The sixth episode of Netflix series Tidying Up with Marie Kondo stars Aaron and Sehnita Mattison. The pair have two young children and conflicting views of the tidying process.
This is all well and good—but the Mattison home is cluttered. While Aaron is ready to say goodbye to the items that no longer serve him, Sehnita struggles to release anything that triggers an emotional response.
I’m happy to report, however, that tidying guru Marie Kondo helps the Mattisons come out on top. The pair hope to have a third child in the near future and, by the end of the episode, they announce they’re ready to make this wish a reality.
No Such Thing as Magic
In all areas of her life, Sehnita likes to seek out experts when she can’t accomplish something herself. She tells Marie she’s eager to have the author “work her magic.”
When she hears this, Marie’s face grows serious—arguably the most serious we’ve ever seen her.
“I’m sorry to say that I don’t use any magic,” she replies. “Only you can do that.”
She then explains that many of their clients have made life-altering changes with the KonMari Method of tidying—due to their own hard work and commitment. Aaron clarifies that he and his wife are both ready to organize their home, and that they’re simply looking for a bit of guidance.
In my opinion, this is an important part of the series. Some families may tune in to the show for an easy organizing fix, but it’s abundantly clear that tidying requires extensive time and effort. I appreciate that Marie takes a moment to touch on this.
Involving the Kids
During this episode, Marie explains that kids may have a particular attachment to certain toys. As such, they need to be engaged in this part of the tidying process.
Some strategies parents might find useful:
- When tidying kids’ toys, place all the items in a pile.
- Create separate piles if you have more than one child. Include a pile for shared toys.
- Have your children choose the toys that spark joy in their lives. If they claim all their toys spark joy, ask them to rank each item.
The Mattisons apply these tactics flawlessly. Aaron, for instance, realizes his two-year-old daughter might be too young to go over her entire pile, so he asks her to start by selecting one toy she’d be willing to let go of.
It made me happy to see this. I think getting kids involved in the tidying process can help teach crucial life skills like communication and evaluating what matters.
Tackling the Garage
Packed to the brim with clothes, games, and boxes they haven’t opened since they moved into their home seven years prior, the Mattison garage is cluttered. It’s so full of stuff there isn’t room for another shelf of tools, let alone a car.
Naturally, this frustrates Aaron. Sehnita, however, thinks they still need the items they’ve kept in storage for so long. For example, she’s reluctant to let go of their many suitcases because she says she’d like to go on more family trips in the future.
Similarly, she’s hesitant to organize items like baby clothes and old bicycles because if they have a third child, she feels those items might be useful.
I, like Sehnita, have a hard time letting go of items I believe I might need in the future. Guilt is certainly a factor as well—it would be disappointing to throw something away, only to realize you have to buy it again. Her internal struggle is very relatable.
Yet, she overcomes it. By the end of the episode, the Mattisons have cleared their garage, organized their home, and learned to better understand each other. Both Aaron and Sehnita realize they don’t need a lot of material things to be happy, and they successfully make room in their house for baby number three.