Make Learning Joyful: 9 Tips From Marie Kondo

With the new school year upon us, we reached out to Rakuten’s official Joy Ambassador, Marie Kondo, for advice on creating the perfect learning environment at home. Here’s what the tidying icon, bestselling author and superstar mom had to say.

Marie Kondo, bestselling author and founder of KonMari Media, Inc.

A tidy space for kids and teens to focus on schoolwork is essential to joyful learning. Whether this is a study zone or an at-home classroom, a dedicated and organized spot will enhance productivity and decrease stress — for kids and parents alike. These are my tips for creating a joyful learning environment.

1. Make Room by Tidying Up

The first step to creating a learning-conducive space is — no surprise here — to tidy! If the schoolwork zone is in your child’s bedroom, help them assess their current possessions and identify objects that spark joy — and are vital to learning. Discard belongings they’ve outgrown and no longer bring a thrill of delight — and thank them for their service. If your child is working from a shared space — like the dining room table — tidy the objects in that room by category. This will free up space for your tot or teen to focus on their studies and access the items they need to succeed.

2. Add Joy-Sparking Touches

Once their space has been tidied, personalize it with joyful additions. These can be anything from a fuzzy friend on the desk to framed photos of family and friends — kids know what makes them happy.

3. Store Books Upright

Storing books upright makes them easy to take out and easy to put back. Win win.

4. Pouch It

Assign essential tools to a zippered bag (points if it sparks joy!) so young learners can always find their most-used items at the beginning of the day — and put them away in one shot at the end. Take it to the next level and delegate different bags to different komono sub-categories: one for cords and chargers, one for markers and highlighters and one for little things that always get lost.

5. Keep Surfaces Clutter-Free

A cluttered desk equals a cluttered mind. Keep stuff at bay with organizers for everything from pens and pencils to rulers and glue sticks.

6. Tidy With Trays

Trays are unsung organizing heroes. They elegantly delineate space on tables and desks and create structure inside drawers. Use them to organize in-use papers, notebooks, flashcards, Post-it notes, memo pads and more.

7. Carve Out a Cozy Reading Nook

Pick a quiet corner in your home — as far from the TV as possible — and deck it out with your comfiest cushions and snuggliest blankets. Reading, for pleasure and for school, is better when you can settle in and stay awhile.

8. Protect Your Peepers

Blue light — the kind that comes from the screen you’re reading this on — is bad news. Too much of it can wreak havoc on sleep, increase irritability (read: make you cranky) and strain eyes unnecessarily. Give hard-working eyes a break with frames that are outfitted with blue light blocking lenses — these reduce the absorption of no-good emissions.

9. Pack a Lunch

Avoid lunchtime chaos by packing a lunch in the morning — and keeping grab-and-go snacks on hand. No one learns well when they’re hangry.

A tidied space — and a positive attitude — can help turn learning at home from an overwhelming chore to an exciting enterprise. You got this!

Marie Kondo Bio

Marie Kondo is a tidying expert, New York Times bestselling author, Emmy-nominated television star and founder of KonMari Media, Inc.

Enchanted with organizing since her childhood, Marie began her tidying consultant business as a 19-year-old university student in Tokyo. Today, she is a world-renowned tidying expert and pop culture icon helping people to transform their cluttered homes into spaces of serenity and inspiration.

Marie has been named one of Time Magazine’s 100 most influential people, and her work has been featured in thousands of international publications, radio programs and major television shows.

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