There is no denying it: daily life can be a chaotic, stressful headache. With busy jobs, full schedules, and endless commitments, it can sometimes be hard to find the space to breathe, especially if you have children.
Here at Twin Cities Kids Club, we offer you access to some of the best discounts and family-friendly events around. We also aim to help you make your life easier, and share our top hacks and tips!
While it may be tricky to handle some areas of life, there is one aspect that can be brought firmly back under control: your home. Unless you have been living under a rock for the last few years, chances are you will have heard of the latest innovation in tidying and cleaning: the KonMari method.
What Is The KonMari Method?
The origin of the phrase comes from its creator: Marie Kondo. This tiny Japanese woman has revolutionized the industry and invented an innovative method that is aimed to help you declutter your home and experience a sense of peace, calm, and joy.
The basis of the method is to consider those objects in your home, which spark joy. You achieve this joy by a personal connection and an orderly system that sees the owner go through their belongings one by one, discarding those items which no longer spark joy.
The desired result is to achieve a clean, uncluttered living space that is only filled with those things you genuinely love. As you can imagine, this is a hugely appealing concept and can result in a stress-free and enjoyable life.
The real question is whether you can achieve this orderly life with kids and the good news? A calm ordered home could be just within reach if you follow a few simple steps.
How To KonMari With Kids
Start with what’s easy
There is a simple place to start your clearout: by getting rid of anything which is damaged or broken. Don’t feel tempted to keep it “just in case” you get round to repairing it someday. If you haven’t fixed it by now, you never will, so it is time to get rid.
Model good behavior
The best way to get kids to KonMari is to let them learn by example. There is no point in telling them to “be tidy” if they have no frame of reference; make your expectations clear, reasonable, and easy to imitate.
Turn it into a game
Part of the reasons most adults hate tidying is because it is so often presented as a chore. It is just one of the many household tasks which need to be achieved to keep things in order, and so we learn to associate it with negativity.
With children, you have a chance to break this and turn it into a game, perhaps by setting a timer, making it an extension of playtime, or turning it into a race.
Break down your categories
In general, KonMari recommends making decluttering and cleaning far more manageable by breaking it down into categories and using a particular order: clothes, books, papers, miscellany, and sentimental items. This prevents you from getting overwhelmed and makes the overall task more achievable.
When KonMari-ing with kids, it is a good idea to break things down further still; for example, take the category of clothing and break it into shirts, pants, socks, and so on. When tackling books, start with board books and move onto picture books, etc. Kids have short attention spans, so this is the perfect way to keep them engaged and motivated, giving you a far greater chance of success.
Limit the available storage
No matter how much willpower you think you have, the fact remains that if you have the storage available, chances are you will be tempted to fill it. This is especially true with kids – there is somewhere to put their extra toys and clothes, and so they will feel obliged to maximize the space. Reduce the amount of storage available, and you will be less tempted to keep unnecessary items.
Make sure everything has a home
Kids are far more likely to find keeping their space clear an achievable task if they have homes for their items. While it is important not to have too much storage or risk hoarding, make sure that everything your child has decided to keep has its own place to live – this will encourage them to put things away after each use.
Work with them
Your child’s journey to a clutter-free home is a personal one, just as yours will have been. Be prepared to talk through their feelings with them when deciding if something sparks joy, and listen to their reasonings and explanations. This can provide some fascinating insights into the way your child’s mind works and the things they value!
When clearing out old toys, it can be hard for us as parents to let things go. We may want to keep items for sentimental reasons because we fear our child will miss it, or simply to relive a bygone era.
If your child is happy and content to let go of a toy or item, try to see their perspective, and enjoy the feeling that another child will experience the joy of a brand new item.
Show them the possibilities
Kids tend to be very visual, and so it can really help to have a ‘model space’ ready for them to copy. Once they see the possibilities available, they are likely to be far more keen to get started and create their own clutter-free space!
Make sure you finish the job
Tidying is only one half of the battle; clutter mustn’t be allowed to hang around once you have decided to let it go. Discarded items that hang around provide a massive temptation for kids, and they may have a look through the bag or box out of curiosity, and be tempted to remove the items they have so carefully let go for just one more play
Keep it casual
It is crucial to keep things fun and engaging, so make sure you take plenty of breaks from tidying. We have more tips for getting kids to clean without yelling, check it out!
Here at the Twin Cities Club, we have a range of fun events and discounts which can prove a welcome distraction from organising. Join us today for the latest rewards – they may be just what you need to prevent tidying from becoming a chore!