We have two kids still at home during the midst of our journey toward living debt free and more recently… “Magical Tidying” in an effort to get our house de-cluttered.
Our last two are high schoolers who are accustomed to being in charge of their own spaces. They are not strangers to chores and organizational plans, but they weren’t overly thrilled by our quest to downsize. This will likely mean they must share a room in the new place, which, of course, warrants the downsizing of their belongings as well.
I devoured Marie Kondo’s book, The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up and then tried to share it with the girls. They grumbled about it, but they are not typically defiant so they would obediently go through a category if I assigned it to them. This frustrated me because they wouldn’t do it without prompting and they didn’t want to do it the “KonMari way” as they felt the way we were doing it before I read the book was good enough… which was a general, “Purge your stuff”.
They became even more reluctant as I moved through categories and eliminated dozens and dozens of bags/boxes of stuff. I think they were scared I’d make them get rid of everything, but no amount of talking to them about how the method works made a dent in their attitude about it. Of course, they didn’t enjoy folding their clothes a new way either because it takes more time… and who likes folding clothes besides Marie Kondo?
During one of my internet searches for more KonMari information on the Komono (miscellaneous) category, I discovered she had another book, Spark Joy, which went into more detail. I clicked on over to Amazon to order it and found the answer to my uninspired teenager woes, The Life-Changing Manga of Tidying Up – that’s right, a story version of the process in a comic book format. My kids love manga (even have books on drawing it!), so I ordered a copy of that too.
When it arrived, it immediately drew their attention. Each read it in one sitting and they have been willingly tidying their own categories ever since. I don’t even have to tell them what’s next. They open the book, figure out where they are in the process, and work through a category (or sub-category).
I knew they needed to “own” the process for themselves, otherwise it wouldn’t stick, but nothing I tried worked… until they read this little book. They said it was cute, fun, and inspiring. They also said the process seemed far less complicated than they originally thought.
I wish I had access to this information when they were smaller. I would have raised them with these concepts from the beginning. Alas, just like financial peace, you begin where you are and change where you’re headed from this point forward.