Here are four her tenets that translate directly into business success:
1. Give up things to make room for things that matter more
One of the first steps in Kondo's method is to visualize a clutter-free space. This isn't about a clutter free closet. It's about what a clutter free life will mean to you at a deeper level - more time to read, to enjoy friends, or even the mind space to meditate.
When it comes to business, I can't tell you how many clients have told me they just can't kill projects or even failing products. The work keeps piling on, and on, and on. Strategy is as much about what you don't do as what you decide to do. Find things to stop that no longer add value to free up time, people, and (most importantly) the passion for what will make a bigger positive impact.
2. Do the easiest things first.
For Kondo, sorting clothes is much easier than sorting through photos, because of the increased emotional weight. Therefore, don't start your spring cleaning by opening up your shoe boxes full of photos.
I tell my clients that simple steps catalyze innovation. The next great product can't hit market without doing something simple like talking to a few customers first (which almost always provides new ideas for new products and services). Or if even that feels daunting, just spend 20 minutes once a month brainstorming how to improve the business with your team.
Don't worry about designing the perfect process. Just get started.
3. If you can't see it, you can't use it.
Every summer Kondo puts her jackets and sweaters away. It's all about creating focus and clarity around what's important and when.
In business, do hidden assets go underutilized? Absolutely. Your most expensive assets are people. Take the time to talk to people and find out what they think can be improved. Then ask them to take the lead in making the change. Give employees the opportunity to make difference each and every day--especially around what they care about.
4. Spark joy.
Kondo's most powerful concept for creating a clutter-free environment is to keep only the things that spark joy.
Flip Kondo's concept around. Do your customers find joy when they experience your product or service? If they don't, you might become the target of their own Kondo-inspired de-cluttering. Give joy. You might just get it back in return.