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How to ‘spark joy’ in your office

By Paperstone on March 19, 2019 in Uncategorized

Applying the KonMari method to your work space

The 21st March is officially the first day of spring! It’s a time of refreshing and revitalising; throwing open the windows and letting in the fresh air – literally and metaphorically. We’ve recently talked about different ways to tackle cleaning your workspace . But as thoughts in Paperstone HQ turned to tidying, we started to wonder if we could ‘spark joy’ in our work spaces.


If you haven’t heard of ‘spark joy’ (where have you been for the past two years? Living in a cave?) It is the central tenet of the KonMari method brought to us by the latest doyenne of de-cluttering –Marie Kondo. This diminutive Japanese guru of organisation, calmly and caringly helps people de-clutter and sort their homes and possessions, and through that process improve their lives.

In essence, the KonMari method is about removing objects from your life that do not bring you joy. Which turns out to be a simple, but incredibly effective way to tidy up.

Tidy desk

Here’s how to apply the KonMari method to your work space.

1. Imagine your ideal lifestyle

Before you start tidying, visualise the work space that you want. Efficient? Clear? Useful things to hand? Also think about your desk habits. Are you eating breakfast and lunch at your desk? Do you actually want to do this? Keep these thoughts in your mind as you tackle the tidying, it will help inform your choices.

2. Tidy by category

You need to tackle groups of items all at once, rather than pick through items randomly. You must also follow a specific order.
i) Books
ii) Papers
iii) Miscellaneous – in this case stationery and office supplies
iv) Sentimental items
Take every single item from the category you are tackling and put it in a pile. Regardless of where these items are, you must put them together before you start sorting.

3. Spark joy

This is where you discover what to keep and what to get rid of. The process involves taking each item in your hands and working out how you feel about it. This video by Marie Kondo explains the process beautifully. If you decide an item sparks joy, keep it. If it does not, discard it.
As you get rid of the item, thank it for being useful to you. (This bit sounds a little crazy, but it lessens the guilt we feel about throwing things away and helps you through the process of de-cluttering.) You are probably thinking that there are files and work-related documents that definitely don’t spark joy, but your boss might be pretty angry if you send them to the recycle bin. Fear not! You can keep items that are useful. So if it doesn’t spark joy, but is useful – keep it.

4. Finish discarding first

Sort through every category and every item before you start tidying away the items you are keeping.

5. Put things back in order

This is where the fun starts. You should have considerably less to put back than you started with, if you haven’t, you probably need to go back to step one!

The secret to putting things back is to place them where you can see them. Don’t make piles of objects on your desk top, stand them vertically, so they are visible and take up less space.
Store larger items in clear plastic boxes, that way you can see at a glance what you have.

Don’t just stuff your stationery into your drawer, partition items and use desk organisers so that you can see everything when you open the drawer.

Obviously you don’t need to see every piece of paper, so some new colour coded files could come in handy. Put documents you need to hand in expanding files.

When you’ve finished organising make sure everything is clearly labelled. Then stand back and admire your handy work.

If you’re inspired to apply more Maria Kondo to your life, read one of her books. Or watch her show on Netflix. You can also check out this video of Marie helping someone tidy their desk.


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