Customer Review

Reviewed in the United States 🇺🇸 on November 19, 2015
After reading so many reviews by people uncertain if Kondo's approach could work for a family, I felt compelled to share our experience. Kondo's book is very special, useful, and we highly recommend it. To make it work for our family of working parents and a toddler, we followed her approach while also making modifications.

When Toddler turned two, we celebrated the 24 months of our new parenthood and then noticed the sad state of affairs of our home. We kept Toddler alive, met our responsibilities at the office, but the house was a mess. Objects were in weird places, presumably moved higher and higher as our child moved from crawling to walking. Our storage spaces were completely full with the layers of an archeological site. Toddler stuff in top layer, infant stuff as you dug deeper, and then DINK stuff in the very back. Then Husband turned to me and said, "Maybe we need more storage shelves." I replied, "Maybe we need less stuff in the house." We agreed. Enough was enough. We did not know of Marie Kondo's book and proceeded to clean out our house by location. It felt like a chore.

Then a friend told us about Marie Kondo's book. My husband read it first and was immediately inspired to do his clothes and books - objects that are relatively easy and safe to do with a two year old around. I kept asking my husband for the executive summary of the book, but he insisted that I read the book for myself, then do my books and clothes to get the hang of the Kondo joy method, and then we could tackle the group stuff. Kondo's writing is encouraging. Her joy concept makes a major tidy-up more fun and effective. I finished the book, did my clothes and books and then we basically went along like this ...

1. Reviewed Kondo's list of categories earlier in the week, evaluating if we could do the next one on her list the upcoming weekend. If we agreed we would do a category we would start to think about the various locations where stuff was stored and the safety factor for Toddler. We did our tidying with Toddler in the house. Sometimes Toddler loved it, being introduced to things never seen before. Other times Toddler was disinterested and played with toys while we tidied. We were obviously keeping an eye out for anything potentially dangerous. Sometimes we put all the stuff together on the floor as Kondo recommended (this really is the best way to get the job done), other times we left dangerous things (i.e. cleaning products, knives, pretty glass vases, and sharpies) in their locations out of reach of Toddler (the let's be realistic parents way). We did the tool shed and basement as a location, not as Kon Mari categories. We started out doing one category a weekend, but adjusted to doing Kon Mari about every third weekend to keep momentum, and also to keep some free time to do other things. We did toddler and infant stuff first, before Kondo's categories.

2. We discussed what categories could be done solo and what we needed to do together. For example, my husband did tools and his hobby stuff solo. I did all the household linens and my hobby stuff solo. We also counted dropping off donation bags as "good enough" progress for a weekend.

3. We bought high quality white garbage bags and clearly wrote, "donate" or "trash" on the outside with sharpie to avoid confusion. Trash went straight into the trash, while "donate" went into a designated corner. We kept a running tally and only credited ourselves for the donation bags once they were out of the house and indeed donated.

4. We checked our city's policy on bulky trash and donation options (who would pick-up our donations?, who had an easy drive-thru drop off?, who would take just about anything?, who took things in only top condition?, who took VHS?). We designated a place to put all the donation receipts.

5. Some categories (family photographs) we found just too intense to tackle per Kondo's method, so we agreed to what was progress enough, and moved along. We still discarded a little bit, so step in the right direction.

At ten months on Kon Mari we are at 250 garbage bags. When we hit 90 we felt accomplished and proud, when we hit 210, we felt disgusted but still accomplished. Now we have very few sub-categories left to do. Some more hobby stuff. The shoe boxes and storage containers that Kondo smartly advised to hold onto until the end. Nearly all the things Kondo says have come true. We know our likes and dislikes. Our house is cleaner and easier to clean. Our house better reflects our personalities. As a final gesture we will Kon Mari the book to charity. Thank you Marie Kondo, your book did our family a great service. We couldn't have done it without you.
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