As I was driving to work today I started to think about the Konmari method and how similar it is to the Waldorf kindergarten teacher method that I was taught when my kids were little. I remember visiting in a Waldorf classroom and getting to be a teacher helper, which was such a fun thing to do! The teachers had cleanup time after playtime in the morning. During cleanup time the children learned how to take care of their play things - fold them, roll them and put them away - and everything had a place and everything was stored in a certain way. It reminds me of the Konmari method that people are using now - how we're all working to clear out our shelves and closets and take care of our things. I was thinking what a nice lesson this is to teach our children.
I struggled with this when my children were small. I think many of us do. We have too many toys and don't know how to take care of them. I thought I'd share what I learned as a mom when my children were in Waldorf school at the parent education classes.
The Konmari method says to place every single toy in your house into one large pile. I actually recommend you do this with your children as it often turns out to become a fun activity instead of a chore. This pile might be a mountain of toys - I know mine would have been.
Start by selecting one toy at a time from your pile. Hold it closely and ask yourself and your child "Does this spark joy in our hearts?"
Waldorf kindergarten teachers are also asking "Does this spark imagination play?" - and I think that's something we can also ask ourselves and our own children.
If the answer is yes, place the toy in a new pile called the keep pile. If the answer is no, you can thank the toy with your child for all the joy it brought and place it in a new pile, the giveaway pile.
Here's something I found useful to remind my children when they were struggling with giving away a toy that no longer brings joy to them but had in the past was that we would be giving these toys to another child to play with and love. I would say "You know what, Morgan, this doll, you loved it, and so that means another child will also love it. Let's give it away and it can continue to be loved." Saying something simple like that would often help them to let things go.
When all of your toys are sorted into their piles, move your attention to the keep pile and begin thinking about a new home for each toy. In Waldorf kindergartens blossom clothes and silks are folded and rolled up and placed in their own cubby space. Gnomes and dolls are placed on shelves or back onto nature tables. Wooden toys such as blocks will go in baskets. When you and your child find a new home for every toy in the keep pile turn to the giveaway pile. This pile can be packed up carefully and donated to a charity of your choice.
And there you have it! My take on the Konmari Method... More soon - xoxo Sarah