I recently watched a few episodes of the new Netflix series, Tidying Up, with Marie Kondo. If you haven’t seen it, give it a try. I’m loving it. My favorite episode it the first one, a family with two young kids. When the episode started the adults were super stressed by the chaos in their home but were so much happier by the end of the show.
In each episode Marie works with a different family to tidy their home and belongings. The family follows her order and method as they literally touch and sort through EVERYTHING in their home. They must decide what to keep, give away and how to organize what’s left. Everyone starts with clothes, ALL of their clothes, then books, paper, Kimono (which stands for everything else) and finally, sentimental items.
In the episodes I watched, both adults worked together to organize the whole house. The show is interesting and a bit overwhelming to watch, at least for me it was, because it’s the whole house. Watching them do a whole house might make organizing your kid’s room look a lot less intimidating. Or not.
Here are some Pros and Cons on what I saw and thoughts on how to apply her ideas to your kid’s spaces:
- Too much at once can be overwhelming. I was watching a television show with someone else doing the work and felt completely overwhelmed. An entire house, or even an entire room can be paralyzing. I strongly suggest breaking larger projects into smaller chunks, work on one area at a time and give yourself a break before tackling the next piece.
- When do you need to get help? This show is based on the premise that there are times you’re going to need help. Reorganizing your whole house or even your whole closet is one of those times. As far as your kid spaces go, you may want to enlist the help of a super organized friend or professional organizer for large scale projects or to get a fresh perspective on setting up your kid’s bedrooms and play areas.
- Organizing is not a one-man job. When it’s time to organize it helps to have a partner, preferably one who knows the ‘stuff’ and has a vested interest in the outcome. When watching the first episode, there came a time the hubby was sent to organize the entire garage full of random family stuff. I was really bothered by it being a solo project. It felt like too much for one member of the family to do alone and was relieved to see times they worked on it together. It was a great reminder for when we tell our kids to ‘clean up’ their rooms. Depending on the level of structure in their room, they may or may not be able to do it by themselves. But there are definitely times they do need our help, even if it’s to encourage them as they put things back in place.
- Organizing doesn’t come easily to some. I am totally capable of chaos but when it’s time, I can tidy and organize. Watching the show was a great reminder that organizing doesn’t come naturally to everyone. If that’s you, cut yourself some slack. You’re not alone. That’s why Marie coaches adults. Now think of your kids. Think about how much younger and overwhelmed they feel by too much stuff. Imagine their relief when they have help creating order out of mayhem.
- Flow of whole family changed with order. In every episode I watched, there was a significant change in the way the family operated by the end of the show. Once things were put in place, members of the family knew where things were and seemed to move more easily through their day. The lack of clutter seemed to simplify things. So whether it’s the homework area, backpacks or bedrooms, getting things in order will help your kids operate more easily and efficiently.
- Family members seemed lighter. You’ve heard the phrase; ‘clutter on the outside reflects clutter on the inside”. So, decluttering should affect us inside and out. After watching Marie and the families she worked with, it seems to be true. By the end of each episode, everybody just looked happier. It was like they literally felt less cluttered personally. Maybe it’s because the whole project was over. But these adults were glowing. They radiated a ‘life is possible’ attitude. They radiated “joy through tidying”. Now imagine how good our kids are going to feel when we get their spaces tidied up.
Have fun watching Marie work with families to get the world in order and tell me what you think. Inspired to get at your kids things? What are you going to tackle first?