Tidy Desk with Marie Kondo

As ever, I stumble upon something wonderful after everyone else…. take, for example the comedy of “The marvellous Mrs Meisel” – which has won multiple awards, run for 2 full series on Amazon Prime and… I just discovered it a few weeks ago.  Eagerly, I advocated it to a good friend – who responded wearily that she liked it at first but tired of it in series 2.

Today, I come across “The Pool” – a splendid online magazine for intelligent women – at the same time as reports of its demise 2 months ago!  Aaargh!  Thankfully, there is still a string of Youtube videos existing – including one on tidying your work desk with the famous cleaner, Marie Kondo.

“I want my desk to be efficient, and clean, and I want to get a lot of headspace – but I also work quite creatively, so I need a lot of bits around me”

– Editor, “The Pool”

(If you’re a comedy writer, you may find these words sadly prophetic and ironic, given that when the Magazine folded, the Editor was presumably asked to clear her desk….)

Creative Takeaway

This short video is a gift to creatives – it’s brief, it gives an order to tackle things – AND it is adapting to someone who wants a creative environment – a magazine editor.  (The before and after picture is somewhat encouraging, also)


GOLDEN RULE 1: Divide and conquer

GOLDEN RULE 2: store upright, not in horizontal layers (Amen, sister!)  Speaking for myself, my own paperwork comes to grief when the Significant Tidy Other person with whom I share my living space, sweeps it all aside to quickly tidy, thus heaping it onto another pile of books, tornout magazine articles etc etc.


  1.  What do you want your space to be like?  (see Magazine Editor’s quote as a starting point: to have a sense of an inspiring space, yet without feeling like you’re in a sensory deprivation cell.  Or that you’ve been burglarised and then a ton of bleach sluiced through the room – which is how a modern office may appear.
  2. Which objects spark joy? The magazine editor, trained journalist that she is, quietly asks for what is meant by this phrase.  The reply is a tiny bit different from when sorting out your home – to ask yourself “Does this contribute to make you feel good about yourself so you can do your job well?”

Category 1: Books

Put all books together.  Then sort through.

Take a few seconds to be thankful for the ones which were helpful in the past but no longer – then put them to one side to dispose of.  (The unspoken golden rule, of course, being to remove them to someone/somewhere else before the day is out, otherwise they malinger and begin to head back to their former space)

Put the ones you’ve decided to keep, somewhere handy, to go back on the cleared desk, in one group.

Category 2: Paperwork

Sort as with books.

Category 3: Miscellaneous

This is a particularly difficult sorting job, as many of these bits and pieces don’t normally have a designated storage area.

Category 4: Sentimental

It’s helpful to tackle this last, as there are emotional connections to sort through here – the object may be ragged, torn or of totally different style from the rest of the space, but yet pack the most powerful punch.


See a post “kon mari this!” on how a couple transform their bedroom/closet

Alternatively, watch a wise, practical but humorous tutor helping with attitudes to house-size, lifelong  “Decluttering Gently and naturally” by Laura, founder of Clutter Clarity here


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