We asked seven staffers from various departments to apply the KonMari method to their workspaces. The decluttering coincided with the semi-annual desk cleanup. But instead of shoving everything in drawers to present the illusion of a tidy workspace, we challenged participants to get rid of anything in or on their desks that didn’t bring them joy.
Obviously, at the office, you’ve still got to hold on to some practical stuff — even if it doesn’t make your heart skip a beat. Case in point: Senior health editor Amelia Harnish took her phone off her desk for the “after” photo, but didn’t actually get rid of it.
Another lesson from the cleanup process? One woman’s trash is another woman’s condiments. Beauty editor Maria Del Russo saved a stockpile of soy sauce packets within her desk drawers, because “everyone needs soy sauce.” (She also noted that she’s gotten frustrated at beauty director Cat Quinn for tossing out her own soy sauce packets.)
, this wasn’t the case for senior fashion news editor Alexandra Ilyashov, who admitted to heaving an industrial-size garbage bag of stuff into the trash. What made the cut to keep on her (very clean) work station? An Alexander Wang-branded bottle of Evian, which she admits she’ll “probably never actually drink.” As Kondo herself
Meanwhile, content editor Amelia Edelman shares her desk drawers with copy chief Laura Norkin, and both of them said the drawers were so filled with clutter, they didn’t even know whose stuff was whose. Edelman said much of the clutter dated back to before each editor went on maternity leave, because they didn’t want to get rid of each others’ belongings. This time, though, they tossed what they weren’t using, which included a
singing its praises. Having read it – and done the method for the day – I think it works because she is so passionate about tidying, writing about how you need to love every single thing you own (or throw it away).
She also tidies in a different way to other declutter books. Instead of going room by room, you go category by category (e.g. all clothes, wherever they live, all paperwork and so on). This is her revolutionary method of folding and storing in drawers (her favourite piece of storage furniture). You may baulk at folding all your clothes so they stand upright, you may think you don’t have time. But just do it in one drawer, and you’ll see…
1) First, take every item clothing out of the wardrobe, drawers, loft, underbed storage and so on. Then hold each one in your hands, and discard each one that doesn’t ‘spark joy’.
2) Kondo is a big fan of folding over hanging, for space saving. She makes some big promises (‘The act of folding… is an act of caring, an expression of love and appreciation for the way these clothes support your lifestyle’). But there’s no denying her folding method may just change you life. ‘The key is to store things standing up rather than laid flat.’ Wrinkles, she says, come from storing things on top of each other.
3) ‘First fold each lengthwise side of the garment towards the centre and tuck thes sleeves in to make a rectangular shape… Next, pick up one end and fold it towards the other end. Then fold again so it’s exactly the height of the drawer it’s being stored in. The result? You can see every piece of clothing when you open the drawer!
Art of tidying up’, kondo’s aspirational organisational bible is credited with inspiring legions of fans to overhaul their homes, throwing away unwanted clutter in the process.
I don’t know about you guys, but I equate summer with home organization. Sure, I get into the whole spring cleaning thing to give me a swift kick in the pants, but summer is when I really get into my groove. There’s just something about warm weather and long, sunny days that makes me want my home to reflect the same brightness.
So when I discovered Marie Kondo, a Japanese lifestyle expert, my life was changed. And it turns out, I’m not the only one who experienced this effect. Her book,
But in today’s day and age, selling tons of book copies isn’t enough to deem your method of home organization a revelation. No, the powers that be (that’s you and me, oh wise ones) must go to Instagram.
And Marie Kondo fans—well, they’ve come in masses. In fact, that’s how I learned about Marie Kondo in the first place. #Konmari has over 11,000 posts from users all over the world following Marie’s specific method of organization. And guys, it’s pretty. Check it out:
So how exactly does it work? First, know that you’ll be organizing the things in your home in this specific order, which Marie says “can improve your judgment and determine which items spark joy,” she told
For those not in the know, Kondo’s technique for simplifying your space, dubbed ‘Kondoed’, is simple – hold on to objects that ‘spark joy’ and remove those that do not. This applies to everything from miscellaneous papers, books, clothes and mementos from dates past. The method, praised by her many Konverts as revolutionary, has even seen its creator earn a spot in Time’s 2015 “Top 100 Influential People” list
1. Sort by category, not location: Don’t do the bedrooms first, then the living room, then the rest of the house. Do all your clothes, then all your books, etc.
2. Tidy in one go. Don’t draw it out. If you tidy a bit each day, you’ll find that you’re tidying forever. Do it all at once and you’ll have the system in place to stay tidy.
3. Pick up each item one at a time and ask yourself, “Does it spark joy?”
4. Fold your clothes so that they stand up vertically. This way, you can put all your t-shirts (or other items) in a drawer and see every item at once, rather than digging through piles of fabric to find the shirt you want.
5. Don’t repurpose clothes to loungewear. Don’t justify keeping a torn, ratty T-shirt just because you think you can repurpose it as a pajama top.
6. Recycle your papers. For important legal documents, scan them! Everything else you should get rid of.
7. Don’t keep gifts out of guilt. After the joy of the gift-giving moment is through, you can donate the gift without guilt. It has served its purpose.
8. Storage experts are hoarders. A “clever” storage solution never really solves anything. A new box or organizer won’t make you tidy. Pursue ultimate simplicity.
9. Start with what you know will be easy to get rid of. If you start with mementos or items you attach a functional value, it will be harder to know if they spark joy. Start with items that are easier to make decisions about, and then you will be in the right mindset to tackle mementos later.