How to Keep Shared Spaces Tidy – KonMari | The Official Website of Marie Kondo

How to Keep Shared Spaces Tidy

It can be challenging to keep shared spaces tidy — especially during the busiest times of the year. Whether your home includes roommates, children, or even a few boisterous pets, The KonMari Method™ can help you keep high-traffic areas tidy year-round. 

For the final week of our Fall Tidying Challenge, our certified KonMari consultants, Alichia Pretorius and Nancy Eaton, are here to help you tidy and organize shared spaces ahead of the holiday season. They’re also sharing a few tips on how to work with messier loved ones.


Make a Plan

“The holiday season can be a stressful time, so a well-organized home is critical,” says Alichia. “Thankfully, you can get ahead on cleaning and organizing your home before becoming fully immersed in holiday plans. The first step is to make a plan for what should be done — and in what order — so you can create a cleaning schedule for yourself and your family. “


Bring Everyone Together

Find a time that works for everyone, including kids, and commit to tidying and organizing together. “There is no such thing as a one-person show when it comes to cleaning and organizing a home,” Alichia says. “Remember, it takes a whole household to make a mess, so all the members of that household should chip in and help.” 


Declutter First

As always with The KonMari Method™, you’ll want to let go of what no longer sparks joy. “Before any organizing begins, a declutter session is paramount!” says Nancy. “Pare down what you have for the family. Donate gently used toys and throw out broken ones. Consider the concept of “if you buy one, you get rid of one.” This is such great training for children and creates gratitude for what they have.”


Divide and Conquer

Work together for a shared sense of responsibility. “Some quick tasks that can be done together as a family: folding blankets, dusting, vacuuming or sweeping,” says Alichia. Regular maintenance cleaning can also become a project for the whole family, including kids and teens. “Spot cleaning floors and glass surfaces also does not take much time,” she says. “Especially when done regularly instead of putting it off for later.”  


For Younger Kids, Make It a Game

“Children love games!” says Nancy. “Set up designated spaces for each child to place their toys. A label with their name on it will give them ownership and pride. This designated drop basket, cart or bucket will also eliminate fighting over missing items. Set a timer, then announce it’s time to clean up.”

Playing a “tidying game” has an added perk: Parents can let go of the pressure to keep everything perfect all the time. “When you know that there will be a clean-up session after a play date, it can alleviate the tension. You’ll feel less of a constant need to pick up after them.” 


Tune Into Your Why

Shared spaces exist for enjoying time and experiences with the people you love. Planning for future gatherings that spark joy will motivate you to keep the area clean and organized. This approach comes in handy around the holidays when you might have more plans and visitors than usual.  

“When preparing my home for the holidays, I like to look at where I am, and where my family is, in life,” says Nancy. “What can I make happen that will positively impact my family’s relationship? Recently, my daughter was married and we added my incredible son-in-law to our family, so I’m considering how to include his family in our dinners and celebrations. What do I need to do to prepare for that?  It is so rewarding to live intentionally and organize your home and plans accordingly.” 

As the saying goes, “Live by example.”  By showing loved ones the benefits of a tidy space — and enjoying all the season has to offer — you’ll encourage them to recognize the life-changing magic of tidying up. We wish you luck with these final days of fall tidying and hope you’re looking forward to many joy-sparking holiday plans! 

Interested in working with Alichia or Nancy? You can find them in our consultant directory, along with other KonMari experts worldwide. Or you can become a consultant through our online certification program!

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