Marie Kondo's secrets to decluttering for tired parents!
“Tidying requires mindfulness, fosters gratitude and instills discipline", she says. Here then are some of Marie Kondo's tips for parents for stress-free decluttering!
She came, she saw, she KonMari-d. Decluttering queen Marie Kondo, author of bestseller, The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up, is today a household name thanks to her Netflix show, “Tidying Up with Marie Kondo”.
According to Marie, the key to a clutter-free home is simple. With every single item that you own, ask yourself the question, “Does it spark joy?”
Keep only those things that bring you joy!
While we all have been rather mesmerized by Marie’s magic, most of us parents have had our moments of skepticism too.
“Is that stuff even possible when you have kids?”
Well, turns out, it is, at least according to Marie, who is also mommy to 2 adorable little girls, Satsuki, 3, and Miko, 2.
Not surprisingly, Marie has managed to Kondo her kids.
“It’s never too early to learn how to tidy up. You can let your children take on a challenge when they turn about 1 year old, after they learn how to walk”, she once told the Wall Street Journal.
Follow the right order while cleaning up and de-cluttering
The KonMari method recommends tidying up by category, not by location. Plus, you need to follow the correct order which is, clothes, books, papers, komono (miscellaneous items) and sentimental items.
Sentimental items are usually the hardest to part with, which is why, Marie recommends that you save it for the last stage.
The focus should not be on throwing, but on choosing what to keep.
Follow the KonMari method of folding and stacking
The KonMari method of folding and stacking is unique. The idea is to fold your clothes into a rectangle. Basically, clothes should be folded in a manner that allows them to “stand on end.”
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“Fold what can be folded, and stand upright what can be stood up”, shares Marie, a fierce advocate of stacking clothes vertically.
Check out Marie Kondo’s special method of folding clothes, which apparently works just as well on baby clothes!
When it comes to baby clothes, Marie also recommends that the folded clothes be kept into boxes first, and not directly into the drawer.
“It might seem time consuming at first, but once you organize everything this way, you’ll find that you actually save time. No more looking around for lost t-shirts and resorting your drawer every morning!”
Give everything inside the house a ‘home’
Giving every single item in the house a specific place makes finding them, and putting them back a lot easier.
And that includes, allotting specific spaces for kids’ stuff.
“One tip I share is how having designated spaces for children’s belongings makes parents more aware of how much they need to buy of a certain item. After all, your home is a finite space!”
“Additionally, this helps children follow through with putting objects back where they found them”, Marie shares on Instagram. Apparently, she has allotted her kids a certain number of drawers for their stuff.
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Encourage children to be responsible about their own belongings and make their own tidying up ‘decisions’
Marie believes in starting them young! Apparently, Marie’s older daughter was picking up and folding her clothes by the age of 2!
“Tidying requires mindfulness, fosters gratitude and instills discipline”, she says.
Each person (and child) in the house should be responsible for making the decisions about his or her own things.
While tidying up, teach the kids that before they discard something (which sparks no joy), they should thank it first, and be grateful for the happiness it brought to their life.
Remind them that, it might no longer bring them joy, but it might bring someone else joy.
Learning how to choose what they should keep, and what they should discard is actually a good experience for the kids, according to Marie.
“When children go through the sadness of letting things go, that can be a good experience for them. I wouldn’t want to eliminate such emotions”, she says.
So, what if some of your kids’ stuff sparks joy in them, but gives you no happiness?
Marie strongly believes that children should be allowed to keep anything that continues to spark joy in them, no matter what others think.
She suggests however, that parents and kids can agree on a specific storage area for their stuff, and that it is stored there always.
Being organized actually sparks creativity in kids
Being organized is not boring, it actually sparks greater creativity in kids, according to Kondo.
Kids can utilize the time and energy they normally spend looking for things, for more creative pursuits.
Tidying also clears up the mind of all the clutter and makes focussing a lot easier.
Walk the talk as parents
Children see, children do.
So don’t expect your kids to start tidying up if you haven’t been following the rules yourself.
“One thing I strive to do is to show by example. For instance, I make sure to fold the laundry in front of my daughters, even if they’re still young, so that they can see how much I am enjoying tidying.”
“I want them to learn that tidying is a comforting and enjoyable process”, says Marie.
So what say, parents? Are you ready to KonMari your life?
Republished with permission from The Asian Parent Singapore