Why I Love Tidying Up
I, like most women Netflix subscribers, have already binge-watched all of Tidying Up with Marie Kondo. I loved it. That wasn’t surprising; I love all of the shows where organizers come into a messy home and straighten it up. I love organizing. I love boxes. What I have always hated is tidying up.
It drives me crazy when I put hours into designing a system to make it easier for my kids to keep their rooms clean, and they don’t use it. As a result, most of my tidying up was done in frustration.
What I learned from Marie Kondo is that there is joy in tidying.
Actually, I learned it from both Marie Kondo and Russel Brand. Russel Brand’s book Revolution has an underlying theme that we are taught that stuff can make us happy, but it doesn’t. Marie Kondo’s show has the theme of finding joy in our homes. These two themes came together at just the right time and made me understand why tidying up can be joyful.
A significant part of Marie Kondo’s tidying up method is letting go of anything that doesn’t bring you joy. This has been mocked endlessly on social media as people proclaim they are getting rid of all of their vegetables and bills because they don’t bring them joy. But the truth is, letting go of things we don’t love gives us freedom.
Our homes and classrooms are full of things we bought because we thought they would make us happy. Now, they are taking up space, and our homes, and classrooms are a mess.
By letting go of things that we don’t need and don’t bring us joy, we are making room for the things that do bring us joy.
Another cool thing Marie Kondo does is say thank you to objects she doesn’t need anymore. It helps to turn the guilt of getting rid of something into gratitude. I have found that gratitude contagious. Not only am I grateful for the objects that I no longer need, but I am especially thankful for the objects I am keeping in my space. I appreciate what I have in a way that I didn’t in the past.
I can tell my kids feel the same way. As we were organizing last night, my son kept saying, “I forgot about this! I can’t wait to play with it!”
By getting rid of things they didn’t love anymore, they created space to see the stuff they did love.
I have also changed my attitude about how we tidy up. As I said before, tidying up in my house used to consist of me grumpily picking up after kids who had moved on to another activity. Now, I understand that tidying is an important activity to do as a family.
With fewer things to put away and homes for everything, tidying up isn’t stressful; it is fun. The kids enjoy the process of deciding where to put each object, and they are much happier in their open spaces.
Teaching kids to organize or “tidy up” their spaces isn’t on the curriculum at school, but it is an important life skill that will benefit students far beyond their educations. Plus, by incorporating tidying up into your classroom life, you will get to experience the joy that comes with simplifying your environment.
What do you do to keep your students organized at school? Share your tips in the comments!