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Kondo kids: tidy tips for children

Marie Kondo's just brought out a new tidying book aimed at kids. Local KonMari specialist Jenny Dudfield spills the beans (and tidies them up again, natch)

toddlers legs with toys

Photo Rawpixel

Mary Poppins clicked her fingers, trilled a song about a spoonful of sugar and the kids’ toys magically put themselves away but the rest of us probably need a little more help in getting kids to tidy up.

Now Japanese organising guru Marie Kondo has brought out a new children’s book called Kiki & Jax, about a squirrel called Kiki who enjoys collecting and owl friend Jax who likes sorting (and even knows the KonMari fold). While you’re waiting for your copy to arrive, local Marie Kondo-trained Jenny Dudfield of Spark Serenity, a KonMari organising/de-cluttering service,  shares her tips.

Go easy on yourself

Your home will never be as perfect as your pre-kids days. Some days you won’t be able to do anything but by having a designated space for each item, you yourself will be able to tidy up quickly and easily – even when they don’t.  Set yourself realistic targets so you don’t get frustrated.

Narrate as you tidy

Tell your kids what you’re doing so they understand as you go through it.  No matter how boring tidying might seem to you try and do it with a smile (and no moaning/complaining) so they don’t think it’s a chore.  Tidy by example, so they follow your good lead.

Make tidying fun

The more playful it may seem to your kids, the more willing they’ll be to get involved.  As soon as they’re able to walk and play independently they’ll be able to help put their toys away.  Teach them young and your life will be so much easier as they get older.  Set a timescale so they stay focused, like before dinner or their favourite TV programme.

Give everything a specific home

By giving toys a dedicated space and teaching your kids where they belong (pictures/photographs might help them learn where things live) then it is so much easier to put them away and assist you in tidying.  Make it as easy as possible for them, so put things at their height rather than yours, in boxes that they can open, etc.

Recognise storage and space limitations

Be realistic about the space you’ve got to help you make decisions on what you bring into your home and what you discard.  Kids like binary decisions and having too many toys overwhelm them.  Try rotating toys and do a toy sweep every so often, decluttering and discarding everything out of date or things they don’t play with anymore.

Are you a parent struggling with too much kids’ stuff?

If it all seems too overwhelming, Jenny will come to your home, help you sort any issues you’re having and put systems in place to help your kids tidy themselves – and with a 20% discount.  Sessions normally cost £35/hour,  so that’s a pretty good deal.  Contact Jenny on 07977 303334 or


Find more ideas here


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