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Japanese organization expert Marie Kondo advises a few simple steps to get a home in order. First, tackle the home in “categories,” such as clothing, media and kitchen utensils. Second, pile everything together. Finally, hold each item in your hands and keep only those that “spark joy.”

While marketers may not actually pile what they do on the floor, it’s time to do some major cleaning. Marketers contending with increasing pressure on performance must justify what they do, creating an environment where clutter and obstacles are barriers to success. Marketers must scrutinize their approach for ways to streamline and simplify, and allow what really works to shine.

So much has been written about the minimalism promoted by Marie Kondo in her bestselling book The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up that it would spill out of the doors and windows of a Tokyo flat. Her way of being rides the wave of anti-physical zeitgeist: get rid of things in your life that don’t “spark joy” and live a more peaceful life in an empty house. It, and the cultures that are excited by it, are natural reactions to the overindulgences of the 20th century: insane accumulation and, ultimately, reality TV shows about hoarders.

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On the one hand, the fashion towards Kondo-style purging is the epitome of 21st-century capitalist privilege. Mercilessly discarding our physical surroundings in favour of inner peace will work for your joy factor, until you need to furnish a kids’ party with paper plates and plastic cups. A cash-and-carry may not be the most personally fulfilling or joyful place to shop, but it is economical. And that one thrifty decision has filled your cupboards with 250-count napkins.

Let Color Handle Sorting
Manilla file folders have nothing on this pristine color-coded set. Finding important papers barely requires reading labels — just a glance toward the right color to find exactly what you need fast

Corral Tools on a Towel Bar
Make better use of your shed’s doors by hanging everything from spades to the garden hose with a towel bar.

Stop Clothing Slippage
A few coils of pipe cleaner mean strappy tanks and slippery silk blouses won’t wind up on the floor as you flip through them.

1. Assign specific living quarters to everything you own.

2. Put things where they work for you: vitamins by the juice glasses, coat hooks in the garage next to the car.

3. A small, open basket on the coffee table keeps remote controls from slipping between sofa cushions, says professional organizer Kathy Waddill, author of The Organizing Sourcebook: Nine Strategies for Simplifying Your Life.

4. Move all your CDs to a storage wallet. Say bye-bye to jewel boxes and CD stands!

5. Put wastebaskets in every room, suggests Waddill.

6. Whenever you run across anything empty, ripped, the wrong size or never used, immediately toss it in the trash or a charity box.