How To Marie Kondo Declutter Your Business

Have you heard of Marie Kondo? If not, you must be living under a rock.  LOL.  She is a Japanese tidying expert and author of the bestselling book “The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up“.   She has a Netflix show  called “Tidying Up With Marie Kondo” where she helps people clear the clutter from their homes—and their brains.

How about applying her approach of to your business?  So, instead of organizing what you  have, you focus on getting rid of what you don’t like and don’t need.  Then you are left being surrounded by only the things you love and use.  This system is all about getting your house in order, BUT is will also reduce stress, increase focus and give you more time to focus on what really matters.  Doesn’t this sound like a GREAT idea to get your home office in shape?

There are six basic principles in the KonMari method. Let’s see how we can apply them to our business.

1. Be committed.

In order for this to work, you need to be fully dedicated to doing this.  Ideally, the whole process is done over a series of days and although this may be difficult for businesses – you still need to commit to finishing what you start and working through each category completely before you stop. If you don’t, you will lose momentum. Set aside time to focus on files and documents so you can get it all done in one fell swoop.

2. Imagine your ideal life before you start.

Before you start the decluttering process, take some time to think about what you want your business and life to look like when you’re done. What do you want to achieve by decluttering? Do you want your business to be more efficient, more successful, more enjoyable, more appealing for employees?  Her method places LOTS of importance on being mindful, introspective and forward-looking. You need to know why you want to start this project before you start, and it will help you stay focused when you are decluttering.

3. Tidy by category, not location.

This is a though one for me.  I even had a hard time when I was tying to do the house.  Instead of starting with your desk or a file drawer, Marie Kondo wants you to declutter each category all at once. In the home, this means taking out all your clothing (from the closet, the dressers, the hall closet, the under-bed storage) and going through it all at once. For your business, it might mean going through all your equipment first, then all your paper documents, etc.  It doesn’t matter where they are located – files, desk, shelves – just pick one thing first!

4. Discard before you re-organize.

If you are like me, once you clear stuff out – you want to get organized, right?  Don’t! With this system, you are supposed to finish the decluttering process THEN you organize what’s left.

5. Do the easiest things first.

What’s the easiest thing for you to let do of?  Start decluttering there – a category easy to let go of.  In the home, the clothes are usually the first thing with sentimental items last, since these are the hardest to let go of.  Figure out what’s easiest for you to start with (like paper documents) before moving onto more difficult areas such as business processes. This helps you get used to the method and avoid getting sidetracked.  You know how easy it is to squirrel!

6. Keep what sparks joy.

This method of decluttering involves holding each item in your hands and asking yourself, “Does this spark joy?” Don’t overthink it: go with your first instinct.  YUP, not easy for me since I tend to overthink EVERYTHING.  Realistically, everything in your office will not spark joy (I’m looking at you, ream of printer paper). For those items, ask yourself if it’s necessary to help you accomplish a task. Don’t keep more than you need: if you have a whole drawer full of (necessary) file folders, keep the ones which spark joy, like the colorful, crisp ones and get rid of those that don’t spark joy, like the old, ratty Manila ones.

Now, there will be some things which will spark negative feelings.  If so, you need to figure out what’s really going on. Does it remind you of a task you hate doing in your business, maybe it is a a client/customer who drives you nuts, or a concern you don’t want to face. Is it a necessary item which doesn’t spark joy?  Is it hard to use or it really doesn’t do exactly what you want it to do? Get rid of it and find a replacement which is more joyful to use.

This is kind of where I am in my business right now…… Ask yourself these questions:The

What sparks joy in your business? Customers value authenticity, and when you’re passionate about something in your business, they’ll know it.   If you are in direct sales, find your passion product or set of products and share them like crazy!   Focus in your business on what brings you the most joy, and put more energy there.

What if there’s a component of your business which doesn’t spark joy? Maybe you added a new product, a new service, or maybe you are doing things “like everyone else” but your heart really isn’t in it.  If this is the case, it may be time to do some soul-searching.

Before tossing anything, Marie Kondo says, you need to thank it for its service to you. (Yes—even if you’re getting rid of an old stapler.) It is part of “letting go,”.  Why not thank the things you’re keeping as you clean out your business.  Take some time to appreciate all the things which help your business thrive. Once your business was just a dream—and now it’s reality. So let’s celebrate it.

Have a ThirtyOne-derful day!

 

Transform Your Life By Decluttering

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I am about a week out from the kids coming for Thanksgiving.  In between hubby working on some projects in the condo, I have been doing some clearing out.  Piles to donate.  Tossing stuff.  Then there is the piles of “I could sell this, if we had a yard sale”.  Okay, let’s be honest, it isn’t going to happen.  The condo association doesn’t allow yard sales.  I have thought about putting things online but the thought leaves as quickly as it comes.

I focused on my office the other night.  I had lots of “stuff” laying around and my brain was getting cluttered.  I seem to work better with the “less is more” theory.  The less stuff, the more I get done.  I am amazed at how focused I am now when I get in my office.

Decluttering and downsizing is all the rage now.  Everyone seems to want to go back to a simpler time when we had less stuff.  The truth is before I totally understood why I needed to declutter, it was just another task on my to-do list which kept getting longer and longer.

Then I found a great blog post by The Peaceful Mom and I want to share some of her thoughts on how decluttering can transform your life:

#1 Clear Spaces Increase Your Focus and Productivity

Did you know clutter drains you mentally by distracting you, restricting your ability to focus and inhibiting your brain’s ability to process information?  It is a proven fact.  I don’t know about you but I can squirrel enough on my own, I don’t need any help from the clutter. Cluttered surroundings can cause you to become frustrated because your mental resources are worn down. Decluttering reduces your frustration as well as increasing your ability to think and be productive.

#2 Clear Spaces Decrease Your Stress Level

Researchers at UCLA’s Center on Everyday Lives and Families (CELF) published the book “Life at Home in the Twenty-First Century” revealing the results of their study of 32 California families. They found a direct link between increased levels of cortisol (stress hormone) in female home owners and the high density of clutter in their homes. Decluttering brings calm and reduce your stress.

#3 Clear Spaces Save You Time and Money

This time of year, I always seem to spend more time looking for an item I bought ages ago and put in a ‘safe” spot, what about you?  You know you have it but you can’t find because of all the other stuff in your house?  How often have you bought something only to find out, you already have it but it was stuck in a pile in the back of the closet or in the garage?  Clear organized spaces mean more time and money to do what you want to do.  I don’t know about you but I could use some more time and money.

If you’re feeling stressed, drained and overwhelmed, decluttering is a fantastic place to start. Getting rid of all the excess stuff in your home can be challenging, but the benefits are so amazing.

As I am clearing out, I think of my daughter many years ago telling people “mom is in a cleaning mood, so if you aren’t tied down or don’t have a purpose, you could end up in the trash!”.  I’m headed again in the “cleaning mode”, one step at a time.  Lots of donations being dropped off over the next week or so.

Check out The Peaceful Mom’s 31 Day Declutter… I have done this sporadically but it makes a HUGE difference when trying to overcome the mess.

Share your best tips for decluttering with us… Have a ThirtyOne-derful day!

Let’s Organize Your Messy Desk

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It is time to spring-clean and declutter your desk.  If you are like me, this is where you spend LOTS of time – whether you have your own home based business or manage your family budget or maybe you bring work home or maybe it is just your way to escape the craziness of the rest of the house.  Whatever your reason for heading to your desk, wouldn’t it be better if it was organized and neat.

I always have “I know where everything is” piles.  But often, those piles tend to grow and spread across the entire desk top and before long, they are calling my name.  Yup, a major distraction.  When my desk is messy, I can’t work.  So I spend hours trying to figure out what I am supposed to be doing and never actually get anything done!

Here are some easy tips from organization guru Tidy Tova on how to get things straightened up so you regain your focus.  No more squirreling because of a messy deck.

Trash your trash.  

Seems like a no-brainer right?  Be honest, do you have a trash can overflowing?  Toss out those empty soda/water bottles, snack wrappers, and old tissues.

Eliminate some books.

Do you have books on your desk – just in case you need them?  If they are reference books that you only use once in a while, move them to a shelf that is relatively close.  This will make it easy to find them when you need them.  If you leave any books on your desk, make sure they serve a purpose.  I have only 2 books on my desk – my “party binder” so my monthly specials & a catalog are in easy reach AND the binder for my latest coaching class.  Do have books that you have read and haven’t touched in ages?  Donate them.  If they are business books, pass them on to your team or other colleagues who might be interested.

Prioritize your papers.

This is where it gets a little dicey… how many piles of papers do you have on your desk?  How many of those same papers do you have in digital format in your computer?  Do you really need the paper version?  It’s time to part ways. As for those papers you really do need to hang on to, come up with a filing system that keeps them organized and out of your way.  One of my favorite strategies from my non-profit days was “touch a piece of paper only once”.  Don’t just shuffle it from pile to pile, do something with it.

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Purge your pens.

Let’s face it, we all collect pens yet when we need one, they are either out of ink or no where to be found, right?  You have your favorite pen, right?  But if you are like me, you have a pen cup on your desk holding a multitude of other pens as well.  If you have more then one pen cup, narrow it down to one. And let’s try to keep it to one of each type of pen too—six yellow highlighters isn’t doing anyone any good.

Narrow down your notes.

Is your wall or computer covered with post its in all sizes, shapes and colors with things that need to be done?  How long have they been there?  If it was important enough to hang within your view all day long then shouldn’t you be working on it?  Use a bulletin board or a wipe board to keep track of those notes.  Schedule the task or add it to your list of goals and create an action plan.

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Make it yours!

You came, you saw, you cleaned. Now for the fun part! Now add some personal but don’t overdue it.  Stop by tomorrow when we talk about how to “get your desk ready for success”.

Have a ThirtyOne-derful day!

 

Purging for the New Year

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As we approach the new year, many people are doing the annual cleaning.  Okay, so most people do it BEFORE Christmas to make room for more stuff.  I, on the other hand, seem to work better doing the annual clean just before the new year.  It clears my head and gets me focused on my goals for the upcoming year.

Cleaning out (or purging) is what getting organized it all about…

And purging isn’t just for stuff, although that’s a big piece of it. Purging is also about letting go of the past, forgiving yourself, and even discarding thoughts which no longer serve you.

So, here are some things that I never thought about that I hold on to:

Pictures – So many pictures. Do I need them all? Do I want them all? And more positively, which of these pictures brings me JOY? I cleaned a lot of the pictures out when we sold the house in South Jersey but I still have a lot of them. Mostly the ones that do bring me JOY!  Now to just get them in a format that will allow me to look at them and fondly remember those times..

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Clothes – What is the rule? If you haven’t worn it in 6 months, get rid of it. With the change in seasons, I usually do the “if I haven’t worn it in 2 seasons – get rid of it”. Or what about those “just in case clothes”. You know the ones that are too small or too big – just in case you lose weight or gain back the weight you lost.

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Negative thoughts – This used to be a HUGE problem for me. I have found that with the help of a good life coach, I am practicing extreme gratitude and radical compassion for myself.  I am squashing out those inner gremlins that haunt me.

Saying YES even when I don’t want to.  That is the people pleasing side of me. Come on, be truthful, you do it too, right? What if we were to choose to spend five uncomfortable minutes now saying NO so that we are not regretting our YES for the next several months.

Office supplies. I can say that I used to hoard office supplies.  Having a home office, I found myself shopping on impulse when there is a sale.  Time to donate some while those that are too old will be tossed in the garbage!

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Belinda used to say when I got in “clean mode”, if you aren’t tied down or have a purpose, you get tossed. It is so true. I used to need to do this more when we lived in the bigger house but now in the condo I try to keep things simple.

There really are good feelings that come after the initial hyperventilation of actually beginning the purge, freaking out, and thinking, “I can’t do this!”

Purging is a practice – and a good one when it is done thoughtfully, consciously, and from a mindset of love and abundance (I am enough, I have enough).

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Go ahead, try it. Do it and let me know how it feels when you’re done (or let me know why you started and never finished).

Have a ThirtyOne-derful day!