Sparking joy: Meet the only KonMari consultant in Cleveland

If you see a license plate that reads “HOME JOY” toting around town, you've likely spotted Cleveland's only certified KonMari consultant, Chris Beers.

A Japanese approach to decluttering popularized by the recent Netflix show "Tidying Up with Marie Kondo," the KonMari method prompts participants to purge or keep belongings based on whether they ”spark joy," and it's essentially made Kondo a household name.

"It's not just a process of home organizing, it's a way of life," explains Beers. "The method centers around the cultivation of joy."

Before photo of a client's homeBut before Beers could find his calling helping others clear their clutter, he says he had to streamline and simplify his own life. His path to becoming a KonMari consultant has been a long and winding one—taking him from New York to Italy to Singapore and back. He’s studied fine art, painting, and drawing; led guerilla gardening efforts; helped launch an organic cosmetics company; worked on farms; and made whiskey in a distillery.

In 2016, he started a community-supported agriculture business in New York, but when that venture left him $20,000 in debt, Beers found himself back at square one.

“I started working for my father’s carpet cleaning business and driving for Uber, and I was seeking guidance in life,” says Beers. “I felt like I needed a teacher.”

Beers found it in the practice of Qigong, a Chinese health method that utilizes movement, breathwork, and meditation to help achieve balance and vitality. “I gained a deeper level of clarity about what matters to me,” shares Beers.

In researching new careers, Beers was considering home organizing when a friend recommend he read Kondo’s book, The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up. Beers did a deep-dive, “devouring” the book in both audio and print over a period of a few days. He then spent five days using the method to completely declutter his house, which sealed the deal for his new direction.

After photo of the same home“It became very obvious that home organizing was something that could be life-changing for people,” says Beers. “Once you’re asking yourself what brings you joy, then you’re asking things like, ‘What type of lifestyle do I want to live? Which people do I want to be around? What matters to me in life?’”

Beers received his certification in the KonMari method in September 2017—via a three-day training that he calls “one of the happiest times of my life”—and started taking on clients in March 2018. Since then, he has worked up to 30 hours per week with clients around Cleveland, as well as in Pittsburgh, Akron, and Canton; currently, Beers is the only certified KonMari consultant in the region.

“A whole home project could take three to six months, or even a year,” says Beers, who charges $30 for a consultation and $425 for a five-hour organization session.

Beers is excited about the future, as well as the momentum brought on by the Netflix show. (Since the show debuted, his website has received 10 times the usual amount of traffic, and Beers has also attracted several new clients.) "It's a a lot easier to talk to people about what I do now," shares Beers. 

Right now, Beers is in the process of changing his business’ name from Field Play to Home Joy, and he’s also planning several workshops. On Wednesday, February 27, he'll make an appearance at the KonMari Market event at B-Side, where attendees can sip cocktails as they sell items that no longer spark joy.

Read more articles by Jen Jones Donatelli.

As a Cleveland native and enthusiast, Jen Jones Donatelli is thrilled to take on the managing editor role at FreshWater. As a full-time freelance writer and editor for more than a decade, Jen has contributed to publications including Redbook, Budget Travel, GOOD, Playboy, Thrillist, Cleveland Magazine, Los Angeles Confidential, San Francisco, Ohio Today, and many more. She is also a contributing editor for Destination Cleveland and a proud graduate of Ohio University's E.W. Scripps School of Journalism.
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