The Freelancer Guide: How to KonMari Your Home Office

Netflix’s “Tidying Up with Marie Kondo” has given the world a new and adorable organization icon. Marie’s skills are idled by many who are looking for a way to declutter their lives. And decluttering to create a functioning working environment is no exception. As freelancers, one of the most daunting spaces to organize is the home office. Luckily, Marie has countless tips and tricks to keep your space a productive, organized work zone. Here’s how you can apply the KonMari method in your home office.

Visualize The Home Office Space You Want

After religiously watching a season of “Tidying Up,” it’s tempting to want to jump into an organization marathon. The urge to copy everything you see on TV and Pinterest is real. But Marie warns against falling into this trap and, instead, advises you to take time to visualize your dream space. Remember, being a freelancer with a home office gives you much more freedom to customize your work environment. Start by thinking about what, exactly, you hope to use your space for. Will you need to have a nicely lit area to make professional video calls? Will your plans maximize your space? How do you plan on organizing important files? These are important things to think about before you start tidying up your home office the KonMari way.

Work With What You Have

Many of us freelancers don’t have an unlimited budget for a home office makeover. Although some expenses may be deductible, you don’t need to spend tons of money on fancy new systems and shelving. And Marie says you don’t need to! Instead, she encourages you to work with what you already have. Many people waste money on shiny, new, storage containers before figuring out what they actually need to store. Instead, start by completely clearing your office space and taking inventory of what you do and don’t have. Chances are that after you declutter, you will have much less to store. Think of ways to refurbish containers you already have like painting shoeboxes. After utilizing everything you already have, visit your local dollar store to find some budget-friendly organization options!

Make it Digital

Many of us are guilty of being paper hoarders. We hold onto every pamphlet, bill, or book we’ve ever come across. While it’s tempting to keep documents for the rare chance you might need them one day, Marie warns her audience against falling into this trap.

In today’s digital world, paper copies are completely unnecessary and just cause unneeded clutter. Instead, opt for the digital version of everything like our Lance App for managing your finances and receipts. Most bills can be scanned or sent as a digital copy which can neatly be stored on a cloud platform. Google Drive, iCloud, or Dropbox are just a few examples. If you have a bunch of books sitting on a shelf collecting dust, donate them and purchase (or even rent!) the ebook version. Get into the routine of shredding all junk mail if it has no purpose. You will come off much more professional to clients when you can easily access all files with a few simple clicks. Going digital creates an eco-friendly, space-saving workplace you can essentially take with you anywhere. 

See What Sparks Joy

Marie Kondo is probably most notable for asking her clients if their items “spark joy.” This signature tagline has become a way of life for her followers. That’s because Marie instructs her clients to hold each item they’re attempting to tidy up and put it through the test: Does it give you a thrill of excitement? Does it spark a little joy? If not, it’s time to toss it.

Walk into your home office and starting use this KonMari method. While tedious, it can show us that we hold onto many more things than we need to. Marie isn’t trying to argue that material possessions can truly spark joy. !She is trying to show you what things are really just unnecessary to hold onto. Freebies from subscriptions, gifts from clients, and souvenirs from travel are all nice items that reflect a special memory. But is it really necessary to hold onto all of these and display them on your desk? We all have those few keepsakes that have significant importance to us. That’s great! Keep those pictures, family heirlooms, and paintings. As freelancers, having such special items can help make an office feel more personalized and special. But make those things feel even more special by getting rid of the items that don’t spark joy and just collect dust.