This post outlines some ideas for implementing the KonMari method for kids.
One of the most common criticisms of the KonMari method is that the book doesn’t really give much guidance for how to organize children’s spaces.
Also, many of the KonMari practices are time-consuming and probably not very practical for a busy mom. Take, for example, folding clothing in a specific way. What mom has time for that? Honestly, I love having my own drawers filled with neatly folded clothing, but I don’t insist that my kids fold their clothes this way.
KonMari Method for Kids
Here are some ways I tweak the KonMari method to work in our home.
1. Forget about folding the clothing the way the book suggests.
Forget about the folding method unless your child enjoys folding their clothes this way!
I do have one daughter who likes to fold her clothes KonMari-style, but that’s her choice. For the rest of the kids’ clothes, we use these cube systems to simply drop the clothes in them. (The girls have pink and green drawers in their room and the boys have gray.) The beauty of this system is that the kids can just drop the clothes in the fabric drawers themselves. The downside is that it isn’t as orderly. 🙂
2. Only keep things that spark joy.
This is my favorite aspect of Marie Kondo’s method. Asking yourself if an item sparks joy helps solve a lot of potential questions about whether to keep an item or not.
And useful things fall into the “joy” category as well. Even if an item isn’t beautiful, if it serves an important purpose then it’s still a keeper.
3. Display items that bring joy, especially handmade creations.
In Kondo’s book, she says you shouldn’t keep things that you love hidden away in a box. You should find some way to display them, even if you decide to display them in a closet.
I think it’s especially important to display child-made art, especially if they’re pleased with the way their project turned out.
In the photo above, I added my oldest son’s first woodburning project to the framed art on his wall. He seemed really happy to have his work on display.
Of course there’s no way to display every project your child has ever done, but I feel like the joy factor increases when you decorate with something handmade. It also makes the decor seem more personalized.
4. Create a place for everything.
This is so key to any organizational method. There’s no way to keep things orderly unless each item has a specific home. If you don’t have room for it, maybe it’s time to get rid of it.
We don’t have very much floor space in our girls’ room, so we hang some things like purses and doll clothes. Of course more storage would be ideal, but sometimes you have to make do with what you have, and in our case that means more open storage.
5. Be discriminating about which toys you bring into your home.
This increases the “joy factor” for Mom. 🙂 I love toys made from wood and other natural materials. When I see wooden toys sitting on the shelf, I feel like I’m seeing a work of art. Plastic doesn’t quite have the same effect.
However, we do own some plastic toys that are such favorites with everyone that we could never part with them! For example, our huge collection of vintage Little People! When our children were younger, my mom started collecting these from eBay and second-hand shops, and now we have a pretty extensive collection.
These toys are played with regularly, and they do spark joy. I’ll probably hang onto them forever (so the grandchildren can play with them!). 🙂
6. If you’re a homeschooling family, accept that you probably won’t follow Marie’s advice about books!
The KonMari method advocates that you keep very few books. She says you’re not likely to read most of them again anyway. However, for bibliophiles and homeschoolers this may not be the case!
I will say that I am quick to donate books that don’t spark joy. But there are so many that do spark joy that it ends up being lots and lots of books. And lots of bookshelves. And that’s okay!
I do think it’s a good idea to go through them all and be discriminating. Only keep the books that you truly love or that younger siblings will be using for homeschooling.
We had some not-very-cute books (mostly board books) that had come from the Dollar Store and just weren’t needful, so I did get rid of those. But there are still so many! If you homeschool, you can probably relate!
7. Express Gratitude for your kids.
KonMari advocates thanking your things for their service. I would like to suggest that instead of doing that, we all thank the Lord for the gift of our children.
Soon enough (it happens sooner than we think) they will grow up and our homes will go back to being adult dwellings, without all the little evidences that children live here. I’ll miss these days of having children in our home!
Have you tried the KonMari method for kids? How has it changed your home?
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