{organising} Hoarder vs minimalist kids

See these two children?

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One of them is a hoarder and one is a minimalist.

Case in point: stuffed animals

I went all Konmari on them and asked them to hold each animal and the animal only should stay if it brought them joy.

I received 8 from one and 1 from the other.


I don’t think I’m being mean because the truth is that it’s easier to keep a room tidy if there is very little to do in the room.

The minimalist does their room in about 5 minutes flat – fold pyjamas, make bed, tidy up.

The hoarder takes about 2 hours if not encouraged every 5 minutes.

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So how do you work with their personalities and still have a somewhat tidy house that we all feel relaxed in?

I don’t know how you do it, but here are a few things that help me:

  1. I make them each a list that they ideally should do before coming downstairs. Some days are earlier though so they skip some of their chores.
  2. They are really motivated by food so they need to be at least dressed with PJs put away before breakfast.
  3. Definitely no play unless the rooms are done.
  4. Since we moved into this house with stairs, I send them to do a video of their “tidy” room so I don’t have to run up and down over and over again…. apparently I have budding videographers (they also love instagram stories!) because this gets them moving – they want to make the video!
  5. One child said no when I asked if I could post the video but it was really cute…. “look Mummy, this side is clean, this side is clean and OOPS, I forgot about _____ but now I’ve picked it up so that’s clean too”.
  6. I work in the one room regularly to weed out extra clothes, stationery, toys, to make things easier to put away. That child is always so thankful because then tidy up is super quick. I do throw in a little organising lesson about how when we don’t gather as much, it’s so easy to keep the room nice and tidy…. but at heart this one is a collector 🙂

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Share your tips with me in the comments.

We definitely use our kids’ tendencies to encourage them without annoying them. Join me for a once-off, one-on-one Four Tendencies coaching session. Until the end of this year, they’re only $50 for an hour. In 2021, they’ll increase to $60. Email me for banking details so that you can book your session.

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  1. Boy am I going to use that video idea!

  2. Oh I am having a month of getting things done over here, and I can tell you by the eighth day in I am not exactly appreciating our hoarders… I think it might be time to let more than a little stuff go, again. My word, so little space and yet one or two of my guys manage to gather so much stuff in it… incredible!!!

    • Marcia Francois says

      they’re your magpies! I told D I’m going to write a little post “Things I learned from my friend Se7en” and on that list is your weekly chucking out of the treasures 🙂


  3. I have the same issue in my home. One hoarder and one minimalist. Like you, I have to help the hoarder out. Like a lot. I try to accommodate the hoarding because I feel like I am forcing the hoarder to be something he’s not if I INSIST on minimalism. Basically I am helping with storage solutions. We’ve found a happy medium.

    • Marcia Francois says

      exactly – help but don’t harm

      I do see my one is happier when there’s less stuff… 🙂

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