I finally Marie Kondo’d my home—and here’s what happened

I want our house to make sense and to bring us all a sense of calm and relief from the outside world—a world often filled with busyness and stress and worries.

I finally Marie Kondo’d my home—and here’s what happened
Marie Kondo

A recent visit from my two out-of-town sisters and their families opened my eyes to the reality of the clutter in our home. While they were visiting we had so much extra stuff around, but even after they left, it seemed that our home was still covered in clutter. We were drowning in toys, baby gear, toddler climbing structures, mail, paperwork, laundry and bottles. It had become overwhelming and stressful.

We needed to find relief somehow.

We have a modest home with what has always seemed like a "normal" amount of belongings, but I am now convinced (by the way my husband talks about our 'stuff') that he won't be completely happy until our home looks a little less bare than a jail cell. And after a recent reveal of his wanting to give me the book, The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up (but not actually giving it to me because he didn't want to offend me), only confirmed this for me even more.

Then cue my sister telling me about how Marie Kondo's book had been turned into a Netflix series (thank you, Universe!) and I had to watch the first episode. I grabbed some laundry to fold and put the show on. Ten minutes into the episode, I found myself crying, which took me by surprise. The first couple's testimony really resonated with me on a deep level and I knew I had to respond to this urge inside me.

These two parents were so relatable to me. They explained that between work and life and child-rearing, their house just started to fill up over the years. The mother, who I identified with, expressed that she didn't find tidying up as valuable as anything else she could be doing with her children. And I felt for the husband, who sounded just like my husband—desperate for an answer and some relief.

I've put off the decluttering process in our home for a while, but after just one episode of Tidying Up, I decided to go for it. Marie Kondo lit a fire, nay a spark, under my butt. I wanted to make our home more comfortable for my husband and daughter, and I hoped the process of doing so would be life-changing for me too.

I want our house to make sense and to bring us all a sense of calm and relief from the outside world—a world often filled with busyness and stress and worries. I want it to be a safe haven for all of us. A place where we can leave our worries on the doormat and connect with one another daily.

Previously when I've attempted to declutter, I'd do it little by little or I'd start with a full closet and almost immediately get overwhelmed, then give up. However, after watching Tidying Up, I agreed with Marie's method and despite it seeming difficult, I knew once I finished that the likelihood of a relapse of accumulating clutter would be slim.

Putting away our Christmas decorations was an easy place to start since Tidying Up premiered shortly after the holidays (smart timing, Netflix). Once they were all away and my space was more normal-looking, I felt like I could tackle the house in its entirety. We spend most of our time in our living room, playroom and kitchen so I decluttered those three spaces completely on my first day.

When my husband came home from work on my Marie Kondo boot camp Day 1, I could visibly see the relief on his happy face. And as each day passed, I could see how much lighter we both felt. It was so encouraging.

Being able to tidy everything up in less than five minutes after our daughter goes to bed for the night now sets the tone for a relaxed evening together. We can focus on things we want to focus on, like conversation and catching up instead of tackling the day's mess or letting it loom over our heads.

I've also noticed this minimalism mindset spreading into other areas of my life, not just my home. For example, I have become more organized with my client information and how I schedule out appointments for my salon—streamlining strategies for my business life, too.

In the days since Tidying Up made its debut, my social media newsfeeds have been filled with Marie memes and threads. (I think she is taking over the world.) All my mama friends seem to be ditching their belongings for a simpler, more minimalistic home.

Maybe we are all just trying to figure out where we can find peace in the daily grind of mom life?

Every day I change diapers, make meals, tend to my business, worry about bills, make to-do lists, check in with my husband, schedule doctor's appointments, bring my daughter to play dates, etc. The emotional labor of motherhood is heavy, and Marie is helping me realize that it can actually be a little lighter with less 'stuff.'

With each post I see my friends share, I'm more inspired to decide what sparks joy in my life and what doesn't deserve space in our home anymore. I am understanding that I don't have to keep things we don't love anymore just because we may feel bad because the item was a gift or because our daughter played with that one toy once and she may want to play with it again in another couple of months.

And you know what?

I feel pretty joy-filled and my home definitely feels tidy. Thanks for all the sparks, Marie. ✨

You might also like:

Rarely is a woman more concerned with what her body needs than when she's pregnant. We start to question and research everything, right? From swearing off turkey sandwiches to diving down the rabbit hole of prenatal supplements that make up what we lack, the stress of overthinking is real, mama.

One of the main reasons we launched the Motherly Shop is to help take some of that stress away. We've tracked down the best brands and products developed by people (and in many cases, women!) that truly work to serve the needs of real mamas, especially throughout the overwhelming transition into motherhood.

That's why we knew we had to introduce mamas-to-be to the science-backed and expertly-formulated protein collagen for pregnancy from Needed. And as one of our bestsellers, it's clear you've been looking for it, too.

Keep reading Show less

I never wanted to be a mom. It wasn't something I ever thought would happen until I fell madly in love with my husband—who knew very well he wanted children. While he was a natural at entertaining our nephews or our friends' kids, I would awkwardly try to interact with them, not really knowing what to say or do.

Our first pregnancy was a surprise, a much-wanted one but also a unicorn, "first try" kind of pregnancy. As my belly grew bigger, so did my insecurities. How do you even mom when you never saw motherhood in your future? I focused all my uncertainties on coming up with a plan for the delivery of my baby—which proved to be a terrible idea when my dreamed-of unmedicated vaginal birth turned into an emergency C-section. I couldn't even start motherhood the way I wanted, I thought. And that feeling happened again when I couldn't breastfeed and instead had to pump and bottle-feed. And once more, when all the stress from things not going my way turned into debilitating postpartum anxiety that left me not really enjoying my brand new baby.

As my baby grew, slowly so did my confidence that I could do this. When he would tumble to the ground while learning how to walk and only my hugs could calm him, I felt invincible. But on the nights he wouldn't sleep—whether because he was going through a regression, a leap, a teeth eruption or just a full moon—I would break down in tears to my husband telling him that he was a better parent than me.

Then I found out I was pregnant again, and that this time it was twins. I panicked. I really cannot do two babies at the same time. I kept repeating that to myself (and to my poor husband) at every single appointment we had because I was just terrified. He, of course, thought I could absolutely do it, and he got me through a very hard pregnancy.

When the twins were born at full term and just as big as singleton babies, I still felt inadequate, despite the monumental effort I had made to grow these healthy babies and go through a repeat C-section to make sure they were both okay. I still felt my skin crawl when they cried and thought, What if I can't calm them down? I still turned to my husband for diaper changes because I wasn't a good enough mom for twins.

My husband reminded me (and still does) that I am exactly what my babies need. That I am enough. A phrase that has now become my mantra, both in motherhood and beyond, because as my husband likes to say, I'm the queen of selling myself short on everything.

So when my babies start crying, I tell myself that I am enough to calm them down.

When my toddler has a tantrum, I remind myself that I am enough to get through to him.

When I go out with the three kids by myself and start sweating about everything that could go wrong (poop explosions times three), I remind myself that I am enough to handle it all, even with a little humor.

And then one day I found this bracelet. Initially, I thought how cheesy it'd be to wear a reminder like this on my wrist, but I bought it anyway because something about it was calling my name. I'm so glad I did because since day one I haven't stopped wearing it.

Every time I look down, there it is, shining back at me. I am enough.

I Am Enough bracelet 

SONTAKEY  I Am Enough Bracelet

May this Oath Bracelet be your reminder that you are perfect just the way you are. That you are enough for your children, you are enough for your friends & family, you are enough for everything that you do. You are enough, mama <3


We independently select and share the products we love—and may receive a commission if you choose to buy. You've got this.


Mom rage is real—and it's a sign that mothers' needs aren't being met

The truth is, anger—real, fist-clenching, heart-racing, uncontrollable anger—is so much more common among mothers than many of us think.

Maternal anger takes most women who experience it by surprise. I'm not this person, we say, after feeling a shocking swell of rage during one of those inevitable moments of frustration we all face as a parent.

I never thought I'd be "that mom" who yells at her family, we say, after snapping and yelling at our toddler.

I don't recognize myself when I feel like this—and I feel like this more than I want to, we say, when we realize that our anger isn't a temporary, one-time thing but an undercurrent in our day-to-day, an undeniable presence like a shadow.

The truth is, anger—real, fist-clenching, heart-racing, uncontrollable anger—is so much more common among mothers than many of us think. And it's time to talk about what "mom rage" is, where it comes from, and what we can do about it.

Keep reading Show less