I am a very organized person. In fact, I am a partner in a home organization business called The Uncluttered Life, Inc. and have learned the KonMari® Method from the bottom up. From being in the home organization business, I have learned one key rule: Don’t judge anyone’s organization style or skills. We are not all born with an OCD tendency, like I am. I am a perfectionist. That is, I was a perfectionist. Having a child changed all that.
I used to hear people say, “I’ll never be one of those moms with toys all over the house and all over my car.” And because I’m a home organizer, I assumed that I would be tidy and organized even with a child. Wrong! Even Marie Kondo has said she’s relaxing her organization style after her third child. Recent articles and posts have acknowledged this change in behavior. I think it sets a better pace and example for those of us who know having a child just means that you’ve got to relax the organization a bit.
Marie Kondo Makes a Change
Here is what’s been written about her since giving birth to her third baby:
Marie Kondo has admitted she’s “kind of given up” on tidying up after welcoming her third child. The decluttering expert welcomed a son in April 2021 with her husband, Takumi Kawahara. She has two daughters with him, as well. As many articles have stated, since adding the fifth member to her family, Marie Kondo has put organization and decluttering on the back burner and started to embrace the mess.
Kondo states, “My home is messy, but the way I am spending my time is the right way for me at this time, at this stage of my life,” she told The Washington Post. “Up until now, I was a professional tidier, so I did my best to always keep my home tidy. I have kind of given up on that in a good way for me. Now I realize what is important to me is enjoying spending time with my children at home.” She acknowledges that, with three children, messiness may be her new way of life, at least for now.
Balance in Life and Organization – The Sweet Spot
So where is the sweet spot of organization when you are raising a family? Only you will know that special place. I know that I like a clean home, but it doesn’t always need to be tidy and organized. Instead, I’ve set up systems of organization that work for me. They also work for my three-year old son. I have organized his toys in the living room and in his room in such a way that he can find everything that he wants or needs.
And he also knows how to put everything back where it belongs so that it doesn’t become my work. It’s was his responsibility, even when he was two years old. That way, he knows where to find things. I think, ultimately, it will make him a better husband (thinking long term here) because he won’t stand in front of the refrigerator and ask his wife for the one item that is staring him right in the face. It will make him more responsible as a teenager and as he transitions into adulthood. Helping him know how to take responsibility for what he owns is a life skill and I am glad to be teaching this skill to him now. Baby steps. The rest of the house is organized to my liking. Not too organized but organized enough.
My mom, on the other hand, is tremendously organized. She is an empty nester. She likes her house the way she likes it, and she keeps it that way. But when my son comes to visit her, she takes the new Marie Kondo approach. She lets it get and stay messy until it’s time to put things back where they belong and he's walked out the door to go back home.
Setting Up a Play Station Area
At my mom’s house, she has an area under her stairs where she puts my son’s toys. He knows exactly where they are and his face lights up every time he goes in there. She has put all his toys in buckets. They are full of trucks and trains and everything in between. Especially dinosaurs right now. He knows what’s what. He doesn’t have to look everywhere in her house and makes sure that he puts things back where he can find them the next time. He knows if he took something from her house to my house, and vice versa. He is comfortable because he has familiarity with his environment. I know this gives him the confidence he needs to go out into the world. There is something about having control of your environment when you are small that makes the world seem that much easier to navigate.
New Mamas and Organization
There are a lot of things to keep track of when you’re a new mama. There are so many moving pieces and parts all the time. Bottles and booties. Little toys and big car seats. Not enough space and things that will be outgrown in just a few months. There are more things to take care of than I ever dreamed possible. The best tip I can give for how new mamas can make sense of all this stuff is to first take a breath, and then try to figure out a system. It doesn’t need to be a perfect system. A system should be something that makes sense to you and your family. It doesn’t need to be according to an established system, either. It just needs to work. You need to be able to find something in under thirty seconds, so think about logistics. And know that your home and your car are not going to look like they did prior to baby. And that’s a good thing.
Marie Kondo Did It and So Can You
In the end, Marie Kondo was able to take a step back. And so can you. Enjoy this messy stage of life. Know that you will have plenty of opportunity to tidy up when your kids go to kindergarten and you’re not running around like a chicken with your head cut off. Make space to enjoy your family and create systems that work. Then breathe. Time goes by so quickly. Enjoy the time and enjoy the mess!
Pick up one of our New Mama Decks by The Uncluttered Life, Inc. The deck is sold under the trade name life Hack Decks™ which help you find little hacks for life. These hacks ultimately make life much easier and less stressful. Sells for $19.95 per pack. New Mama Decks make a great gift for a new mom or as a baby shower gift. New Mama Hack Decks include ideas for self-care and hacks for new mamas to help take care of their little ones.