Teaching My Kids to Declutter…And What They Taught Me

I haven’t written in a few days because this week I embarked on an ambitious journey.

I finally read Marie Kondo’s infamous book about tidying, and decided to dive into her “KonMari” process.

I thought it would be a great way to further prepare for homeschool and accelerate my decluttering efforts.

The first three days had me going through all my clothes, books, and papers (non sentimental).

Things were going great and I was maintaining motivation.

But I realized my kids’ messy room was distracting me from continuing with my own items.

Trying to respect their space but also clean it has proven challenging as they’ve gotten older….so this time I wanted to teach them to clean.

So I shifted the day’s efforts towards their room.


We went out for donuts to discuss the process. (I figured they might be more compliant if they got sugar first).

I told them when we got home they could throw all their clothes on the living room floor.

They giggled with delight as they tossed all their clothes in a giant pile.

Then I put a “No” and “Yes” card in front of each of them. I simply said, “Keep the things you love and get rid of the rest.”

I promised I would not comment on their choices. (Harder than I thought to keep my mouth shut).

It was amazing to watch.

Clothes were flying into each pile without hesitation, and it became clear to me kids don’t have the attachment that we adults do to stuff.

If they love it, they keep it. If they don’t love it, they don’t.


While watching them I realized all the feelings and baggage that can get poured into material objects by adults.

If I get rid of the husband/wife figurines, will my marriage fall apart??

If my space is minimalist, is it less hospitable??

If I throw away these things, did I waste all that money??

Will the person who gave me this item notice it’s missing??

Kids have the bliss of not considering any of this.

So as I was “teaching” them to let go, they taught me…it was just stuff.


We got rid of over 50 clothing items and threw away a couple grocery bags full of miscellaneous papers and toys.

I could tell they felt lighter as they walked into their clean space.

They played with all the same toys, but it was better.

This was exactly the motivation I needed to finish the “KonMari” method of decluttering.

My kids spent one hour decluttering and reminded me to stop over thinking it.

If I love it, I will keep it. If I don’t love it, I won’t.

-Brittany

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