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Featured Expert at Work: Renelyn Tan – Castillejos

Renelyn Tan-Castillejos is a Certified KonMari Consultant from the Philippines. In early 2018, she decided to use the KonMari method in her own home. She found improvements not only in the physical state of her home but more importantly, in her personal and professional relationships. The impact that Renelyn experienced from KonMari was so significant that she pursued certification to become a KonMari Consultant. 

She is the founder of Yorokobi, a home organizing service where she guides clients to organize their ideal home using the KonMari method. A licensed broker herself, Renelyn explains the value of having a tidy home and why property owners should seek to achieve such.

What were you doing before you founded Yorokobi? 

My background was actually in social sciences – I was a Political Science major back in college. After I graduated, I worked in China as an English teacher. When I returned to Manila, I helped in our family’s real estate business. It was here that I got the experience of selling homes. But then my longest stint was in the international NGO community. I worked as a Regional Director and Programs Manager for World Youth Alliance for 12 years.

How did you discover the KonMari method?

When I got married, I joined my husband with his Batanes Travel and Tours business. During this time, I was going through a transition in my life where I didn’t know what I wanted to do for myself. I knew I wanted to help the community in some way. I needed to work on something of my own. We were living in a condominium, and it just struck me one day that there was a lot of clutter in our home. I saw Marie Kondo’s book ‘The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up’ book, and almost mechanically, I started tidying our room. After I finished, I felt like my mind had cleared up from all my confusion. I was so surprised with how the simple act of tidying up improved my disposition. I wanted to share this great method to family and friends. 

I found out about the KonMari Consultant Certification course, and I decided that this is what I wanted to do. Going into this was a risk; not a lot of people knew about KonMari in the Philippines yet at that time. It could have been easier to take something else. But I wanted to share this tidying method to the people around me, and I knew that this could be my way of helping people organize their homes.

What inspired the name Yorokobi?

Yorokobi means “joy” in Japanese, and it was  a good name for the business because the philosophy behind it is to spark joy in people’s homes. In this way, Yorokobi pays tribute to Marie Kondo’s Japanese roots and her vision of spreading joy one home at a time. 

How did you know Yorokobi could expand into something more than a personal practice?

After I experienced the positive change from KonMari, I knew that it would benefit other people too. Here’s what I’ve seen: when a home is tidy, it creates a space where people can truly live and enjoy their home. It becomes a nurturing place where people can be together. If the home isn’t welcoming and if it doesn’t feel like home, people may leave and spend time somewhere else.

As a Certified Consultant, I know the steps, categories, and rules to follow – but there will always be moments I can’t expect. But when it’s your life mission, even if you don’t know how to do something at first, you will be able to find the ways and means to do it because you love it.

For you, what’s the value of KonMari for home buyers?

Many home buyers look for the essential aesthetics of a house or condo before they even think about organizing it, and that’s perfectly fine. But KonMari is valuable in making the home a space that you truly love and make you happy. Often, a house isn’t how it was a year after you’ve moved into it. But it matters to give yourself the best space you can have each day.

KonMari does that because it continually asks what makes you happy. People shouldn’t be scared to discard items that don’t belong in their homes anymore. If you don’t leave space for other things in your life, new and better things will never enter.

How do you see Yorokobi growing in the future? 

Looking into  the future of Yorokobi, I would love to have a bigger team. Since I have to be physically present with the client, I only accept a limited number of clients now. But if I have a team who understands the KonMari principles, it would reach more people. 

What is your advice for anyone who wants to get started in KonMari?

For those who want to start applying KonMari in their own home, I always ask them, “How much do you love yourself?” When you do KonMari, it’s facing whatever you’re going through and asking yourself what makes you truly happy. If you want to have a nice home, it’s important to identify a sustainable way to achieve it. There’s value in giving yourself the best space you deserve.

For those who want to do this as a profession, well, just do it! It’s very exciting and worth it. It’s supporting people and making them understand the KonMari philosophy. Decluttering isn’t just about organizing a home without changing one’s unhealthy habits. In fact, it’s more about  making daily decisions to fill your home with items you truly value and love.

Renelyn continues to pursue her goal of supporting those around her each day through the KonMari method. Her story is a testament of how one’s passion can help others and fulfill one’s self in the process. To know more about Yorokobi, visit her website or follow her on Instagram at @worldofyorokobi.

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