The entire world is Marie Kondo-ing right now with the Kon-Marie method thanks to her new Netflix show, Tidying Up, and I am totally on board with that because in the show, she’s all about getting the whole family to clean.
Anything that takes some of this laundry off my plate is a very very good thing.
I read Marie Kondo’s book a couple of years ago, The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up and my family has been keeping laundry under control with her method. It really is life changing. Promise.
It’s way easier than you think it would be to teach your kids how to get their clothes in order with the Marie Kondo method! Here’s how you do it.
How To Teach Kids The Kon-Marie Folding Method
The first (and probably most fun part) of the method is learning what clothes “spark joy” for your kids. This means you need to take your kids into their room, dump all their clothes on their bed (deep breath, I promise you can do this) and go through them with your kids one-by-one.
Toddlers can do this, they may just need to take breaks in between, but if you make a game out of it, you will get a lot more time out of them.
Have them hold each piece of clothing in their hands, and ask “Does this shirt make you happy?” (When I first did this with my daughter, she thought I was crazy-pants. But then she got into it.)
If it makes them happy, you keep it, if it doesn’t, then say, “Thank you,” to the clothes for letting you wear them, and then get rid of them. Trust me, your kids will LOVE doing this.
Now, you will end up with three or four piles of clothes. A pile that makes your kids happy, a pile that needs to be thrown out, a pile that you can give to charity or to a friend with a child a bit smaller than yours, and then there is the fourth pile.
This is the pile of clothes that you KNOW it’s a bad idea to get rid of, but that your child didn’t make the right choice on. Because, let’s face it, they’re a kid and yes we want to give them autonomy, but you paid a lot for that dress, and you need her to wear it to Easter dinner.
It’s okay to have this pile, don’t beat yourself up about it. Just don’t make this the biggest pile of all. 🙂
Now that you’ve decided what’s joy-sparking and worthy of staying in your kid’s closet, it’s time to fold. Here’s the basic system Marie Kondo uses to fold everything.
Now, I know that looks a little difficult for your kids to try, because they’re little, but I am going to let you in on a little secret, it does NOT have to be perfect. This isn’t about perfection. This is about teaching your kid good habits. The second you start worrying about what the fold looks like, and rather or not it’s perfect is the second you suck all the joy out of this.
So, and I say this with love, DO NOT REDO YOUR KID’S FOLDING JOB! Help them while they are folding, let them fold some and you fold some, but the sense of accomplishment and feeling good about what they are doing is what Marie Kondo is all about.
So, take a deep breath Type A Mama, and let those creases and angles be off! One of Marie Kondo’s secrets for getting kids to tidy up with you is to teach by example. If you go into their rooms, start folding, and put a smile on your face when you do it, they will start helping. Because when something is fun, kids want to be a part of it.
When you get all the clothes folded and put away in drawers, REJOICE! This is the time to celebrate your accomplishment.
Oh, and do this every time. i get that laundry isn’t always a joy-sparking activity, but there’s something be said about faking it until you make it. Teach your kids to take pride in their clothes.
To take pride in the cleanliness, and to get excited for a job well done.
Because we all deserve a pat on the back once in a while, and that’s the key. Even if you don’t LOVE it at first, you will grow to love it, and so will your kids. So put on a smile and fold some clothes. Marie and I both promise your kids will follow suit, and you won’t even have to yell. 🙂