Work from Home Like Marie Kondo
By Yuriko Beaman, Joy and Space
Read the original article here
Part 1: Tidy Your Space
Working from home has become the new normal for many people that I know. Fortunately, you can apply the KonMari™ method to your desk and workspace. This will help you to reduce clutter and distractions so you can focus on the work at hand. It will also help to reduce stress, which we all need right about now.
There are a few important things to remember before you start to tidy and declutter your desk/workspace.
- Only Tidy Your Own Things
Yes, this means that you don’t start with your partner’s side of the office/workspace.
Focus on tidying up your area first and sparking joy in your workspace. In a time when we don’t have control over much, this is a golden opportunity. Also when your partner/desk-mate see’s your joyful workspace, it might spark them to start tidying their area. Tidying can be contagious too!
- Picture Your Ideal Desk/Workspace
Take a moment to close your eyes and think about what would make your workspace perfect. A space that would allow you to tap into your skills and give you the energy you need. It might be a space that sparks creativity. It might be a space that enhances your sense of calm. Really start to picture this space. If you are a more visual person, you might create a vision board or a digital vision board via Pinterest. Personally, I love to journal and write out all the things I want in this space.
- Only Keep Items That Spark Joy
“When something sparks joy, you should feel a little thrill, as if the cells in your body are slowly rising. When you hold something that doesn’t bring you joy, however, you will notice that your body feels heavier.” ~ Marie Kondo
Some joy sparking questions?
- Does this item brighten my day?
- When was the last time I used this item?
- When did I purchase it?
- Tidy by Category
The KonMari™ method gives some focus here so you don’t get overwhelmed. Also, the categories are arranged from easiest to hardest. Choose what to keep first and then think about storage.
- Clothes – many of my clients have obligatory work shirts. If they spark joy, determine the best place to store them. (Personal note: Many of my work shirts did not spark joy. I took them to my office at work or donated them. In the time of COVID-19 taking something to work isn’t an option but hopefully you can take the shirt to work later.)
- Books – If you have books related to work, determine which of these spark joy. Take them off the shelves or out of their spot and hold each one. How do you feel? If you don’t feel lighter knowing that you have this book, let it go with gratitude.
- Paper – This is the big one. We have a large quantity of paper. Gather all the work related paper in one or a few piles. (Maybe take a picture so you can post your before and afters.) You will determine to keep each piece or set of papers based on how you feel. If you feel lighter, keep it. If you know that these stapled papers help you in your work, keep it. If the extra handouts from 2006 are not bringing you joy, let them go. (Personal note: I had a large pile of handouts from the classes I taught.)
- Konmono – Miscellaneous – Gather like with like and keep the items that spark joy and help you to craft your ideal desk.
Here are some sub-categories for you:
Sticky pad/note pads
Technology – cords, USB drives, calculators
Things that belong in the kitchen, bedroom, and other rooms (keep like with like)
5. Sentimental – This is the last and hardest category. You might have pictures, journals, and other meaningful items in this space. If you have already completed the KonMari tidying method in your house, you are ready to tidy this category. Choose what to keep based on it’s joy factor. If you haven’t completed your KonMari™ tidying festival , keep sentimental items on your desk that will give you joyful energy as you work. For the other sentimental items, store like with like.
Plan on spending no more than four hours tidying your workspace. Remember to take breaks. Enjoy a cup of tea and have a good snack. Once you’re through all the categories, notice the shifts in your energy and space.
Part 2: Organize Your Day? Contemplating Productivity Pressure
Last week seems like a month ago, there has been so much to process and navigate. I’ve also experienced a mental shift as I took time to process what was going on around me and internally. I had planned on using a few articles and interviews from Marie Kondo to make suggestions about how to organize your day. However, after pausing, reading, and checking in I’d like to take a step back before we get into that.
Whenever we face a time of great change, it’s important to do so mindfully. To take a moment and ask what we really want out of the situation that we face. On the weekend of March 14-15th, I wanted to re-connect to some long term goals. I set these without understanding, at least to the extent that I do know, how much life in the time of the Coronavirus would change. I continued to work on those goals during the next week. Distracting myself with tasks and approaching my new found free time with zeal.
The following week, I started to notice a shift. I felt off, overwhelmed and confused. The organized type that I am, I made a very long list. Fortunately, my yoga practice provides me with much needed balance so the list included self-care items, such as practice yoga and cook. I slowed down and recognized that I was thrown for a major loop but immensely fortunate to have my husband and health. I took time to settle in and accept what this quite time will mean for me and my tidying/yoga business. As Dr Aisha Ahmad stated in a recent article in The Chronicle, “…acceptance…will allow us to reimagine ourselves in this new reality.” (I highly encourage that you read the article!)
- Shift Your Mindset – Consider Developing a Tidy Mindset
The first step of the KonMari Method is to picture your ideal life and space. To spend time asking yourself what you want to do you in home and what do you want to focus your time and energy one. I love talking about this variation on growth mindset and sharing it with others during my workshops and in my sessions with clients. It’s so important to pause and ask yourself what a life that sparks joy looks like for you. If you aren’t a minimalist, then a minimalist lifestyle and home is not going to bring you joy. Focus on building a life that will make your heart sing.
- Practice and Prioritize Self-Care
An NY Times article from March 20, 2020 gives a glimpse at Marie’s daily schedule. My overall impression was how intentionally she has built self-care into her day. From starting her day with lighting incense to daily walks or exercise (planking) to making home cooked meals for her family, she prioritizes self-care.
I suggest and hope you will do the same. Find a morning ritual that involves a moment of fresh air and perhaps a few stitches or yoga poses. Make it a priority to start your day in a way that will fill you with positivity and the energy you need.
- Work and Take Breaks
Marie’s daily schedule includes time for tea and meditation. Scott Sonenshein, co-author of Kondo’s upcoming book “Joy of Work” states, “Figure out when you will work. Setting clear hours will help you keep your sanity. And take a break. Get up and stretch. Go for a short walk. The mind is still working, even when you’re not directly thinking about work.”
- Practice Gratitude
Marie suggests, “As often as possible, seek out ways in which you can express gratitude or simply check-in with a corker that allows you to hear and see the other person.”
Let’s start there. If you have questions or get stuck, contact me at any stage of this tidying process for a virtual tidying session. Schedule a virtual tidying/coaching session with me or contact me at Yuriko@JoyandSpace.com.
“Our things form a part of us, and when they’re gone, they leave behind them eternal memories.”
— Marie Kondo, Spark Joy
Yuriko is a certified Silver KonMari™ Consultant who is ready to help you spark joy in your life. Her Joy and Space consulting business helps clients to make space for an amazing life by making space in their home. Clients are supported as they change their relationship with objects, learning to truly cherish what they keep. Check out organizing and decluttering services from Joy & Space, now offering virtual coaching sessions!