A Celebrity Organizer Says Marie Kondo Stole Her Folding Method

Michele Petry
Photo credit: Getty Images

From House Beautiful

Oh no, Marie Kondo! A Los Angeles–based professional organizer has come forward to claim that the Tidying Up phenom "stole" the vertical-folding method (that many know as the KonMari Method) from her without crediting her.

The "Upright Folding Method"

Photo credit: Hearst Owned

Linda Koopersmith is a professional organizer and closet designer with an A-list roster of celebrity clients, including Chrissy Teigen and John Legend, Serena Williams, Jennifer Lopez, and Khloé Kardashian. Known as the Beverly Hills Organizer, Koopersmith costarred on the Style Network series Clean House from 2003–2005, long before Kondo's Netflix series-and even longer before The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up, the 2014 book that changed lives worldwide and inspired the show. Koopersmith tells Page Six that she invented what she called the "upright fold" a whopping 27 years ago, to help organize the drawers of her then-3-year-old daughter. (Indeed, her website's home page states, "Follow along as I teach you how to fold your clothing like a champion with my original Upright Folding technique!") The technique was featured on Clean House, in a book she wrote, and in various videos on her YouTube channel.

High-Profile Support

Koopersmith, who has also appeared in several episodes of the Hallmark Channel show Home & Family, tells Page Six, "When I first saw Marie demonstrate my fold on TV as her own, it was so upsetting. I felt like someone had stolen my baby. She calls it the Kondo method-but it is the Linda Koopersmith method!" Her colleagues and clients are speaking up to agree. Actress Niecy Nash, who hosted Clean House before starring in acclaimed shows like Getting On and Claws, went on the record in Koopersmith's defense: "Linda has been the queen of upright folding since we worked together on the Emmy-winning Clean House. I've always said she is the only person I know who can fold your underwear to look like origami! I've seen it with my own eyes, experienced it on television and in my home. She's the best in the biz."

Allen Haff, another Clean House costar who went on to host Auction Hunters, adds, "I, along with millions of weekly viewers, watched Linda use what she called her 'upright folding technique' long before anyone else could claim credit for it. She developed this technique, along with many other innovations, years before our time on that show." Mary Weiland, the former wife of late Stone Temple Pilots rock star Scott Weiland, tells Page Six that she learned the technique from Linda way back in 2003, after hiring her to organize her home.

What's Next?

Kondo's people have not commented on Koopersmith's claims. While Netflix has not yet announced whether Tidying Up will be renewed for a second season, the debut season was certainly a sensation, and it has been nominated for an Outstanding Achievement Award by the Television Critics Association. And Kondo herself just made a hit appearance at the prestigious Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity, where she charmed the crowd and announced two new books on the horizon: a children's book to be released later this year, and a book about tidying up at work for next year.

Want to judge the situation for yourself? Check out Koopersmith's 2005 book, The Beverly Hills Organizer's Home Organizing Bible, in which she lays out her complete organizing philosophy.

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