Marie Kondo has spent her life tidying. She is the author of The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up, which has sold more than two million copies worldwide and has skyrocketed her to the top of Japan's best-selling authors list.

Kondo's rules and methods are simple. They are based on a Japanese philosophy rooted in personal development, intention, and the philosophical meaning behind the everyday act of tidying up. Her book is about more than simply decluttering our homes. It has the potential to radically transform our office culture as well.

Here are three principles that, if applied to your office, will transform your work culture as well as your office space.

  1. Discard first. Store second.
    Decluttering your office space is not about finding complicated and expensive storage solutions. It's about reducing the number of items you have. Start by discarding items in your office according to principle No. 2 (outlined below). Your office can be a fortress for your creative mind, so treat it as such and start by discarding.
  2. Does it spark joy?
    As you go through every item in your office, one at a time, ask yourself, "Does this object spark joy?" If the answer is no, discard it. The tools we use to create and inspire in our workplace should be empowering. They should bring us joy and excitement and help us find possibility. Every object, regardless of how small, has the opportunity to be imbued with meaning. If the objects in your office don't spark joy, discard them.
  3. Give everything a place.
    Spend one afternoon and decide and name a place for every object in your office. Every object should have a home and should be grouped with objects that are categorically the same. Forget flow planning, or cluster storage. Simply focus on naming and finding a perfect home that fits each object. Engage your employees in this process and they will naturally continue helping you keep a clutter-free and creative workplace.

If you are having a hard time finding any object that sparks joy in your office, then perhaps the problem runs deeper. Kondo explains tidying as "a conversation with ourselves" that brings to the surface many of our fundamental values through the simple act of reducing and storing. If you can't envision or find joy at work, perhaps it is time to visit www.50waystogetajob.com.

Published on: Nov 17, 2014
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