I first read Mari Kondo’s book The Life-Changing Method of Tidying Up a little over a year ago. It had a real impact on my home.
I made permanent changes to my routine and systems. Now my home is easier to keep clean and I can tidy things up with much less effort.
It's all quite amazing when you see the amount of mess my two-year-old and 10-month-old make.
Just snapped a few dodgy photos to show you what the KonMari Method can look like in practice. Clothes all standing upright in the drawer, hanging shirts from lightest to darkest colours, and rolled towels. There's more to the method than this, but it has lots of tips that can help you be more organised and do things more efficiently.
So anyway, once I saw the results in my personal life, I started thinking about how I could apply this method to other areas... like my business.
Confession: I'm a business hoarder
I'm not a really messy person or a hoarder by nature. I'm naturally quite organised. But when it comes to my business, I used to hold onto far more virtual-stuff than I need to or is practical. So I suppose I became a bit of a virtual hoarder.
The dust really started to pile up in two areas of my business...
I had a bad habit of holding onto old files and photos. It clogged up my storage and made it hard to find files I actually want and need. While there's some important stuff I need to keep, like portfolio pieces, stuff for tax/legal purposes, and so on... most of my files have served their purpose and can go straight to trash.
In the past, I've really lacked focus in my services. Something I've learned is that just because I can do a task and help someone, doesn't mean I should. Especially if those tasks don't "spark joy", as Marie Kondo says.
A fresh start with KonMari
So, when I got the opportunity to start over in my business (switching from a business brand to a personal one), I knew I wanted to do things differently. In true KonMari fashion, I pulled everything out of the (virtual) cupboards.
Here’s What I Discarded:
- A brand that just didn’t fit anymore
- A hideous mess of files
- Clients that weren't a fit
- Thousands in unpaid invoices
- Half completed projects
- Unused programs
- Unused paid subscriptions
- Excess accounts/logins
- About 10 different email accounts
- Email subscriptions
- Old contacts/leads
- Old branding and logos
- Failed marketing campaigns
- Outdated training and industry info
- Services that weren't profitable or interesting
Here’s What Remained:
- Honestly? Not much!
- Fewer clients
- Less admin
- Way less marketing
- Blog writing and website copywriting - my absolute favourite things!
- Occasionally a few other services... But only at my discretion.
- More learning
- More authenticity
- More operating in my “zone of genius”
The benefits of KonMari'ing your business
After I cut out a lot of clutter, it felt amazing. Like having a weight lifted off my shoulders!
I get more pleasure from my tasks, which I do more efficiently. I'm more focused on my goals. I've got clarity on what I need to work on. I have the confidence to turn work away. I show up as myself every day. And I'm focused in mastering just one field - and it's smack-bang in the middle of my zone of genius.
And because it's worked so well, I plan to repeat the process regularly. I'll make sure I don't cling onto anything (ideas, physical/digital clutter, tasks) that doesn't serving me, my business, or my clients.
The KonMari Process for businesses
Want to try something similar for yourself? Here's the rough process I followed...
- Get clear on your vision - what do you want your business to look like? Write that down.
- Pull everything out - imagine you have a blank slate for your products, services, online accounts, and files.
- Gather everything in one spot - don't miss a single file out (especially if you store everything in multiple accounts/devices)!
- Handle everything once - before you put things back into your filing system and business offering, decide if they're useful or spark joy. If not, close, delete, and consolidate them.*
- Organise by category - as you put things back, make sure they go into a spot where you can easily find them again. Create clear file structures and systems to store your accounts and passwords. And make your business products/services crystal clear in your marketing.
- Make it a habit - if things start to get a bit muddled in the future, come back to your goals/vision. Then see if you can discard anything. Finally, make sure you're following the storage system you created in step 5.
*this can be a bit scary, but just think... what's the worst that can happen? You could probably create the account/file again if you really need it in the future. In the meantime, it's just adding clutter/noise you don't need.
If you follow this process, I'm confident you'll create a business that's more efficient and sparks more joy for you. It certainly worked for me! 🙂
Over to you now…
Have you read Marie Kondo’s book and if so, how have you applied it to your life or business?
I listened to an audio book of a very similar one on housework that also changed our lives at home. It’s called How To Manage Your Home without Losing Your Mind by Dana K White. It feels good to declutter. But when you start it feels like it will never end or become easy. But it does get easier !
Oooh I'll have to look that up! I get such weird pleasure from finding out how other people manage their households. Agreed though - it feels sooo good to declutter. Once you start to see the results, it's so rewarding.
Thanks for commenting, lovely!
Love this Angela - it's vey timely for me as I now understand which services I love and am better at providing. Personal life could also benefit - I'm off to get the book!
Ahh, yay! That's wonderful, Liz! Let me know what you think. If you trust the process, it really does work.
Thanks for your lovely words and I hope it has the same impact for you as it had for me! 🙂
I'd been avoiding reading this book but you've sparked my curiosity now Angela. Love reading your posts. Great story!
Aww thank you, Rashida. You're so, so kind to say that. And I'm glad I've sparked your curiosity. It's worth a read - the potential impact/mindset shift can be pretty powerful!
Great stuff Angela! (Though I suspect maintaining the vertical clothes thing might just be a task too far ... ?)
Hahaha!!! It seems weird at first, but once you get in the habit of it... you'll NEVER go back. Seriously! 😛 Thanks Charlotte!