'Tidying up' at the office

Marie Kondo’s book, The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up, and her current Netflix hit show, Tidying Up with Marie Kondo, are trending and generating interest all over the country in organizing our homes, our workspaces, and our lives. Her process, called the KonMari method, is inspiring people everywhere to declutter their homes and their workspaces, which in turn creates a dramatic difference in the ability to keep things organized and clutter free.

While her book and the new show focus mainly on organizing the home, we can use the same theory and tips for cleaning up our office and desk. Since the office or personal workspace is where we spend a significant amount of time, having things organized results in increased efficiency because you don’t have to spend time looking for the tools to work on, or complete, a project. So, whether you sit in a cubicle or have a corner office, the KonMari method can help you simplify and organize your workspace.

Kondo’s book and Netflix show both suggest that if you commit to using her method, you won’t have to “tidy up” regularly. This seems to be working for the thousands of followers who have become her best champions, and who are proudly raving about the great changes in their personal and business spaces. Even big businesses have joined in on this bandwagon. They’re talking about how offices that used to be littered with no-longer-useful papers, hard copies of things that could be digitized, and relics from past projects, are now clean and ready for productive work.

A business coach friend, whom I know to be extremely organized — and whom I know read the book and watches the program — chatted with me recently about this new passion for decluttering. She shared some suggestions for getting into getting organized:

  • Before beginning on the path to ending clutter, start by visualizing what you want the final outcome to look and feel like. This can include the possibility of rearranging furniture for better productivity.
  • Tackle things in categories. Evaluate and assess how necessary things are to accomplishing daily tasks.
  • Decide what to keep and where things should be kept. Decide what needs to be discarded. Get rid of anything that’s not used regularly.
  • Storage spaces should be limited and designated for items that are used frequently. Don’t have “stuff” scattered everywhere. Put things away in a way that makes sense and where they can be easily reached.

The KonMari method suggests that it’s important to feel each object in your hands and ask yourself, “Does this contribute to me feeling more positive and does it also contribute to my efficiency?”

The KonMari craze has charity resale shops all over the country overwhelmed with donations.

Our company knows firsthand that both people and businesses are taking to Marie Kondo’s suggestions because they are cleaning out their old awards and sending them to us. They like recycling and paying it forward to nonprofits through our Nationwide Trophy Recycling Program. We receive, on average, at least four to five boxes a day, filled with gently used awards from all over the country. One very big business sent us hundreds of awards left over from a past program that can now be rejuvenated, repurposed, and will give excitement and joy to new winners. A note, however — please check our website, www.awardsmall.com, for details on this program before sending or bringing in your unused awards for recycling.

Marie Kondo’s method has taken the country by storm. Several of my business friends are already committed to following her guidance to declutter their offices. I think it’s time for me to join the crowd.

Click here to sign up for the free IB ezine — your twice-weekly resource for local business news, analysis, voices, and the names you need to know. If you are not already a subscriber to In Business magazine, be sure to sign up for our monthly print edition here.