How to KonMari Your Home After Family Changes

Posted on February 20, 2019 in

Author, Netflix star, and organization-guru Marie Kondo has been inspiring people across the world to ask the question, “Does it spark joy?”. With her coveted KonMari method of sorting through household clutter, she has taught countless individuals how to develop peace of mind by tackling one mess at a time. Porchlight, AKA KonMari super fans, wanted to pass along the tidying magic to those who are looking for advice on how to organize their homes after a family change.


New Marriage. For newlyweds who have recently combined households, one of the largest challenges is organizing two lives within one space. KonMari to the rescue! Here is some advice for those looking to create a tidy, happy space.

  • Before starting your organization projects, visualize how you want your space to look.
  • Have wedding gifts you don’t like? Toss or donate them. Don’t feel guilty about keeping items that do not spark joy, for either you or your new spouse.
  • If you are consolidating all of your clothes into one closet or wardrobe area, only keep the items that you use and that make you happy. Kondo also suggests folding clothes in a file system way (folded standing up front to back rather than stacked) in order to save space.
  • Keep like items together; it makes them easier to find.
  • Ask your new spouse to help with the tidying process and the clutter will cleared in no time!


New Baby or Adoption. Typically, the KonMari method involves tackling entire categories at a time (ex: clothes, books, paper, misc., sentimental items), but when you are a new parent, taking care of your child takes priority over decluttering. Also, your home might be filled with items that you need, but that do not necessarily spark joy. (We’re talking about you, diaper genie). Here are some recommendations:

  • Instead of trying to tackle the decluttering all at once, chip away at it when you can, such as in the evening or when your child is napping.
  • Baby clothes are tiny. Instead of “file folding” them, try using boxes or drawer dividers to keep the items neat.
  • Relocate all toys to one central space; it makes them easier to find.
  • Toss or donate toys that the children do not like – items that don’t spark joy for the kids.
  • If you have older children, ask them to help with the organizing and set a good example by keeping your own space neat and tidy.


Older Children Leaving or Moving Out of the Home. With the KonMari method, you typically tidy-up by category. But when the organizing happens after a child has moved out, the decluttering is usually concentrated on one space – their former bedroom. Here is some advice on organizing for empty nesters:

  • Before starting the tidying up process, visualize how you want the room to look after you are done. What are your plans for the space?
  • Try to declutter before you organize. Getting rid of all of the extra items (ex: clothes, school items, etc.) makes the process even faster.
  • If you declutter first, and tackle the four KonMari categories first (clothes, books, paper, misc.) you will have more time and more space for sorting the sentimental items left behind in your children’s former bedroom.


Divorce. This is a tough category, because a person clearing out their space after a divorce is not only dealing with all the emotions of separation, but they are also working on rebuilding their identity as a newly single person. Here’s how KonMari can help:

  • As with other tidying-up projects, it is a good idea to declutter before re-organizing everything else.
  • Know that the space is going to look a lot worse before it gets better, especially if you’re following the KonMari method of piling all category items in one place. But that is okay, it is part of the process.
  • Nostalgia is not your friend during the decluttering process. Keep your mind on the task – does it spark joy? If not, find the item a new home in the toss or donate pile.
  • Once you have decluttered your household and removed the unwanted items, it is time to reclaim your space! Surround yourself with your favorite items. Organize everything the way that works for you.


Decluttering and organizing your space, no matter what your family situation, can bring peace of mind and a sense of calm. Once you have looked at everything in your household and asked yourself “Does this spark joy for me?” the overall decision-making process can become a lot easier. You have tackled your space, now it is time to tackle other life decisions! If one of those life decisions is a family law issue, contact Porchlight by phone at (678) 435-9069 or via our online form.