3 Things Businesses of All Sizes Can Learn from Marie Kondo

Meta: While Marie Kondo’s organisational methods were created for the home, you can also adopt it in your workspace and get all the same benefits for your business, too.
Organised Office

If we were to ask you, ‘Does your workspace spark joy?’

What would be your answer?

We’re guessing you might say, ‘Not really.’ And that doesn’t come as a big shock.

Offices are usually associated with words like stress, deadlines, and, well—work. All these words are the exact opposite of joy and happiness. In fact, the American Institute of Stress reported that 94% of employees experience stress at their workplace, with 23% experiencing high-stress levels.

On top of all these concerns comes the untidiness of a workspace, which can further impact your productivity and mental health. Do you remember those stacks of marketing reports, catalogues, and other documents around the office?

We’ve all seen those four-foot-high paper towers tucked into the corners of the office, gathering dust and being ignored by everyone. So, maybe it’s time to reorganise your office, or even your work from home space, to be more pleasant, organised, and spark joy.

While the KonMari Method was created by Marie Kondo for the home, you can still adapt it into your workplace and experience all the same benefits. After all, you spend more time at work than at your own home, so what’s stopping you from taking advantage of some tidying up?

Wait, What’s the KonMari Method?

If your household hasn’t yet been affected by the KonMari craze, here’s the gist of what it is.

KonMari is a house cleaning method coined and created by Marie Kondo—a Japanese woman who authored several books and has a Netflix show about organisation. What makes her strategy unique is that it incorporates a lot of Japanese culture and beliefs.

You may have already heard her most popular saying without realising it. While cleaning, ask yourself if your belongings ‘spark joy.’ In other words, does the item still hold positive meaning in your life? If not, it’s time to bid your things goodbye.

But you don’t just say goodbye; you also thank the item for the purpose it played in your life. An extension of this principle is to discard the items you haven’t used for the past two years. Another is that you have to get rid of an old item for every new one you buy or receive.

The main goal of the KonMari Method is to improve your quality of life by practising mindfulness and minimalism.

How can you apply the KonMari Method to your business?

Here are the top three advantages of adapting KonMari into your workplace:

1. Maximises efficiency

Ever experienced the frustration of going through tons of unorganised research and reports in your office to find that one crucial piece of data? Instead of finding it quickly, you’ve wasted more than half of the day searching for it. That’s time that could’ve been used to complete other tasks.

And if this happens to you, then it also happens to other team members. According to research, executives spend an hour a day searching for missing data—that’s a total of about 32 workdays a year per person.

Thankfully, you can avoid some of this by implementing the KonMari principle of committing to a system of organisation.

That means you and your employees shouldn’t have individual methods of categorising your documents and files. Digitally, and physically. While you could try implementing this method with your online documents, it’s just as important—if not more important— with your physical documents too.

For example, a receptionist needs to be able to track incoming and outgoing packages, so they don’t get lost or misplaced. Meanwhile, the marketing department needs to have their flyers and other printed materials organised. For companies with warehouses, packing slips and other key paperwork need to make it into the right order, or shipments will get mixed up before they’re even picked up.

To stay on top of everything, you should make sure each department has a set of rules and systems that everyone follows. This way, everyone can find things more efficiently and effectively and spend time on more productive work.

While this may sound doable on paper, implementing your cleaning standards is another story. Your workspace is full of people who have varying definitions of untidiness and cleanliness. Plus, you can’t keep reminding them of company policies or else you’ll be seen as an overbearing boss.]

One other way to solve this is to hire professional cleaners to clean your office regularly. This will reduce dust and keep your bathrooms fresh, while also encouraging workers to keep their desks clear for cleaners. While they can’t organise your sensitive documents, they can clean your general office space. This is a great way to inspire your employees to keep your office cleaner and to declutter their own files, too.

A recent study from Harvard even found that the smell of your office space can affect your productivity and reduce cognitive performance. This is because it’s much more polluted than outdoor air—putting everyone’s health on the line.

So, it’s clear a cleaner office is crucial. To summarize, you’ll have tons of benefits, such as:

  • Running business operations more smoothly
  • Maintaining a clean and organised office
  • Maximising overall efficiency
  • Improving mental & physical health

2. Boosts productivity

It’s easy for junk to accumulate in offices. Because of the diffusion of responsibility, no one wants to take responsibility. We’ve seen this in psychology with the Bystander Effect, and we see it again in spaces shared by groups of people. People go to offices to work and work only. They don’t want to stay at work late to clean up after working all day.

When one person puts that stack of flyers and catalogues like we mentioned earlier in a far away corner, it’s easy for no one to want to deal with it. Then, everything piles up as more things get added to it.

Here lies the problem: By letting unnecessary things accumulate in your office, you’re detracting your employees’ focus from work and productivity. However, the KonMari principle of keeping the most vital things in your office can help reverse this.

KonMari teaches the art of letting go of things that weigh you down—from items with sunk cost values to items that bear little significance in a workplace. Here’s a quick list of things that you may want to set up a system for around the office to keep them from winding up in a drawer, closet, or corner of miscellaneous things:

  • Newspapers & Business Magazines
  • Resumes & Cover Letters
  • Old Marketing Materials
  • Outdated Business Cards
  • Documents left by old coworkers

By letting go of these things, you allow your office to be a space where your employees can focus and effectively increase their productivity. Then they’ll have more time to focus on tasks that actually help grow your business.

If you find that going through every item that comes in and out of your office is a huge task, hiring cleaning professionals can help solve this. You can ask them to clean and organise your workspace every month to prevent unnecessary things from accumulating. Plus, you’ll keep your office feeling and smelling fresh—and who doesn’t want that?

3. Encourages innovation

Here’s the thing about being surrounded by clutter and mess: You end up focusing only on the past, overlooking the future. For example, the old calendar on the wall might distract your customer service reps as they’re thinking back to the time it’s showing.

When you clear the mess surrounding your office, you’re also getting rid of the unnecessary clutter in your head, too. As a result, you have more mental space to start thinking about the future. This, in return, leads to more innovative thinking.

In fact, the KonMari Method highlights this as one of its principles: Imagine your ideal lifestyle and work towards it. As she explains, ‘When you imagine your ideal lifestyle, you are really clarifying why you want to tidy and envisioning your best life. The tidying process represents a turning point – so seriously consider the ideal lifestyle to which you aspire.’

If it’s too challenging to tidy your office with all your upcoming deadlines and meetings, you can hire a professional cleaning service to help you during your less busy times. They can help you tackle one room at a time, decluttering space and creating systems of organisation that can work for you and your entire company.

Not only that, professional cleaning services can come at regular intervals so that your entire office will stay neat and organised.

Spark more than joy in your business

Beyond sparking joy, the KonMari Method of cleaning can have numerous benefits when applied to your business. You and your employees can get more work done in less time, find all the relevant information without the hassle, and have the mental capacity to think ahead and work towards the future. All of which contributes to the success and growth of your business.

However, getting started is always the hardest step. Your employees may be reluctant to try a new cleaning method and adopt new processes. Or maybe, they just have too much on their plate, so cleaning the office is a low priority.

Whatever the reason may be, we’re here to help. Clutter Monkey is a top-quality cleaning service in Auckland that doesn’t just clean, we deep clean your space, so you can focus on your most important tasks.

Ready to enhance the way you work? Contact us now.