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Want to feel good this summer? You may want to try decluttering. Or maybe just start with reading Marie Kondo’s book, “The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing” for one of your summer reads.

I have been mulling over her advice but I’m not sure I want to tackle all of her recommendations which seem somewhat extreme! She doesn’t believe in saving something for a rainy day, when you lose those 10 pounds, holding on to a favorite T-shirt from a rock concert or saving a dress from a special occasion that is out of style. She also doesn’t recommend cleaning a drawer one at a time; it’s all or nothing in Kondo’s view. Her practices can be applied to home as well as office.

So while I’m not completely a convert, I wanted to try one of her techniques and started with shoes. She recommended putting all of your shoes in the middle of the floor to sort out what to keep and what to discard. Whew, I couldn’t climb over the mountain of them to get into my bed, so the project had to be completed in one day. I was surprised at what I found (love black shoes) and what I was able to donate.      

I’m a real collector; costume jewelry, vintage white pottery, German Shepherd statues, vintage beaded purses, vintage china, silver napkin rings, the list goes on! Divesting of stuff is difficult. We can tackle this at home as well as our offices. Regardless of the size of your office; I’m sure you may have accumulated extra stuff, files and supplies.

Ms. Kondo’s instruction on sorting papers is perhaps the most liberating: Just throw them all away! In her words, “they never spark joy no matter how carefully you keep them”. I even have a hard time letting go of a box of recipes that sounded good even though I rarely cook. In a recent article in INC. Magazine, author Dev Aujla recommended three tips for office decluttering based on Kondo’s strategy:

  1. Discard first. Store second. Reduce the number of items you have and discard items by the principle, does it spark joy? Your office can be a fortress for your creative mind.
  2. Does it spark joy? Kondo’s philosophy is to ask, does this object spark joy? If the answer is no, it goes. Every object regardless how small has the opportunity to have meaning.
  3. Give everything a place. Spend an afternoon and find a place for every object in your office. Simply focus on finding a perfect home that fits each object.

So on a hot day this summer if you are decluttering, please let me know how it is going and if you did any better than I did!


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