Spark Anxiety: The Life-Changing Magic of Baby Cluttering Up
When overwhelmed by baby clutter, many new parents turn to the bestseller “Spark Joy” in hopes of learning the KonMari method of organizing. The book claims that for an ordered life one must discard any object that does not “spark joy.” But, what if the book sparks the opposite of joy? What if the book, itself, must be disposed of?
Luckily, there is an alternative to the KonMari method – one that preserves the most amount of sleep while inspiring the least amount of guilt. It is called the DadMommy Method and here is how it’s done:
Begin all at once. Step one: bring home a baby. This simple act can throw any ordered home into chaos.
Place every item you own on the floor. Leave it there.
Selection criterion: “Does it Spark Anxiety?” Consider each object. Is this bill unpaid? Is this rug stained? Does this laundry smell? Imagine yourself surrounded by objects that make you feel something.
Don’t discard, disregard. Babies grow out of onesies every month so it can be tempting to purge. A new parent has no time for that. Instead, use the DadMommy method:
- Begin sorting onesies as soon as baby goes down for a nap, isolating ones that are too small.
- Create donation pile for ugliest onesies.
- Realize you might have another baby and you’ll never have another baby shower so you had better save all onesies. Even the ones that make your baby look like he’s wearing a business suit though neither you nor your husband have ever worn a business suit. Was there a sale on business suit onesies?
- Decide to keep all business suit onesies for future baby.
- Hear current baby cry.
- Throw everything in bottom of closet, close the door, and forget.
Allow every object to find it’s own home. Every object has a place it wants to live whether it’s between the couch cushions, under the crib, or chewed up in the dog bed.
Store like with unlike. Kitchen measuring spoons, the fuzzy tie of a bathrobe, and a board book about bellybuttons, it can all go in the same decorative basket. Bonus points for the contents being cemented together with baby oatmeal.
Fold clothes like you are rolling meatballs. Ball each piece of clothing then plop it down in a sloppy pile. This is the only approach you will have to learn as it works well for every clothing article. Applied correctly, the contents of each open drawer should look like an entree from the Olive Garden.
The rule for papers: Keep everything. Arrange all catalogs, junk mail, mail marked for the previous owner, warrantees, postcards to be mailed back to the manufacturer, scraps of paper with scribbled notes from Baby 101 class, holiday cards, and old receipts casually on your counter.
Keep a shallow basket for pending papers near the door. Let the papers pile. Buy a second shallow basket for spillover. Let the papers pile. Buy a third shallow basket for spillover spillover. Let the papers pile. Buy a fourth shallow basket and pile on top of the first three baskets. Let the baskets pile.
On books. Put all your books on the floor. Look away long enough for the baby to rip each in half. Now you only have papers. See above.
Perhaps, you believe that your clutter den will one day turn back into a pre-baby minimalist sanctuary. Never fear! With dedicated practice of the DadMommy method through toddlerhood, grade school and high school, you too will have years of turmoil ahead. One must view this time as a celebration of mess. Life truly begins after you put your house in disorder, say screw it, and walk to the park.