How to Marie Kondo Your Workspace and Go Minimal


A very clean and minimalistic office desk space setup with a white coffee, silver laptop, a tablet, and a pair of black glasses

Sitting down at your desk may not spark joy for you, but it doesn’t have to be that way. An uncluttered and organised workspace can make all the difference to how you feel about work. 


Give your desk the ‘Marie Kondo Treatment’ and see if you feel less stressed, happier and more productive at work.

If you haven’t tidied up your office for a while, getting started can be overwhelming. We recommend taking it one step at a time, starting with clearing out paper clutter.


Reduce Paper Clutter

Go through the paper that’s piled on your desk, in drawers and in your cupboards and cabinets. If papers, reports and brochures are obsolete then toss them into the recycling bin. 

If you find things you have to keep, scan them and store them digitally. Once you have a digital copy, throw away the hard copy. Continue using digital rather than hard copies of documents. You can easily scan small things like receipts and business cards with your phone.

Be honest with yourself, will you really need to refer to this document again? If there’s no realistic scenario where you will need it one day, bin it.

For any paper you need to keep within arm’s length, avoid creating piles on your desk. Labelled hanging files in your bottom desk drawer can be used to keep things organised, making it easy to find the right document when you need it.

If you like to scribble on sticky notes and attach them to every square inch of your monitor or desk, kick the habit and switch to a digital sticky note app.  

In general, many jobs and workplaces can operate completely free from paper. If you find documents and print-outs piling up all over the place it might be time to update the way you work and find digital solutions.


Clean Out Your Top Drawer

Next on the list is your top drawer. Throw out all the promotional pens that don’t work and if you have more than one pair of scissors, staplers, or ruler donate it to the office stationery cupboard. 

Be ruthless - ask yourself how often you actually use an item like sticky tape. If it’s only once in a while, can you use a communal one or borrow a colleague’s? If you have thrown out all that paper, is it necessary to store paper clips and bulldog clips? Only keep what you love and use.  


Digital Cleanse

While others might not see how messy your computer is, you do. If it’s so cluttered that you can’t find documents immediately when you need them, it’s no doubt causing stress and lost productivity.

Start with the desktop and delete any screen shots, pics and documents you no longer need. 

Next, look at your directory structure and decide if it can be better organised. Set up new folders and subfolders if needed. Ask yourself if it’s intuitive enough that you can find a sub-folder or document you worked on years ago. 

Delete any folders or files you no longer need to free up some space. Do you really need to hang on to that report from 2014? It will just hang around, and dealing with digital clutter every day can be tiring and stress-inducing.


Email Spring Clean

Email inboxes rarely spark joy. Few people can maintain the mythical inbox zero but, if you have thousands of emails sitting there unread, it might be time to tidy up. Archive your old emails then organise as new ones arrive. 

Decide if you will save emails to folders and set up or update them. As newsletters arrive, ask yourself if you really need or want it and, if not, unsubscribe. You can create rules in Outlook and Gmail to filter emails automatically as they come in.

If you subscribe to lots of email newsletters, consider rolling them up with so you receive just one email per day. Do the same with the blogs you follow. Enter the name of all the blogs in Bloglovin’ or Feedly so you receive one notification per day. Cut the clutter, one email at a time.      


Tidy Up Personal Items

Some people like to keep personal items on their desk but, if yours is cluttered, ask yourself if the seven framed photos and three Christmas cards from last year really spark joy or just take up space. To reduce clutter you can remove everything but the most precious items. 

When’s the last time you actually used your second drawer? For most people the second drawer is where things get chucked and forgotten about. If yours is stuffed full, go through it and throw out anything that doesn’t spark joy. 

Sort similar items together such as snacks, coins, notebooks and beauty products. Separate things with drawer dividers or small containers and stand them up where possible to save space and see them all at a glance. 


Keeping Your Workstation Kondo Clean

There’s no point going through the effort of decluttering if your hard work only lasts a week. 

If you have followed the steps and now have a clean, minimal workspace pay attention and see if you feel more focused. If you notice you feel good and are more productive with a tidy desk (and most people do), make it a habit to keep it that way and enjoy the benefits.

Just taking five minutes at the end of the day to tidy up can keep your desk looking good.

Making a small change to our habits can lead to big changes in the way we live at home and work.   

For personalised advice on ergonomic office furniture with all the clean lines you want, visit the Ergolink showroom, call us on (08) 9240 7066 or contact us online.