Marie Kondo is passing along her wealth of organizing knowledge to perhaps her youngest clients yet — her two daughters, Satsuki and Miko.
The tidying expert, whose latest book is titled "Kurashi at Home," recently shared some parenting insight with TODAY.com on how she's teaching her girls, both under the age of 8, to handle a relatable household chore: managing an overload of toys.
"First and foremost, I communicate to them the feeling of sparking joy and being selective about picking items that they like and introducing that into their lives before it gets out of control," Kondo explains. "But at the same time, I’m very conscious of telling them that space is finite, wherever it is."
So how does she teach the lesson of physical boundaries to her little ones? She establishes designed spaces throughout the house for a wide array of categories.
"When we talk about, 'Hey, this is the space for toys,' or, 'This is the space for your school supplies,' I make sure they understand that is the space for whatever category of item we’ve defined together, and I let them pack it until, you know, maybe it will get really full," Kondo says.
Once the assigned drawer or closet starts to overflow and invade the communal spaces of their home, Kondo says that's a sign that decisions need to be made on what to keep and what to let go of.
"I think that gets through to the kids and it’s a very logical approach to help them understand, 'Okay, this is my defined space and if something goes beyond it, then that’s when we have to let go.'"
In addition to her daughters, Kondo also shares a son, born in 2021, with husband Takumi Kawahara. As their family has grown, she says that her focus isn’t “solely on work” and is more about striking a balance between her career and home life.
"As you introduce more members into your family over time, I think that there is inevitably going to be limitations on what you can do physically and how much time you have," Kondo shares. "So as I see myself going from one child to now three, there’s this interesting, almost community ... (we) begin to help each other as we all share this idea that we live together under one roof."
Kondo says she is proactively teaching her kids to reflect on "what types of emotions" they might be feeling to "really understand themselves," a lesson that comes in handy during instances of sibling rivalry.
The “Tidying Up” star says she practices what she preaches and reflects upon herself in these situations, too.
"I can kind of sense when there is about to be some kind of friction or something about to break, and maybe the big sister is being a little mean to the little sister. Whenever these incidences happen, I reflect upon myself, and I often find that there might be something going on with me as well," Kondo explains.
"As values and ethics, we educate our kids to be nice to one another, share, to listen and hear the other person’s side of the story, but the parents' state of mind, I think, also affects the kids in more ways than you can imagine," she says.
"I've tried to be very aware of my own state of mind. And if I see something happening in the family, to also look within my own mind and my heart to see if there's something out of balance."