Tidying guru Marie Kondo says you can spark joy in the workplace, too

We are part of The Trust Project.

Global tidying guru Marie Kondo tackles our messy desks and more in the upcoming “Joy at Work” (Little, Brown Spark, $24). The workplace follow-up to the global phenomenon “The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up” has a co-author, organizational psychologist Scott Sonenshein, a Rice University professor. The collaborative pair reveal how clutter overwhelms the brain and how finding order provides a sense of purpose to “make space for work that really matters.”

While Kondo offers clutter-free tips for our stuff, Sonenshein shares strategies to create joy at work through tidying our time, network, meetings and teams.

Can’t wait for the book’s April 7 release? Here are a few highlights:

  • Start with creating harmony in your workspace, usually a desk. Tidy up in one go, deciding what to keep or discard based on the category order of books, papers, miscellaneous items and sentimental items. If you work from home, deal with work-related items separately from personal ones.
  • Keep things that directly spark joy (a favorite pen, memo pad or photo); items that are functional or make daily work easier (staples or heavy-duty packaging tape); and those that provide future joy (receipts for reimbursement and project papers that when completed will be a career plus).
  • Know where everything in your workplace belongs, store by category, use boxes and don’t store anything on top of your desk.

“Joy at Work” also covers the benefits of getting a handle on digital disorder. What does the decluttering queen’s inbox look like? Kondo only keeps pending emails that require a reply or action and emails she wants to read thoroughly — and limits those to 50, the maximum number that can be displayed without scrolling. Emails are saved in a few simple folders labeled “work,” “personal” and “financial.”
The KonMari approach, as Kondo’s method is called, won’t guarantee a raise or change the company rules we have to follow, but finding a stapler when you need it or conquering your never-ending email glut can help us be happier and more productive. To truly spark joy in our work life, writes Kondo, requires every aspect of it to be in order — including emails, digital data, work-related tasks and meetings.

Related Topics: WORKPLACE
What to read next
“One time, I picked up a toilet and painted it. ... It was clean — don’t be grossed out," said Deb Wilson of Junk Redeemed.
Julie Bugner does it all: sugar cookie bars, Norwegian treat Kransekake, cakes that mimic a scene from Minecraft, and her specialty, French macarons.
Kristen Vake, a Chisholm native, previously hosted the channel's "Eye on Mining" segment.
Owner Alex Palmgren operated without valid driver's license