Clutter and chaos is just part of parenting, right? For a long time, I have felt this way. But, recently, I’ve learned something about myself. I feel more at peace when my home is in order. Granted, this doesn’t happen often. But, I now realize that I yearn for this order and peace, and I may have stumbled upon a method for obtaining just that. KonMari…let me explain.
While I was living with my folks for a few months, my mom mentioned that she was reading an amazing book about cleaning up your home. I laughed and made fun of this notion of any book being “amazing” if it’s entire focus was cleaning. But, my mom persisted in urging me to read it. So, I asked her what was so amazing about it. I remember thinking, “I’m not going to read a whole book about cleaning, so you can just give me a few tips if you think it’s worthwhile.” My mom said that it’s not a book of tips, it’s an entire change in mindset. That’s when I became hooked to The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up.
This book by Marie Kondo is so popular, and her approach has been named the KonMari method. The basic idea is that you go through all of your items in your house and decide if they give you joy. In the end, you are left only with things that bring you joy and each has its dedicated place in your home which provides the benefit of quick and easy clean-up.
Now, I am at the point where I need to find a way to make this work for me and my family. I mean, I have my go-to trick of turning on Mary Poppins’ song, Just a Spoonful of Sugar, which immediately inspires my four-year-old to start picking up (for a limited time). But, now, I need to dig in deeper with this new method. What does KonMari look like for a mom? Marie Kondo has not addressed this in her book. Here is what I’m struggling with:
- Time? How do I have time to go through everything in my home one thing at a time with three little ones running around?
- How do I determine what brings my children joy? Some items are more obvious than others.
- What about baby stuff? Stuff that the kids have outgrown. I might have another baby…
- Where do I work? I know I need to focus on one group of items at a time – such as clothes. But, where do I put these clothes? If I throw them all in a pile on my bed, I’ll have three happy munchkins bouncing and swimming in them, and/or secretly running off with and hiding certain articles of clothing for a new game of “Hide and Seek” where mommy’s never let in on the fact that we’re playing a game.
- How do I occupy my three under five-year-olds while I work? I mean, they love to sit and read their books, but I can also think of times when I’ve returned to the older two after taking my super-human fast shower to find that they are busily completing the world’s biggest pile of “colored papers.” (Here, “colored paper” means one small scribble on an otherwise perfectly clean, white sheet of computer paper.)
I want this to be my New Year’s Resolution, but I’m just so worried I can’t take on this big of a task. Help! If you haven’t read this book, please consider grabbing a copy from the library and getting back with me. I need some help brainstorming with other mamas!