5 Easy Ways to Tidy Your Office Desk That Marie Kondo Would Approve Of

published Sep 5, 2021
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Credit: Lauren Kolyn

Many of us are heading back to the office after over a year of working from home, so no doubt it is going to take a little bit of getting used to. You’ve adjusted to life at home, spending your 9-5 in your makeshift home office, and now it’s time to head back to your old desk.

If you’re looking to spruce up your desk ready for your return to the office, who better than Marie Kondo to look to for inspiration? To celebrate Kondo’s new series, “Sparking Joy with Marie Kondo“, which is now available to stream on Netflix, the team at FlexJobs have devised a list of tips based on the much-loved KonMari method to help keep you motivated and make the most out of your workday, taking your workspace to the next level.

Know your why

Think about why you want to start the KonMari process. For example, being able to locate papers or important files right when you need them can be a big time-saver and also help reduce stress. And without the distractions that clutter can bring, you can put your focus on finishing that cover letter—and not that big pile of miscellaneous papers that’s calling your name.

Remove everything from your desk

Yes, everything. Notepads, extra pens, papers, a cute little catch-all—it all has to go. The only things that should be left on your desk at this stage should be your computer, keyboard, mouse, or other essential equipment like a scanner. Once your desk is clear, be sure to give it a good cleaning. Kondo’s method for removing everything from the space you’re working in is simple—it can be hard to organize when you’re shuffling items from one corner to another. Completely clearing the clutter means you can see what’s necessary and what’s not, bringing you onto the next step…

See what sparks joy

The KonMari method asks you to be ruthless, deciding which items truly serve a purpose and which you can do without. This is something Kondo coined as “sparking joy”. To decide if something sparks joy, put your desk items all in one pile on the floor, and then go through each item individually to determine what stays and what goes. If you feel the spark, great, but if not, thank the item for being part of your life and serving its purpose, before tossing it out. It can be a painstaking process, but it could be well worth it if you’re able to rid yourself of a lot of clutter. If you’re tempted to toss items back into your drawer, you’ll miss out on the opportunity to truly clear the clutter.

Lose the loose papers

What starts off as one simple Post-It note reminder can suddenly turn into an onslaught of to-do lists, receipts, and other scraps of paper (I, as a Virgo am guilty of a list or two). It all adds up quickly, so ditch what you don’t really need, scan important papers, or use file folders that aren’t on your desk for storage.

Go digital

Not only is going digital good for the planet, but it is also good for decluttering and keeping a tidy workspace. Do you really need to print out every single email or document that comes your way?

For more tips on how to keep your workspace clean and tidy the Marie Kondo way, visit FlexJob’s full list of handy hints.