With the release of Marie Kondo’s new book “Joy at Work,” something rather surprising happened. My husband asked if I would help him KonMari his office at his workplace.

He has been hinting around jokingly for a year or so that he would love to clear out his workspace but never wanted to go back to the office and tackle the project on the weekend after working all week.

The feeling is no different for everyone who has a cluttered home office. You may have easy access to the problem space, but that doesn’t inspire motivation to begin a new challenge after working all day or all week—until now.

a before photo of a workplace table, before there was joy at work with KonMari

A before photo of a work table in my husband’s office.

One silver lining of the coronavirus pandemic is we all now have extra time, which creates a window of opportunity to undertake difficult tasks without feeling we’re sacrificing our downtime.

Social distancing even creates opportunities to KonMari a workplace office like my husband’s, as we were able to go in on the weekend with no other co-workers in the building.

Now, I must say, my husband is very well versed on all the KonMari principles and lifestyle. He is so supportive of my work (his nickname is Mr. KonMari, for real), that he thought it would probably only take a couple of hours.

Let me preface by saying he’s been in the same office for 30 years, so I knew better and planned accordingly, bringing all the essentials (storage bins/boxes, recycling bins, trash bags, and some snacks and water to keep his energy and focus up).

The order of tidying in the office environment is pretty much the same as for the home, especially because some people may choose to keep extra clothing at the office for workouts, after work outings, or that occasional spill. The KonMari order of tidying by category, not by room, is Clothing, Books, Papers, Komono (misc.) and Sentimental items.

joy at work can of peaches

That can of peaches!

I began this KonMari session like I would any other session. We discussed his vision and ideal work space. Once that was in place, we scanned the overall area and cleared a space for him to “joy check” items and determine the necessity of what he was choosing to keep or letting go of with gratitude.

His Books went quickly and he was feeling confident, but the next category, Papers, made upapproximately 85% of his office content.

We carefully went through each file, determining its current use and relevance moving forward, and papers were then filed or put aside to be shredded.

Next up was Komono, a category that always prompts me to say you never know what you’ll find. We decided to subcategorize into personal care items, office essentials, and food. I have to say the blackened can of Delmonte peaches, that had actually evaporated, takes the cake!

Lastly, we went through all of his Sentimental items, such as photos and certificate of achievements.

Once all the items had been properly determined for use and “joy checking,” it was time to find a home for everything. I really like to make storage fun and practical with an easy feel to it. We made a personal care box made out of an old wooden cigar box and used some paper from an Anthropologie shopping bag that had maps on it to line the inside of his desk drawer (he’s an engineer tech and creates all types of maps). He pared down the number of pens and pencils to only his favorites. We set up a special area for map preparation with all the right tools readily available, and created a very special “spark joy” area with endearing photos, sayings and plants.

The workplace office desk transformed by KonMari.

The workplace office desk transformed by KonMari.

At the end of a 6.5-hour day of tidying, my husband’s office was truly a space to be proud of and supported the helpful individual he is to his co-workers.

We discussed what he discovered about himself and how his newly KonMari’d office will keep his productivity up and his stress level down. Interesting to note is that many of his colleagues commented on the noticeable difference and feel his “new space” exuded, to which he proudly smiled and said,“I’ve been KonMari’d by the Sage of Interiors!”

Like the inspiration in Marie Kondo’s new “Joy at Work,” engaging in a KonMari journey in your home or workplace office “will help you overcome the challenges of workplace mess and enjoy the productivity, success and happiness that come with a tidy desk and mind.”

My husband's workspace after his tidying and decluttering session with the Sage of Interiors (aka his wife).

My husband’s workspace after his tidying and decluttering session with the Sage of Interiors (aka his wife).

I hope sharing my husband’s office tidying project will help inspire you to tame your own office!

If you’re motivated to declutter but think you need help, my virtual tidying and decluttering via Zoom might be right for you. See my Packages & Rates page for details.

As always, email me at christine@sageofinteriorsllc.com or call (203) 772-8883 with questions, comments, or if you just want to talk about sparking joy.