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I tried the KonMari folding method with my kids. Here is how it turned out!
Laundry is an endless task. Whether you have 10 kids or 2, it always seems like there are clothes, sheets, and towels to wash. I am lucky in that I don’t mind doing laundry, (my DIY laundry detergent really helps this!) but I don’t want my kids to grow up never having done laundry. Everything from washing and drying to folding and putting away.
But let me tell you, it’s much easier than it sounds. It would be so much faster and less stressful if I just did it myself!! Why do my children fight me so much on such a simple task?! Enter the KonMari method.
For those of you who don’t know, the KonMari method is a “method of simplifying and organizing the home” based on the runaway bestseller “The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up.” Check out her books here! KonMari folding specifically focuses on items standing upright in your drawers, rather than haphazardly laying flat in a drawer. The idea being “the more folds there are, the less wrinkled the item will be once ready for wear. Kondo’s other objective is to grant clothes—everything from coats to sweaters to socks—the respect they deserve by touching, appreciating, and properly storing each item.”
My husband was reading “The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up” and he recommended we try this method for my youngest daughter because she is somewhat scatterbrained. She gets off track easily, specifically when doing one task repeatedly. When my husband first suggested this I was a little bit skeptical. She can’t focus as it is how would she REALLY focus. But to my astonishment it works! Having specific steps on how to fold each item is a lifesaver.
But first, a little background on how my children’s closets and clothes are set up. They are both close to the same size, (ages 19 months apart) so they do share clothes with the exception of a few items. The girls have one closet, one dresser, and one hanging dresser (similar to this one). In the main big closet, in Harley’s room, we hang up the harder to fold items like dresses and tank tops. All the t-shirts get folded and put into the 1 dresser, which is in Lilly’s room. And they each have their own storage for pajamas, panties, socks, pants, and shorts in their own room; Lilly’s in the dresser, Harley’s in the hanging dresser in her closet.
KonMari Folding with Kids
There are lots of great resources on HOW to actually use this folding method: check out this post and this one! But today I’m going to share my opinions on how it worked for our kids to use this folding method. My older daughter doesn’t really care for this method. She would rather just put the clothes away and be done with it. But she views any household chore as punishment. But we didn’t really start this folding method for her. She has no trouble focusing and folding and putting away her clothes.
We started implementing this for our younger daughter. And we didn’t start using the KonMari folding method for neatness per se. Neatness wasn’t as much of a priority as a meditative state of folding clothes. It enabled our youngest daughter to really stay focused while she was putting away her laundry rather than being so scatterbrained and taking hours to complete. Yes literally hours. We also don’t have her fold everything. Dresses and tank tops get hung up in the closet.
I should note that her folding isn’t the neatest and her drawers aren’t the most organized, but what child’s is. It has however saved on space. They can fit all their t-shirts and long sleeve shirts in one drawer. But the biggest win for me has been my daughter being able to focus on that task at hand. And giving her organizational skills that will last a lifetime.
Tips for Getting Started
1. Keep it simple
To eliminate overwhelm, stick to teaching how to fold one item at a time. For example, the first time work on shirts. The next time pants, etc. I tried to do everything in one day. Let me tell you, it was a long day 😉
2. Keep folding illustrations handy
We referenced the KonMari book as well as some websites, which I referenced above. Just remember the illustrations are for adult clothes, so kid’s clothes might not need quite as many folds.
3. Don’t expect perfection
Again, we started using this method with Lilly not to force her to be more neat, but to help her focus on folding laundry. Some kids will enjoy the neatness aspect of this method (who likes messy drawers?!) while others will be happy to learn something new!
If anyone is thinking of introducing the KonMari folding method to their kids, I recommend they try it! If it doesn’t work, try again in a few months. And if it does work, you will be astounded by the results!!