Six things parents can learn from Marie Kondo’s Netflix show
Let’s KonMari this place!
Content Editor / January 08 2019
Unless you’ve been hiding under a rock, you’ll have heard of the Japanese organisational consultant Marie Kondo, best-selling author of The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up and now star of a new Netflix series called Tidying Up with Marie Kondo.
What’s great about Marie’s methods is that they work for families in that they are strategic and involve rethinking your approach to your home and life, rather than dashing in with a quick-fix solution. Plus she helps get everyone on board, even toddlers. Here are some great lessons to take away from Tidying Up.
1 Start with your clothes
Hands up who has mountains of laundry and drawers full of clothes which no longer fit? Pretty much every family you know, right? Marie’s first step to tidying up involves taking ALL of your clothes out of closets, off hooks, out of boxes and putting it in one huge heap. Next, sort through each individual item asking yourself whether it ‘sparks joy’ or not. Love it? Keep it. Hate it? Ditch it. Then once you’ve culled everything, you can begin to fold and pack it away. The beauty of this is you can get kids involved by helping them go through their clothes and choosing what to keep and what to let go.
2 Tidying is a family affair
In an episode called “The Downsizers”, Marie helps a family of four who have moved from a large house to a small two-bedroom apartment. Suffice to say, there is stuff everywhere. But there was a moment which broke my heart a little when the young daughter says “There’s no space, it’s hard for me to feel like this is an actual home” – which prompts her mother to get very teary and sad. Marie quickly enlists the whole family to get on board with tidying and caring for the home rather than always leaving it up to mum. Even toddlers can get on board with simple tasks and you will be teaching them a valuable skill for life.
3 Let things go with love
We all have sentimental clothing and kids toys that are difficult to part with. What is great about Marie is that she doesn’t judge when people go through the process of deciding what to keep and what to part with; but encourages them gently to ‘thank’ each item they get rid of. It might sound a little woo-woo, but it’s a respectful way to treat the things you once loved but which no longer serve you.
4 You don’t need to spend a fortune on storage
What’s so refreshing about Marie’s method is that she doesn’t bring in massive storage systems from IKEA or Kmart to help her clients declutter. Instead, she encourages people to use old shoe boxes to store everyday items such as t-shirts or kitchen utensils, often slotting them into larger drawers to create compartments. Such an awesome, cheap life hack.
5 Store items upright
While most of us are probably use to storing items such as clothing in piles in our drawers, Marie encourages upright storage. Not only does this create more space, you can actually see everything straight away when you open a drawer, whether it’s jeans, t-shirts or underwear. You can see Marie’s folding method below.
6 Decluttering gives you room for the things - and people - you love
In the episode “Tidying with Toddlers”, a frazzled couple with two young kids explain how their home is so cluttered that they don’t have the time, energy and space to enjoy life or each other. “I want things to be so simple so I don't have to be so stressed but I don't know how to fix it,” says mum Rachel. “I want to appreciate what I have instead of like needing more things.” While the road to a tidy, clutter-free house is not a short one, it’s worth investing the time in. At the end of the process (and even during it) the couple find they feel more romantic toward one another and are enjoying their time as a family together more too.
Nicola Conville has worked as a journalist and editor for more than 20 years across a wide range of print and online publications. Her areas of expertise are parenting, health and travel. She has two children; Lucy, age eight, and Nathan, age five.