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Spring cleaning can be a daunting task, especially if you’re a parent. That’s why we decided to call in the predominant expert for some advice and encouragement for parents looking to tackle the clutter in their lives. Marie Kondo is a professional organizing consultant, who has written four books on organizing (including the groundbreaking The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up), starred in two Netflix series and launched multiple product lines. Although we can’t all have Marie Kondo come to our houses and apartments to help us, she has provided plenty of resources for us to take charge of our cleaning journeys at home.
She chatted with us about how everyone can change their attitudes and mindsets about tidying, how to manage your kids’ clutter and, of course, how to spark joy in your home. She recently launched a collaboration with Shutterfly that focuses on displaying happy moments and memories — instead of hiding them away in a drawer.
What inspired your latest collection with Shutterfly?
Gifting and finding the perfect gift are the inspiration for the latest products in the Shutterfly x KonMari collection. Gifting is not just about the item you select; it’s also how that gift makes the recipient feel. Surrounding yourself with items that spark joy is the foundation of the KonMari philosophy and is also at the center of this collaboration.
I love the idea of adding a photo or a memorable phrase to a gift as a way to personalize and put the recipient top of mind. I designed each item within the collection to help transform the most treasured moments into items that spark joy and inspire people to share their most cherished, joyful memories with the ones they love throughout the year.
The Shutterfly x KonMari collection is made up of 79 thoughtfully designed products with 27 exclusive designs, including art prints, cotton totes, blankets, ceramic candles and more. I recommend displaying your joy-sparking photos rather than keeping them in a box, tucked away. This is a wonderful way to bring your special moments into your daily life!
Now that many people are going back to the office and trying to adapt to a new schedule, how would you recommend working tidying up time into their lives?
The goal of tidying is to make your home complement your life, which includes clearing away clutter and other items in your space that no longer serve a purpose and finding a designated spot for each item you decided to keep. As everyday schedules change with the return to office, I recommend that people devote a bit of time, even if it’s only 15 minutes a day, to tidying up. Once you complete your tidying festival, which is a once-in-a-lifetime big event, daily tidying will be very simple — all you need to do is put back what you used to the designated spot. That way, you enter a place that sparks joy when you return home each day. Only you know what kind of home environment makes you happy, so by going through the process of selecting only items in your home that inspire joy, you can accurately discover what you love, as well as what you need — this is the magic of tidying!
How do you advise keeping your kids’ clutter under control?
Children’s toys always seem to multiply and can quickly become scattered throughout the house. I recommend designating a set location for where each of these toys will be kept and then making sure your children are aware of where their toys belong. I also find it helpful to make tidying playful with my own kids. For example, cheerfully narrating as you tidy the home will show your children that organizing is a positive everyday activity.
What organizing products do you recommend?
When it comes to organizing photos, I love photo books for this purpose. Shutterfly’s photo book helps organize all my photos that I’ve taken on my phone and computer. It’s a great way to capture favorite memories and arrange in so many ways. From creating books by months, years or even by trips, a photo book helps to keep your memories organized.
I also love our new Serenity Glass Collection with The Container Store. It has a variety of glass countertop trays and organizers designed to give jewelry or your favorite beauty products including skincare, makeup and nail polish a timeless home. Plus, in tribute to the clean lines of Japanese design, each Serenity product can be seamlessly combined or stacked to create custom storage sets that keep every item safe, tidy and organized. These pieces really do add a touch of elegance to my countertops for everyday cosmetic and jewelry items!
How do you find thoughtful gifts that spark joy for your loved ones?
The true purpose of a gift is to be received, and whether it’s used and loved for years to come is not the main point. Choose a gift you believe might enrich the recipient’s lifestyle – the intention of the gift should be to spark joy for them.
For me, personalized gifts provide a wonderful opportunity to gift with intention. Gifts are so much more personal when they are meaningful to the recipient. It’s not just about the “what,” but also about the “why” behind the gift.
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