Marie Kondo reveals how to work from home while looking after kids

How working from home can spark joy for you AND your kids: Organization expert Marie Kondo reveals top tips for parents who are struggling to balance jobs and children while in quarantine

  • The Netflix star, 34, has shared advice for parents who are currently working from home while their children are also in the house 
  • She revealed four tips for how to make the daily family routine more efficient 
  • Marie has two young daughters with her husband Takumi, and she is currently working from home while promoting her new book, Joy at Work 
  • Last month, Marie shared tips for how to make the most out of your working-from-home space  
  • She says that there are three easy ways to transform your work space and to make yourself more productive   

With millions of people now working from home amid the coronavirus pandemic, professionals are having to deal with a whole host of new challenges, from finding a suitable workspace in their house to figuring out a balance between their jobs and their personal lives. 

But for many, the main struggle has been managing their careers while also trying to take care of their kids – the majority of whom are also currently at home after schools and daycares across the country shut their doors to the public. 

Thankfully, there is some help on hand from organization expert and mother-of-two Marie Kondo, 34, who has now translated her tidying expertise into a more professional capacity, something that she has fine-tuned after spending weeks working from home herself. 

Expert advice: Organization expert and mother-of-two Marie Kondo has revealed her top tips for balancing your job and childcare while working from home 

Expertise: The 34-year-old has two young daughters with her husband Takumi, and the family of four is currently all at home amid the coronavirus pandemic 

The organizational guru-turned Netflix star, who has just published her latest book, Joy at Work, has now shared a series of tips for those struggling to balance working from home with childcare. 

In an interview with People, Marie shared four methods for achieving perfect harmony in your home, for both you and your children, revealing that the first step is to ensure your kids have their own regimented schedule in place. 

She insists that giving your children a series of daily tasks and activities, ‘whether it’s making breakfast together, reading, or doing puzzles’ is ‘so important’ to help them achieve structure in their day-to-day lives, and to help them feel a greater sense of normality during this time of upheaval. 

Marie Kondo reveals how to make working from home with kids easier 

  • Give your children a daily schedule 
  • Make sure your kids are aware of your daily schedule 
  • Accept that tantrums happen, but always discuss the cause 
  • Make tidying a group activity so that your kids want to help out 

Once you have given your children a schedule, Marie says it is just as important to ensure that they are aware of what your daily line-up looks like, and so they know what times during the day you aren’t available for playtime. 

She admits that this doesn’t always work, but it will at the very least help to set a few boundaries for everyone in the family.  

‘When you’re designating a time for work, share your intention with your family members,’ she explained. ‘I try to close the office door when I’m working, but sometimes they will still knock really loudly and try to come in.’

As for any tantrums that yours kids may throw, Marie says the key is to take it all in your stride, and accept that meltdowns are part of the process. 

She advises that it is ‘quite natural for kids to have tantrums’, and that there is no point in worrying about it – they key is to address the feelings that prompted the meltdown in the first place. 

‘I take the time to listen,’ she revealed. ‘Once they’ve calmed down, I ask them what’s bothering them and then, to let them know I understand.

‘I say, “So that made you sad,” or “That’s what you didn’t like.” I try to honor their feelings.’

Her final tip for a harmonious home environment? Take the time to tidy the house together as a family. And for those who insist that their children won’t clean up without a fight, Marie insists that is not the case.  

Coming up:  Marie just release a new book, Joy at Work, a follow up to her bestseller The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up

She notes that her own children – little girls Satsuki and Miko – might not tidy up on their own, but they are more than willing to help when she and her husband Takumi turn it into a group activity. 

‘The will [tidy up] when I ask them to!’ she revealed. ‘We make it a daily practice and tidy together at the end of the day.’        

Marie’s latest working from home tips come after she shared some hacks to help people make the most out of working from home amid the pandemic.   

The mother-of-two shared her top tips for turning your home into a productive space, revealing three simple techniques to give your at-home working life a serious boost. 

And while the tips were penned prior to the outbreak of COVID-19, and the subsequent quarantines that were put in place as a result of it, Marie’s tips have never been more relevant, as millions of people have been told to hunker down at home and work from the safety of their own houses. 

According to Marie, the secret to at-home productivity is ritual and routine, with the tidying guru noting that it’s important to set certain things in place that help you to distinguish between your workspace and your personal space. 

Easy as can be: Last month, the Netflix star shared three simple methods for becoming more productive while working from home 

‘That way, you’re transitioning from your personal home life to work,’ she said, according to Domino. 

One simple way to achieve this, Marie suggests, is through scent. 

The organization pro sprays a very specific fragrance in her home office, opting for a fresh and invigorating scent: peppermint. 

Her choice of fragrance gets a thumbs up from experts, who recently revealed to that mint is a great choice of spirit-boosting scent to mix with mood-enhancing citruses. 

Marie Kondo reveals how to make the most out of your working-from-home space 

  • Implement rituals that separate your work time from your personal time
  • Use scent to identify your workspace versus your home space
  • Rely on sound to signify the start of your working day  
  • Avoid working on soft spaces like a bed or the sofa, and set up on a hard work surface, like a dining table 

NEST New York founder Laura Slatkin explained that fresh aquatic scents are also great for helping to invigorate you and provide a boost of positivity, noting that ‘notes of ocean breezes and coconut’ will help to make you feel better in an instant. 

Similarly, if you don’t want your home to be filled with a pure citrus scent, Slatkin recommends mixing it with something else – naming mint as a great example.

Moving on to another sense, Marie says she also relies on sound to help her separate work and play, revealing to Domino: ‘I also ring my trusty tuner – that’s how I know it’s time to work.’ 

According to the publication, Marie likes to tap her tuning fork against a crystal, before waving the instrument around the room to ‘quiet her thoughts and take in the energy of the space’, helping her to start the working day with a calm mind. 

The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up author’s final tip, although perhaps the most traditional, will likely be the most upsetting for many people who have hunkered down on their sofas and beds over the past few weeks. 

According to Marie, avoiding all soft areas of your apartment and working on a hard surface is the best way to maximize productivity – whether that’s a coffee table, a breakfast bar, or a dining room table.         

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