A three year Konmari decluttering update and tips for kids and spouses

First published on: https://www.thriftydecorchick.com/2019/01/a-three-year-konmari-decluttering.html

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Well hello!! How were the holidays for you? We’ve had a wonderful two weeks — life goes back to normal next week and I’m kinda sorta ready for that. Not quite. πŸ™‚ These are definitely our favorite weeks of the year! 
This time of year one of my posts goes crazy, and that’s the one about my experience using the Konmari method to declutter our house
Konmari decluttering method
I’ve said it a hundred times and I’ll say it again — this book absolutely changed our lives. I say “our” because it has lessened the amount of clutter in our home, so my family certainly enjoys that. 
It has affected me more than anyone because I’m typically the one cleaning, washing and picking up more than anyone else. It changed our home and how we live. I cannot recommend it enough!! We used to have spots in our home that attracted clutter. The kitchen island, the area right when we walked in the door, our nightstands were a problem area, the stairs were always full of items that needed to go up or down. (Those are just the big spots.)
Organizing and decluttering linen closet
All of these are NORMAL by the way. It’s not “wrong” to have piles or clutter — but it sure did start to wear on me. I found that I couldn’t focus as well. I was more stressed and anxious when STUFF was everywhere. We spent money on items we already had. I bought items because they were on sale (and I was afraid it would be gone), instead of knowing exactly what I wanted to do with them. 

This book changed all of that. It took me around nine months to complete the whole process, but it was awesome. BUT THEN. THEN we packed up our house last year and put all of it in storage for nine weeks while we waited for this house to be finished. 
Tips for organizing and decluttering the junk drawer
Many of you have asked for an update in the three years since I decluttered the whole house. I thought I had really done it. When all our stuff arrived at this house…I couldn’t believe how much I had kept that I didn’t want or need. Living without it all for that long really puts things in perspective. In the year since we moved in I’ve donated or sold an equal amount to what I got rid of during the Konmari process. Tons of stuff!! I actually had a “sale” for family and friends right after we moved in a sold a crazy amount of decor (and made a good amount of money). 
The basics of Konmari are extremely simple — you only keep what you LOVE. What brings you joy. AND items that you actually use…I always add that in. I mean, my kitchen utensils don’t exactly bring me joy. I’m not giddy when I use them. πŸ˜‰ But they serve a purpose and serve it often. 
Closet with storage for cleaning, wrapping and laundry
What I love about this method more than anything is that you choose what to keep…not what to get rid of. Everything I was “taught” about simplifying before that was about picking items to get eliminate. That creates indecision. Deciding what to KEEP is so much easier. 
SO many of you have also asked me about how to involve kids and spouses. I wanted to speak to that a little more too. I did all of the decluttering by myself, and I was fine with that because I find it fun. πŸ™‚ I did involve my husband and kiddo at various times and I have some advice about that: 
  • Keep it short. I can spend hours “tidying” or decluttering because it’s addictive when you start. The BEST feeling!! But it’s pure torture for everyone else in my family. πŸ˜‚ I ask for their time for shorter periods. Let’s go through the dresser. Or the shoes. Or this portion of the closet. I can tackle a whole closet in one day. They’d rather stick needles in their eyes. So we compromise. 
  • With kids you have the advantage of being the parent. I just tell our son that we’re going to tackle a certain area and he has to do it. Doesn’t mean he likes it. But he does it. Refer to the tip above though — keep it brief! (I don’t recommend this method with a spouse. πŸ˜‚)
  • You can involve young kids to a point, but up till about five years old they most likely won’t realize if you’ve decluttered toys or clothes. I always found our kiddo had too many toys — the less he had out the more often he played with them. If you want to teach your kids how to let go of things, try it out! If they are young, you can do it yourself. Our boy is 12 and LOVES STUFF. Little, big…he’s sentimental and I love that. But when I involve him I’m always surprised at what he doesn’t want. They may surprise you!  
  • Most kids like stuff but the stress and anxiousness from clutter affects them just like it does us. If you can get 20 minutes of their time and tackle a spot that they’ll see every day…they’ll be more willing to work on it again somewhere else. And some kids may actually enjoy it!
  • My husband is a busy man, way busier than I am with work and travel. So I keep that in mind. I ask in advance. I “schedule” the time to work on one area. I tell him it means a lot to me. He does it and is ALWAYS glad he did. 
  • It will take longer to go through their items than yours. Just be prepared for that. My husband’s side of the closet has never looked like mine. EVER. Someday it may get there…but it’s not that big of a deal. Let it go! The only reason I pursue it is because I know it will simplify his life. 
  • On that note — right now little trinkets mean a lot to our son. They are his treasures. I’ve learned to embrace that. His room is HIS to enjoy. Yes, we can declutter to a point, but I want it to be the way he wants it too. You have to compromise. 
Marie Kondo (the author of the book) now has a show on Netflix. I watched the first episode and my son watched with me. We immediately went up to his room and started tackling some spots. His closet in particular has been a MESS since we moved in:

How to declutter with kids
Again…give yourself some grace! I’m a Konmari method nut and most days we couldn’t even see the floor in here. 
We worked on this room over two days time. Our son looooves stuffed animals. But I swear they were multiplying in there — it was too much. You can’t see all of them but they were in bins on the floor and the shelves. 
I went through them without him and then got his approval on the donate pile afterwards. We kept his favorites and I filled the top shelf with them for now. We also went through his clothes and random stuff I threw in here more than a year ago when I unpacked. WHAT a difference!:
How to involve kids with decluttering and organization
The shelf of animals is actually quite adorable. πŸ˜‰ I still need a solution for the caps — he got rid of some but these mean a lot to him, so they’ll stay. Have you found a good storage solution for hats?:
Organized kid closet tips
By the way — that long hanging organizer is for his clothes each week. We put them in here for less stressful mornings. πŸ™‚ I got ours at IKEA but you can find it here too (affiliate). 
His closet it a great size but nothing huge — this is what we’re not keeping and I’m shocked at how much was in there: 
Decluttering with the Konmari method tips
Wow. My goodness, his whole room is like a breath of fresh air now! 
When I used the Konmari method years ago I told you I won’t ever have to do a massive whole-house purge again. When you have it in your head, you’re always grabbing items around the house. Because of our move, I do have a couple more little spots I want to work on, but overall it’s a constant (but much less intense!) process. I have a bag of donations going at all times:
How I purged our house for the last time
Have you read The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up? I recommend checking out the Netflix show if not — it’s a good introduction to the process. There are parts of the book many find hokey and I get it. But like anything in life you can take or leave parts of it. 
Will you be decluttering this weekend? If you have additional tips for including the family I’d love to hear them! 

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A three year Konmari decluttering update and tips for kids and spouses