow throughout your body, which gives you a warm feeling, but also I think it makes my skin shine or glimmer a bit more than when I wasn’t doing it.

I was actually really surprised because mochi ice cream is a very traditional dessert or snack. I wasn’t expecting it to be sold in the U.S. I was introduced to it when a friend brought it over as a gift, and since then I’ve tried to get my hands on it whenever I could.

Given the linen material and how much airflow it allows and how it feels on the skin, I would wear this robe often in the spring or summer — when I want to relax after taking a bath, for example. It’s really important that what I wear is made out of natural materials, and this is 100 percent linen, so that really helps me put my mind at ease. The way it touches your skin — and the kimonolike design — is also very important for me. So it’s an invaluable item to my daily routine.

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What Marie Kondo Can’t Live Without