Laptop chargers, a box of tea bags, empty coffee cups, pens, and post-it notes, old documents…

The average office desk is swamped with all sorts of objects. And while some of us may ‘tidy up’ at the end of their workday – or week, most of us are too busy running to their lives outside the office once they’ve finished work.

And so, as months go by and spring turns into summer, we find ourselves facing an impressive, ever-growing collection of office stuff. Sounds familiar?

Then we’ve got good news for you. For this article, we got inspired by Japanese tidying guru Marie Kondo and listed 6 tips to ‘Mari Kondo’ your office.

1. Commit yourself to tidying up

As with everything, the road to that spotless desk starts with your commitment. If your heart isn’t in it, you might as well spare yourself the effort of getting started.

2. Visualize your ideal office space

Take a moment to close your eyes and reflect. Imagine your ideal office experience. What does it look like? What role does your desk play in the bigger picture? How does it look? As weird as it may seem, imagining your optimal office space will help you make it a reality.

3. Finish discarding first

This is about getting rid of items that no longer spark joy (see also tip number 6). Whatever it is that you’ve got lying on your desk: an old badge from a professional event you attended, a pile of outdated documents, a dried flower you got from a happy customer; if you feel their time is up, ‘kindly thank them for their service and let them go,’ as Mari puts it.

4. Tidy by category

If you’re into the tidying business, you might know that most methods follow a room-by-room or little-by-little approach. Mari Kondo does things differently. Her KonMari Method is all about tidying by category (instead of location). It starts with clothes, followed by books, papers, kimono (miscellaneous items) and finally sentimental items.

Granted, you probably won’t have a bunch of clothes lying around the office. But books, papers, random and sentimental items most of us definitely have (a lot of) on and around our desk.

5. Follow the right order

See number 4. We don’t know the exact philosophy behind this particular order, but we’re sure Marie knows what she’s talking about when it comes to tidying up (your office).

6. Ask yourself if it sparks joy

Take a look at that cup filled with pens, pencils, paperclips, and other office material. Does it really contribute to your everyday office joy? Or is it merely filling up precious desk space?

While office objects are less likely to truly spark joy than your personal belongings, you can still use this criterion to a certain extent. For example, if your favorite coffee cup gives you comfort in the morning while you’re getting ready for the day, keep it. Rather than sparking joy you could say that making your workday a little more pleasant/fun is a good criterion when deciding whether or not to keep your office belongings.

Happy tidying!

This article is part of our Summer Book, a fun and easy to read guide filled with articles to read during your well-deserved break. You can download it here.

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