Teach the Children

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Teaching Children The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up

by josephwrichards on December 7, 2015, no comments

Principles to Teach:

De-cluttering, organization, cleanliness.


Read through summary of Marie Kondo’s The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up.


Teaching Children The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up

Today we are going to learn about organization. What does organization mean? [putting things in order – where they belong]

Let’s learn about organization by organizing ourselves in different ways. (Rearrange yourselves according to height, age, hair length, hair color, birthdays, etc. You could also do the same thing with blocks. (sizes, shapes, colors))

Organization is about putting things that are the same together and putting them in the right spot. What are some things we should organize in our house? [clothes, toys, books, etc.]

How much space is in our house? Eventually we will run out of space and things will get really messy.

How does it make you feel when things are not organized and messy?

Lets start with your [toys/clothes/books/etc.]. Let’s gather them from all around the house and put them in one pile. Then we will sort them into piles. Things we like that we will keep, things to give away, and a maybe pile.

As you sort through the items, ask questions like, “Do you like this item?” “Do you play with/wear it a lot?” “Does it make you happy?” “Does the memory of it make you happy and now you can let someone else enjoy it?” (we didn’t use Marie’s word of “sparking joy” because our children wouldn’t have understood it.

Resource Materials:

Marie Kondo’s The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up

Tips from Marie Kondo’s AMA on applying the method to children:

Q: What is your recommendation for applying the konmari method to children under 10 years old?

A: Well, the Konmari method is basically designed for people who can make personal decisions to keep things or not, based on whether the item sparks joy (as I repeatedly say). However, if the child is under 10 years old, my recommendation is the way to train organizing, tidying, for young children should be started with how to fold clothes.

Yes, children under 10 years old can definitely figure out if a thing sparks joy or not. But it is also important with them to get the feeling, get the habit of tidying their own space by putting things back into position – and the best way to teach them is to teach them how to fold clothes.

Q: How would you organize kids’ toys and books? They takeover my house the most! We have wooden toy bins and bookcases, but they still look very messy.

A: Well, this is a common question from my clients as well. If the children are much younger than 3 years old, of course, they don’t have much ability to decide what to keep or not, so adults can organize children’s items in the same way. If the children are over 3 years old, they have some ability to figure out if it sparks joy or not. And they can make a decision based on that. So even for them, if they are older than 3 years old, they can start tidying up the room exactly in the same way – like bringing out all the items by category in one spot, and picking up every item to see if it sparks joy or not.

There is always a limitation of the space. So I think it is very important to decide the capacity of the items to keep. That can be the wooden toy bin, or bookcase.

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