How do you get a three-year-old to tell you which of their picture books sparks joy? Is a five-year-old capable of deciding if they feel happy in one particular shirt over another?
Those are a few of the questions that are not answered in Marie Kondo’s best-selling book, The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up. Yes, that crazy book that’s making everyone fold their socks gently instead of balling them up.
The book is full of sometimes-zany advice targeted toward adults living alone — or living with a spouse who is equally willing to KonMari right along with them. So what’s an organizing-obsessed parent of little ones to do?
Here’s how I modified Marie Kondo’s famous tidying-up methods in order to apply them to our kids’ belongings:
There’s a very firm order to Marie Kondo’s categories, and she insists clothing must be first. I started in our son’s room because he has far fewer items. I dumped out all of his drawers as well as everything in the closet, as instructed.
Since kids outgrow clothing at a speed that adults (hopefully) do not, it was easy to toss the slightly-too-small stuff in the donation bag. There were also some items I just didn’t like any more. It’s amazing how much stuff you don’t even realize is taking up space until you take everything out of a dresser.
This was much harder in our daughter’s room because she has three times the clothing and it’s five trillion times cuter …
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