The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up
The famous book written by Marie Kondo has given hope and advice to many. Learning to think about what “sparks joy” in your life and what does not can definitely be life-changing. Netflix has helped bring this advice to life by hosting the “Tidying Up with Marie Kondo” show. Marie has been going into people’s homes and helping them experience the magic of tidying. The advice she gives seems like grand advice unless you have kids. You start wondering how you could possibly put any of this into effect with children running around. Is it possible?
Absolutely! Below are just a few ways in which Marie Kondo’s method can help parents.
Everything Needs a Home
Remember that old saying, “A place for everything and everything in its place”? One of Marie Kondo’s lessons is about how important this principle is, and I cannot agree with her enough. When kids are involved, it is even more important. I cannot tell you how many times misplaced items end up cluttering my desk, the dining room table, or the kitchen counters, all because my children do not know where they go. Making a place for everything and teaching your children where that place is will cut down on the clutter immensely.
Allow Your Children to Organize Their Own Space
Every person has their own style and preferences, including kids. If a parent forces their style on a child’s space, it probably will not stay that way. However, if the parent allows the child to participate in the organizational style, there is a higher likelihood of success. When I started allowing my daughters to help organize and decorate their own bedroom, it was easier for them to keep tidy. Because everything is organized in a way that makes sense to them, they do not have to think about where their things go anymore.
Let Your Child Decide What Sparks Joy for Him or Her
It can be so tempting to purge your child’s stuff yourself. If you just got in there while they are not looking, they would not have half as many items left and it would so much neater! They wouldn’t even notice those toys gone, right?
Wrong! They will absolutely notice something missing that they love. Just do not even try it! Our children are individuals, and though we do not always understand them, they love what they love. We have to let them decide what makes them happy and what does not.
My five-year-old has a pair of lime green shorts that I would burn if it were up to me. They are old and faded and, truthfully, the style seems to be from when I was little. One day, I put them in a charity bag while she was not looking, but later, I decided I should talk to her about it. She said she did not want to get rid of them. When I asked why, she answered, “They’re my mint-stealing shorts. I can put your mints into the little pockets on the front!” I laughed because she is constantly grabbing mints off of my desk and hiding them in those shorts. I find them and tickle her until her tummy hurts with laughter. To me, those shorts were worthless, but to her, they are a part of our fun and games. We simply never know what emotional attachment they have to things, so we should let them choose what to get rid of.
Tidy Up In Front of Your Children
There are many grown women who have no clue how to clean or organize. Why? Their parents never taught them. Often, they never even saw the cleaning done- it just happened somehow. Allowing your children to see you tidy up and, hopefully, getting them involved will not only instill the tidying habit but also have them ready to care for their own home.
It’s Okay to Purge Kids’ Artwork
I know it can seem like a huge betrayal to purge those beautiful pieces of art that your kids have created, but rest assured that it is not. Often, kids forget before long that they made it for you. Display new art for a while but then keep only certain ones. Some people take photos of the work and make it a digital photo album. I have a wall in my home where they are allowed to display their work for a time. We then decide together what we want to put away and what we can throw away. Making them part of the decision-making process will cut back on any drama.