Have you considered using the Kon-Mari decluttering system, but unsure if it works well for modern-day moms? Jessica reviewed this system and is sharing her thoughts!
By Jessica, Contributing Writer
Recently I went to the library to check out the crazy-famous, Japanese decluttering book, The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing. Only I couldn’t. Because I was #67 in line, and it would actually be about, oh, two years, before it was my turn.
Clearly, this book is popular.
I took this as a positive sign and purchased a little copy for myself. So, after reading it, I can definitely see why it’s a hit. I decluttered. I simplified. My space can definitely breathe.
But would I recommend it for moms? I would say it has pros and cons for the mom.
Here are some things I felt super-helpful:
- The notion of an item sparking “joy” to you. This concept of identifying how much joy an object brings me was a new way to look at decluttering. I think it is definitely a helpful tool for anyone decluttering, moms included.
- The concept of sorting by category, not by location. In other words, instead of fumbling through all the books room by room as you organize, you make a massive pile of ALL the books in the home. Then sort. This was a novel concept to me, and I definitely saw the merits. I thought her process made sense. You follow this process for all of the categories she outlines.
- The order of items she suggests decluttering. Although she leaves out a few categories, the general order for how you should declutter the home is helpful. For example, she says to start with books, which I thought was odd. But then I did it, and I immediately felt so much better after all my books were sorted. I was so motivated to keep going!
- Storing all of one item together. In other words, all the games in the house in the same spot. All the jackets for everyone, same spot. All the luggage, same spot. This totally makes my brain happy!
Things that don’t make sense:
- She leaves out a lot of “categories” for the modern family. In my post, 5 Things You Absolutely Must Know Before You Kon-Mari Declutter Your House, I list the missing categories and the order that I suggest you should do these categories.
- Kondo says you can that you can declutter completely if it’s all you do for a few straight days. Not happening, says the mom! Everything takes 1000 times longer when you are a mom, and decluttering is no exception. You sort one dresser of knick-knacks, stop to make trail mix, wipe a bottom, and brown beef for dinner. And then start again tomorrow. It’s just a way of life for a mother!
- Once you’re done decluttering, you’re done. This is Kondo’s claim…That once you go through the process of decluttering, you will never have to do it again. I wish. But alas, children are always growing, always out-growing. My home’s needs are constantly changing. Every year, every birthday, we receive new gifts and new STUFF to sort through. I will need to declutter kids’ stuff until they are grown!
- Designating a “spot” for every member of the family’s things, and storing all their things in one specific spot. Nope. This doesn’t make sense for family logistics. We keep the family’s shoes downstairs. We keep the family’s jackets downstairs. We keep games and toys all together, no matter who’s special item it is. And if you have a two-story home, as we do, it just makes sense to keep some things upstairs.
- Greeting your house and thanking your possessions. I chalked this up to the Buddhist influence in the book and sort of skimmed over that part. I am grateful for my possessions, sure. But not to them.
- I don’t find her folding method to be the best for kids’ clothing. My kids are frequently rummaging through their clothing baskets. I think it would be an exercise in futility to demand the items be folded so specifically. I did find her tips for clothing storage immensely helpful for my own clothing, though.
In a nutshell, would I recommend that moms read this book?
Absolutely. The book is not only helpful, but also inspirational. The picture she paints of a decluttered life was motivation to finally tackle the attic-full of junk I’d been avoiding for years! Moms reading it will likely have lots of questions. But there are plenty of resources. In addition to my own blog post on what you should know before doing Kon-Mari, extra resources abound.