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How to Spark Joy At Work


Article by Yuriko Beaman

Photography by Joy & Space, LLC

Can you remember the last time you smiled when you thought about your work or while walking to your workspace?

When you think about your job what images pop into your mind? 

Do you notice any tightness or tension in your body?

If your feeling stressed and overwhelmed at work, tidying up your workspace can help. Yes, tidying or decluttering can increase your efficiency, sales, and productivity, and make you happy at work.

Tidy up by using Marie Kondo’s method or the KonMari Method™, which is unique and will keep you from returning to clutter. The key to using this method is to connect with what you truly value and want in your life. Marie Kondo uses the question, “Does this spark joy?" You can use any question that resonates and helps you to follow your bliss. 

Tidying up your physical and digital space can help you to gain a sense of control. You probably can not change your co-workers’ habits or the length of some meetings, but you can control your desktop and workspace. The clutter on our desks is also overwhelming for our brains to process. 

Look at or picture your desk, what do you see? Your brain takes in this scene every time you sit down there or even think about it. If you feel overwhelmed picturing your desk, start to imagine one that is free of clutter. After you tidy up, you will also increase your sense of control and create more room for creativity.

When you KonMari at work, you become attuned to the kind of environment that gives you energy and allows you to work smarter and faster. Marie Kondo writes, “Tidying can help you get in touch with what you really want, show you what you need to change, and help you find more joy in your environment.” You will discover why you are working in the first place and your ideal working style. 

“Tidying can help you get in touch with what you really want, show you what you need to change, and help you find more joy in your environment.”


Start tidying by applying the KonMari categories to your workspace and office. You might get through clothes very quickly. Only keep the required work T-shirts if they make your work easier. Consider only keeping one and leaving it at work. It will be there for your next team-building event.  (Check out the Joy & Space YouTube channel for KonMari folding videos.) 


When deciding what books to keep, only keep the books that make work easier or bring a smile to your face. If you haven’t read it yet, thank it and let it go. Enjoy the free space on your shelf or desk! 


Paper is the third category. This category is sneaky because individual sheets of paper are so thin. However, it's hard to find that paper that we need in the snowdrifts that develop on our desk. Set an ambitious goal to let go of most of the paper you keep. Kondo writes, “The rule of thumb for papers is to discard everything.” Of course, we cannot get rid of all paper but recognize how much time it takes to file, sort, and even scan them. Divide them into three categories, pending, required to save (taxes & contracts), and papers that make you smile. Next, you will move into the konmono category and then sentimental. (For a break down of desk konmono see my blog post.) 

“The rule of thumb for papers is to discard everything.”


Once you have a sense of what your ideal workspace looks like, you can move onto to your digital space. Create a desktop and home screen that makes you smile when you look at your computer or phone. Without the distractions of files on the desktop and dormant apps, your brain will focus faster on the task at hand. You might also find yourself spending more time away from your device and on some things that you enjoy. 

Tidy Schedule

Finally, keep your schedule tidy by using a planner to help you to prioritize how you want to spend your time. Identify tasks that boost your energy and spend more time on those. Let go of activities that don’t meaningfully contribute to your work. If you have to speak to colleagues and your supervisor about divesting, point out how they benefit from the areas that are your focus. Also, do you best to steer clear of the overearning, urgency, and multitasking traps. 

Free Webinar from Brothers Services Company

If you would like to learn more about the Marie Kondo method, register for a free virtual webinar hosted by Brothers Services Company, Maryland's full service remodeler, on July 18th at 10 am

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