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5 Surprising Benefits of Decluttering with Kids

Rebecca Jo-Rushdy KonMari® Platinum Consultant
Rebecca Jo-Rushdy - KonMari® Platinum Consultant

Written by Rebecca Jo-Rushdy,

KonMari® Platinum Consultant

The words decluttering with kids may make many of us recoil with dread and it may be an activity you avoid at all costs. We’ve all been there - repeating ourselves like a broken record to get the kids to tidy and declutter until tension flares and stress levels erupt - resulting in more mommy meltdowns than I can count!

It wasn’t until I read “The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up” by Marie Kondo who created the KonMari Method®, that I realized “joy” was the missing key in unlocking a peaceful & sanctuary we had been yearning for. The method is deeply rooted in gratitude, which connects beyond the surface level tidying that traditional organizing is commonly known for.

It’s a well known fact that a tidy space fosters focus, creativity and much more, but why is it so incredibly difficult to implement? Merely knowing it’s “good for us” is not incentive enough to shape healthy habits that stick. Research from behavioral science and positive psychology supports that when we connect with our “why” - the journey becomes much less arduous and enables us to embody the practice - getting into the coveted flow state of mind.

While it may feel daunting - focusing on the benefits may unblock the barrier and change the family narrative for the better:

  • Improve Your Child’s Mental Health: did you know that decluttering and tidying lowers your cortisol levels? On the flip side, being surrounded by clutter increases our stress hormones. Tidying is absolutely a self-regulation tool that they can rely on for the rest of their lives. (Tip: when they’re feeling frustrated or stuck with homework, even just 10 minutes will lower cortisol levels to get back to baseline)

  • Learning How to Let Go: it’s an all powerful life skill we aren’t taught at a school and even adults struggle with - the key is letting go with gratitude so that we don’t hold on and live with resentment & regret. (Tip: Get specific with them, ask why they are letting it go and what lessons we have learned - this shapes future behaviour patterns.)

  • Bonding Experience with Kids: it’s truly one of the few screen-free & wholesome experiences to deepen your relationship with a child, as they are able to express their truth in a safe space - reminiscing on memories their belongings hold, what joy means to them, and why they are ready to let go of certain items. (Tip: challenging but most importantly is for parents to withhold judgment “do you know how much that costs!” “Oh but that was a gift, such a waste!” when we provide a safe space for children, they will be open to sharing the BIG STUFF in the future)

  • Define What Enough Means: the method will give you a clear audit of everything you own and ultimately surround you with joy that you personally define. Kids will learn that we are each unique individuals, and knowing how much they own, empowers them to make smarter & more intentional purchasing decisions - ultimately avoiding mindless spending. (Tip: it’s only natural to get tempted by what we see in the shops! When the kids ask/begs to buy things - pause and reframe the standard “NO” response - ask them, “how many of x do you have at home already?” “Is this quality that will last?” “Let’s put it on the wish list and we can revisit it after we joy check!”)

  • Gratitude practice to boost EQ & immunity: when we focus on what we have, what we lack fades away. When we are able to see everything as a blessing or a lesson, this aids the development of a growth mindset and weakens the fixed mindset that we are hardwired to have. Additionally - gratitude and a positive mental attitude are proven to improve your immune system. (Tip: a powerful practice is to keep checking in on the kids - “how do you feel?” to reinforce the feel-good factor of decluttering, and also for them to recognize how abundantly blessed they are)

My kids have been practicing the method since they were 2 years old - currently they are 6 & 8 years old - and we regularly “joy check” our belongings every 2 months to let go of what’s outgrown and no longer serves. It literally takes no time to do, once the proper foundation is laid down.

Think of it as exercising - once you complete a workout program doesn’t mean you’re fit for life, we need to maintain it - hence the joy checking to strengthen the muscles and support our evolution.

The kids are far from “perfect” but I’ve also let go & redefined what perfect means in our household - the full embodiment of the KonMari® method goes beyond our physical belongings and empowers us to let go of limiting beliefs and habits that don’t serve us so that we can focus on what matters most.

If your home is a source of stress - invest the time to make it the stable foundation for every family member to thrive in. Whether you choose to DIY or get a guiding support - there are a myriad of ways and resources to reach your goal.

I promise you won’t regret it.

Rebecca Jo-Rushdy

KonMari® Platinum Consultant

Spark Joy & Flow



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