When Marie Kondo first released her bestselling book, The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up, parents everywhere called foul. Sure, it’s possible to employ her decluttering methods as a young millennial or empty nester, but for those of us in the throes of early parenthood, the prospect of only keeping things that “sparked joy” was a practical joke. I myself am a tidy person with a passion for organizing, and even I was skeptical of her process. Sorry, but 90 percent of kid gear – battery-operated walkers, plastic sippy cups, grass-stained polka-dot leggings my kid demands to wear daily – doesn’t give me the euphoric “ching!” feeling she writes about.
When Marie – a mom to two girls, a 2-year-old and a 1-year-old, who admits that “even my house gets cluttered sometimes” – brought her philosophy to Netflix with Tidying Up, I gave it another chance.
I’m sure glad I did because over the course of the eight-episode series, I learned a handful of skills that would benefit most parents struggling to survive the day-to-day chaos that comes with having toddlers for roommates. It might not feel like “life-changing magic,” but the following lessons, if practiced consistently, well help any family become not just tidier, but happier, too.