Two years ago I walked into my teenage daughter’s bedroom. For a minute I thought I’d stepped into a parallel universe. Her room, normally a disaster zone of clutter and mess, was a vision of tidy calm. I couldn’t believe it. What on earth had happened?
Well it seems my daughter had discovered decluttering expert Marie Kondo and had decided to give her KonMari method a go. I was so impressed I borrowed the book, The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying – and, honestly, it really did change my life.
Three weekends of decluttering later – including five trips to the tip and 10 trips to the charity shop – I was like a different person. My head was clearer and I felt like I had so much more time and space. Best of all, since trying the KonMari way of decluttering I haven’t gone back. And neither has my daughter.
KonMari for kids
With such amazing results, you can imagine how excited I was when Marie Kondo published a KonMari for kids book, Kiki & Jax: The Life-Changing Magic of Friendship The story follows two friends – Kiki, who’s messy, and Jax, who likes everything tidied away. When Kiki can’t find her favourite toy and there’s not enough space in her room for the two of them to play, Jax shows his friend how to tidy up. So then they can enjoy their friendship without clutter getting in the way.
I really love the book. It helps children understand that being tidy is a nice thing – not just something they have to do because their parents tell them to do it. And I think it helps kids to appreciate and enjoy what they have.
Top tips for tidying with children
Kondo was inspired to write the book when she became a mum. Amazingly, by the age of two her eldest daughter was picking up and folding her own clothes. Kondo believes it’s never too early for kids to learn how to be tidy – getting them to match up their socks is a good way to start, she says.
She also encouraged her daughters to put away their toys after playing – so it became a natural part of their routine. Chatting with your kids while you do it helps to show tidying as a positive action.
Tidying up the clutter with the Sorting Box
My favourite KonMari for kids tip is to give everything a home so they know where to put their toys. It’s a great idea for giving kids ownership of their things and is exactly what our Sorting Box was designed for. The box has three separate compartments so kids can store different bits and pieces all in one place. Once they know that it’s their box, they’re much more likely to enjoy tidying their stuff away.
I’m making our storage box even more appealing to kids with the option to have their name on it – look out for the personalised Sorting Box coming soon.
In the meantime, the boxes have come in very handy for my own decluttering missions. It’s given me a real sense of achievement seeing my things neatly tidied away in them. Bring on the spring – when I’ll be up in my loft for more decluttering.
Geraldine is Tidy Books’ founder, designer and CEO, as well as mum to Adele and Emile. She started Tidy Books in her violin workshop because she couldn’t find a good bookcase for her kids. Now her Tidy Books bookcases and storage designs are encouraging independence and a love of reading in kids all over the world.