It's difficult to keep clutter at bay when you have kids. Their essentials are as many as the cute clothes and toys you just have to buy for your little ones. And when they start getting creative, it becomes even harder to let go of drawings that look similar. What to do? Take tips from Marie Kondo.
Decluttering guru Marie Kondo is taking her famous "KonMari" method a step further. The New York Times best-selling author of The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up became a first-time mom not too long after she rose to stardom, but swears that her philosophy still applies when she organizes her kids' things.
"When we [Kondo and husband, Takumi Kawahara] found out we were having a child, my husband and I went through a de-cluttering festival by reviewing things we had. And we discussed how much space -- for example, how many drawers -- we could give to our daughter," says Kondo, now a mom to Satsuki, 2, and Miko, 10 months, shared with The Wall Street Journal.
Kondo, however, admits that her minimalist and Zen technique of decluttering needs a bit of tweaking for moms. It's because, as she may also have experienced, moms don't have as much free time to tackle a space. However, on deciding which things to keep, donate, throw away, parents should still ask themselves if the item sparks joy.
Here are a few guidelines on how to KonMari your home when you have kids:
Decide where to store your kids' things. The space you have allotted should dictate your limit, for example, when you're buying clothes or toys.
Tackle items by type. Since most moms have little spare time, instead of tackling an entire closet, start with, say, shirts or socks first.
Get rid of items that do not spark joy. For every item, ask yourself, "Does this spark joy?" If an item does not, thank it and let it go, she wrote in her book. (Read more about her method here.)
It could be a problem with sentimental items such as kids' artwork. Kondo suggests that when things that spark joy do not fit their assigned space, it's time to lay them out on a table and decide which ones to keep. "Seeing all the items in the open visually with your own eyes and understanding actually how much you have will help you decide on which ones to keep and throw away," Kondo says in the video that accompanied the article.
The mom of two plans to publish a picture book for kids to teach them that to clean up is part of growing up. "It’s never too early," Kondo said, adding that parents can start teaching kids at about age one after they've learned to walk. Let them know how much space they have and pick only things that spark joy. Kondo said it's a good learning experience for kids, processing their emotions when need to let go of things.