The Joy of Decluttering
At the start of each year, we often make resolutions: lose weight, exercise more, get organized.
While the first two are often tricky, that last resolution is pretty doable (and without suffering
through food cravings or sore muscles). Let’s look at getting organized and decluttering your
Japanese organizing consultant Marie Kondo sparked a global craze with her book (The Life-
Changing Magic of Tidying Up) and Netflix series (“Tidying Up with Marie Kondo”), prompting
millions of people to clean out closets, fill up trash bags and pare down possessions.
The KonMari rules (as they’re called) are simple:
- Commit yourself to tidying up
- Imagine your ideal lifestyle
- Finish discarding first
- Tidy by category, not by location
- Follow the right order
- Ask yourself if it “sparks joy”
These principles can also be adapted to organizing and decluttering your workspace or office to
be more productive.
Getting your physical workspace in order makes it easier to get things done. As Marie Kondo
says, “When your office space is organized, it will result in increased efficiency because your
use of time becomes much more productive.”
You’ll also be more comfortable in your workspace and that can contribute to your overall
performance — and boost your creativity.
Following the KonMari rules, the first step is to commit yourself to tidying up. As Kondo says,
“Believe in yourself. Once you have made up your mind, all you need to do is to apply the right
Imagine your ideal workspace, the type of “dream office” you’d like to work in. That can help
you visualize the process and encourage you to follow through.
Let It Go
Offices are often littered with excess paper that’s no longer necessary, like hard copies of
documents that could be digitized. If they’ve served their purpose, let them go.
This is one of the main tenets of Kondo’s system. She believes that every item we save must
spark joy. We must get excited about keeping it. Also important to remember is that you are not
choosing what to discard, but rather what to keep.
What sparks joy for you personally may be different from what sparks joy for you at work. This
means your sense of value shifts at work. It’s important to feel each object in your hands and ask
yourself, “Does this contribute to me feeling more positive and also does it contribute to my
Before discarding an object, Kondo advises thanking the object for the role it’s played in your
In the final analysis, tidying up your workspace requires a complete review of your priorities.
But that’s where the real change comes from. According to Kondo, by organizing, you hone your
sensitivity to joy and also clarify your sense of value.
This helps you make better decisions and ask better questions about what you want from your
You can also apply these techniques to your business marketing. Take a look at your website,
social media and business profiles. Do they need tidying up, too? Remember to keep only those
elements that spark joy and contribute to your business’ efficiency and goals.
Who knew you could get so much just by tidying up?