Sparking Joy in Your Workspace: Lessons from the KonMari Method

KonMari in the workplace KonMari in the workplace

Marie Kondo, a cleaning and organising consultant, has been active since 1997. However, she rose to worldwide fame when her bestselling book “The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up” was published in 2014 in the United States. Since then, she’s been a guest on countless talk shows and was even the host of the Netflix series “Tidying Up With Marie Kondo,” released in 2019.

The KonMari Method™

When people tidy up their spaces, most apply a room-by-room method. It makes sense, in a way, since it’s only logical to want to keep things where they “belong.”

Meanwhile, some people take the little-by-little approach. They believe that by eliminating a little bit of clutter at a time, then they will eventually end up with a cleaner, more organised space. The problem with this is that in the space between your tidying sessions, you could acquire new clutter to replace the ones you’ve discarded.

The KonMari Method™, on the other hand, suggests organising your belongings category-by-category using the five classifications below:

  • Clothes
  • Books
  • Papers
  • Komono (Miscellaneous Items)
  • Sentimental Items

Aside from the above-mentioned categories for your belongings, Marie Kondo has also formulated six basic rules for tidying. These are:

  • 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.

Overall, the KonMari Method requires you to keep only those things that spark joy in your heart and discard those that don’t. You can do this by simply throwing them away (properly, of course), or by selling or donating them. Marie Kondo also says that it’s important to thank every item for their service before letting them go.

KonMari-ing Your Workspace

The great thing about the KonMari Method is that it’s not just for the home. You can actually apply its principles anywhere that needs tidying up, including your workspace. In fact, if you’re working in an office, your commercial cleaners will probably thank you for making their jobs easier.

That said, here’s how you can apply the KonMari Method in your workspace, whether you’re working from home or in an office:

Your Desk

Your desk is likely where you do a huge chunk of your work, so it goes without saying that it should be organised and free of clutter. However, it doesn’t mean that you should totally empty it of accessories. If something sparks joy—say, a picture frame with a photo of your family—then you can keep it.

Of course, you also shouldn’t go overboard with decorating. If you want more photos, for example, consider hanging them instead of placing them on top of your desk. Find that balance between organising and personalising.

Your Inbox

Clutter doesn’t only exist on your desk. It can invade digital spaces, too! Therefore, you should definitely apply the KonMari Method on your inbox.

It can definitely be daunting, especially if you have already accumulated years of emails. However, there are a lot of tools and functions that can help make the process faster. For example, you can search your emails by year or by sender. From there, you can easily weed out the least important ones to delete.

Your Files, Physical and Digital

Papers is one of the KonMari Method’s categories for your belongings, and you’ll definitely find a lot of it in your office or work from home space. From meeting notes to copies of training modules, your work definitely generates a lot of paper clutter.

The key here is to figure out what you need at present, what you need to respond to, and what you need to keep long-term. For the latter, a good example would be company-owned documents like handbooks. You may be required to keep such files and then return them if or when your employment ends. In this case, you really can’t discard them (even if you want to).

Once you figure out which is which, keep everything in the “to keep” category and toss the rest. For physical files, those that can be recycled should be sent to the correct facilities. Otherwise, dispose of them responsibly. For digital files, you can either delete them or put them in an archive.

Your Storage Solutions

Once you’ve cleaned out the clutter, it’s time to organise everything you decided to keep. You can make this job easier when you have storage solutions that also spark joy. This way, you’ll be more motivated to maintain all that organising and tidying up you’ve started.

While personal preferences may differ in terms of style, a good rule or guide to follow with regards to storage is that it should be easy to take things out and put things back. When things are difficult to return to their original containers, it’s also difficult to maintain tidiness.

The reason why people all over the world have been captivated by the KonMari Method is that it’s not just practically effective. Rather, it also puts importance on being more mindful and assessing one’s feelings. The result, therefore, is more holistic and fulfilling.

Try the KonMari Method in your workspace and see just how happier and more productive you can be!