Now that so many of us are working from home as a result of social distancing guidelines, it’s no surprise that the queen of tidying, Marie Kondo, has a few pearls of wisdom to help make our WFH space as stress-free as possible. Kondo, the bestselling author of The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying, pioneered the ‘KonMari’ method responsible for those ‘upright fold’ photos on Instagram. Kondo focuses on decluttering five key categories: clothes, books, paper, miscellany and sentimental items, and she believes the same basic decluttering principles can be applied to your workspace, creating the ultimate home work environment.
The KonMari method
Kondo’s method of tidying comes down to five basic steps, which can be applied to any space – from your car, to your bedroom, to your desk.
- Discard unnecessary items. Begin with clothes (probably less relevant in your workspace 😉) and continue with books, paper, miscellany and sentimental items.
- Break categories into subcategories. If you have a large amount of items in one category, break categories into subcategories, such as books and inspo by category or importance.
- Keep only what “sparks joy.” According to Kondo, this is the ultimate test. Pick up each item one by one, and if an item doesn’t “spark joy” in some way, you should discard it.
- Organise your space. To keep your space as tidy as possible, use small boxes or containers within containers to keep items of the same type together.
- Do it all at once. Do it at once, rather than little by little. Decluttering and organising can feel like a mammoth task, so it can be tempting to chip away at your mess little by little, but this will only cause more mess and stress. Dedicate time to completing one whole section of a room at a time, and pat yourself on the back for a job well done!
At &SISTERS HQ, we’re all about minimising waste, so when we discard items, we make sure to recycle or donate wherever possible.
Organise your space
Many of us are working from home for the first time, and instead of working from ergonomic chairs and desks in the office, we’re often having to make do with our communal dining or kitchen tables. Although this setup might not seem ideal, Kondo believes we can take steps to bring comfort and structure to our WFH lives. First, decide where you’ll be working for the foreseeable future, and designate this as your work space. Once your work space has been decided, apply the same five-step method that Kondo uses to organise any space – you might even wish to invest in a small portable organiser to plop by your laptop while you’re working, and clear away at the end of the day.
Not one to skimp of the details, Kondo encourages us to consider the view from your ‘desk’ – try to face a window, and if you’re facing a wall, organise the space in your line of vision, and don’t forget to add at least one item that sparks joy. At the moment, that’s a kettle and a wide selection of herbal teas, a simple vase of beautiful flowers, Miso the dachshund and Lily the maltese/toy poodle, depending on who you ask!
Organise your time
When your home becomes your place of rest and your place of work, organising your time is just as important as organising your physical space. In order to strike a healthy balance while WFH, Kondo stresses that we all must do our best to separate work and leisure time. Try to stick to a schedule, and set alarms in your phone if you’re having trouble staying disciplined. You could also come up with a ritual to mark the end of each work day – perhaps a five-minute meditation or a walk around the block with your pet, to help you transition from work mode to (let’s be honest) Netflix mode.
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