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You may have heard of Marie Kondo. Her Netflix show released on New Year’s Day and became an overnight hit, but she’s been on the scene for much longer. The release of her mega-selling book, “The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up,” had neatness enthusiasts across the country enthralled. These days, she’s a household name, “sparking joy” among homeowners around the world. You may even have used her tactics on your own home. What you might not realize is that many of Kondo’s methods are excellent for organizing your business as well.


There Is Emotion Behind KonMari


Chances are you’ve felt sentiment for a shirt you wore in high school and couldn’t bring yourself to give up. Maybe your sentimental personality carries over to your business. Perhaps you worry about which files to save, which equipment you may need in the future, or even which employees you want to keep for the benefit of your business. The combination of emotions you feel is probably why you want to learn more about Marie Kondo’s methods in the first place.


Kondo understood the emotions behind clutter when she created her system, which is why it goes beyond the typical “toss or keep” method. When she begins decluttering, she takes a moment to feel “in tune” with the space. Furthermore, she thanks each item for the service it provided. By recognizing why a piece of office equipment is important to you (perhaps it’s the laptop that helped you start the business in the first place), you may feel more comfortable getting rid of it.


KonMari’s Categories


The KonMari method recommends decluttering based on categories. Instead of working on the main office, the breakroom, the equipment room, and so on, focus on client lists, advertising, and so on. Perhaps you have Post-It notes scattered around every space with advertising ideas. By focusing on them all at once instead of going space to space, you’re more likely to remember what you have and decide what is truly needed. Try these steps to help you start your own decluttering process:


  • Client List – You don’t need to keep every client. Consider which ones take up too much energy but don’t bring in a lot of money. If they don’t “spark joy”, chances are you don’t truly need them. When you leave unhappy clients behind, you make more time, space, and energy for the ones who appreciate doing business with you.
  • Sales Process – Are your sales pitches still working well? Does your content management system meet your organization needs? If not, it’s time to tidy up. Think about updating your company’s website, creating new media campaigns, or even totally rebranding.
  • Big Goals – As you think about the things to do now, create a hard deadline for each task. Once completed, take a day away from daily operations to consider what you want for the future and create a better set of long-term goals.


Above all else, tweak KonMari to work for you. When the Netflix series released, many people were up in arms because she recommended cutting down on books (any bibliophile knows that will never happen!). Many chose not to do that and instead declutter other parts of their lives. Consider doing the same for your business. For example, if you have a client who is sometimes difficult but generally brings in great business, it’s okay to keep that client, even if he or she doesn’t exactly “spark joy.” For the best results, consider using Kondo’s system annually to keep your company on track.