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You Can KonMari Your House Even If You Have Kids

Famous decluttering guru Marie Kondo shares that her technique works even if she has two kids

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Photography: Dairy Darilag

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. And when they start getting creative, it becomes even harder to let go of drawings and other artwork. What to do? Take tips from de-cluttering guru Marie Kondo.

The New York Times bestselling 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 husbands and I wen through a de-cluttering festival by reviewing the things we had. And we discussed how much space—for example, how many drawers—we could give to our daughter,” shares Kondo with The Wall Street Journal. The guru is now a mom to Satsuki and Miko.

Kondo, however, admits that her minimalist and Zen technique of de-cluttering 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, or throw away, parents should still ask 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. If an item does not, thank it and let it go, she writes in her book.  

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This could be a problem with sentimental items such as kids’ artwork. Kondo suggest that when things that spark joy do not fit their assigned space, it’s time to lay them all out on the 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 even their emotions when they need to let go of things.

This article originally appeared on smartparenting.com.ph.

Minor edits have been made by realliving.com.ph editors. 

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