There was stuff. Stuff everywhere I turned. Too many clothes. Too many books. Too many papers. Too many toys. Too many odds and ends that didn’t seem to have a real home (unless you count the junk drawer, which I am told doesn’t count).
The sheer volume of stuff my family owned was suffocating and overwhelming. I’d look around my cluttered home, and my left eye would twitch.
Me as a housewife = Failure.
Me teaching my children how to manage their own things rather than being enslaved by them = Epic Failure….
…until I came across The KonMari Method. It was, no joke, the very first time I had ever read anything at all about decluttering and tidying that not only made good sense to me but also seemed like I could make real progress in a relatively short amount of time and would work long-term. It made such great sense to me that I’m enthusiastic about sharing an affiliate link for her book with you. If you choose to buy it through my link, I will receive a very small commission. Doing so won’t add any cost to you, and will earn you my thanks. For more details, you may see my privacy and affiliate disclosures here.
Details are available for the basics of The KonMari Method online, but I chose to buy her book, The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing.
Part of my job as a parent is to teach my children how to successfully manage their own households one day. I saw no better opportunity to do that than to enlist my 8-year-old, who is the only child in the house who still plays with toys, to “KonMari” her toys. Together, we rounded up all of the toys. Old, beloved toys that we’re saving for grandchildren came out of the garage. Toys came out of a large storage closet in our downstairs. And, toys came out of her room. We piled them all into the great room.
Once Jillian and I had all of her toys removed from her room, we went ahead and did a deeper clean in there. She couldn’t believe how nice it looked and how free she felt with all of that space!
Once we got everything all out into the great room, Jillian and I went through it one item at a time. Do we love it? Do we use it? If the answer to those questions was no, then the toy got donated or thrown out. It was quite a liberating process.
Jillian and I put anything she “loved” or used back where it belonged as we went. As toys got returned to her room, I insisted that she find them permanent homes. She made very thoughtful decisions about where to put each beloved item, and in the end had a room that only held items that brought her joy – just like Marie Kondo recommends.
It took us the better part of a day to get it done, but it was time well spent…and unlike the standard piecemeal approach to decluttering, all of the toys in our house have been carefully considered and dealt with. My daughter learned discernment. She figured out how to make difficult decisions. She learned a little more about herself in the process. I consider that a homeschooling success!