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How to “Marie Kondo" Your Business: (declutter & breathe again)

a man at a messy desk, papers piled high, holding a cup in his right hand, dazed look on his face.

Spring is here! Fresh starts. New grass. Birds tweeting in the trees.

We kick into “Marie Kondo” mode, looking for fresh and clean. In case you’re unfamiliar with her, Marie Kondo is a tidying expert who inspires us to declutter and organize our homes, keeping only those things that spark joy

She shows us how to simplify our lives. And, joy of all joys, we can apply her framework to our businesses, too. 

a vase of pine flowers on a table with a day timer

Applying the "Marie Kondo your business" principles to your business processes, operations, sales, and team synergy is like opening windows and letting the warm, fresh air flow in.

In other words, you’ll be able to breathe again.

Want to know how to “spring clean” your business? Read on.

Step 1: Declutter Your Vision

a woman on the floor with art items all around and a cup of coffee. eye glassess to the side. Creating a vision board.

It all starts here. This is the fun, heart-connection stuff that makes up our dreams.

What does success look like to you? When you declutter your basement, garage or kid’s toy room, you start with a picture in your mind.

What’s the picture of success you have in your mind where your business is concerned?

Is it more freedom, more money? Is it seeing lives changed because of what you do?

This vision is not just a dream, it's a roadmap. It's going to help you effectively direct your tidying efforts, giving you a sense of control and direction in your business.

How To Clean Out Your Business Closet

Don’t overthink this. Keep it easy. Create a physical or digital vision board that captures your goals. 

For a physical board, you can use a corkboard or a whiteboard and pin or write down your goals.


For a digital board, you can use online tools like Trello or Pinterest to create a visual representation of your goals. 

Use images, quotes, and any other elements that inspire your creativity

Feel it in your gut. To make this work beyond your wildest dreams, you’ll refer to this board daily. You must keep what you’re going for front and center.

Take Action.

  • Look at your goals. Look at the way you’re running your business. Do they line up? Everything you’re doing should be leading you to where you want to go - toward your dream scenario.

  • Joy Check: Use your heart, not just your head. Assess each task or process in your business based on how much joy it brings you or how aligned it is with your business vision. If something is slowing you down, blocking your way, or draining you, reassess its place in your operation.

O.K., my friend. Now that you know where you’re going, you can get on with the purge.

Step 2: Dare to Declutter 

a woman in a living room with 3 boxes - one labelled "keep", one labelled "Donate" one labelled "discard"

Approach your business like that storage room that has collected an entire winter’s worth of clutter. Don’t panic, throw up your hands and go eat chocolate.

Put your overwhelm aside and just look at it. Assess.

Which tasks consume most of your time and have the least amount of payoff? 

Which tasks drain your joy?

How To Clean Out Your Business Closet

List your daily, weekly, and monthly tasks so you can see them all.

As Marie Kondo suggests, have three baskets (however that looks for you). 

  • A throw-away basket

  • A give-away basket

  • A keep basket

Ask yourself for each task on your list, 'Is this essential to my core business activities?' If not, move it into the throw-away or give-away basket. 

These could be tasks like manual data entry, repetitive administrative tasks, or tasks that could be easily automated or delegated. 

Throw away. Give away.

Take Action.

Here are some examples:

Content Creation for Social Media:

  • Daily Task: Posting on multiple social media platforms.

  • Evaluation: It takes about 2 hours daily but generates minimal engagement.

Inventory Management for a Retail Store:

  • Weekly Task: Manual inventory checks and ordering.

  • Evaluation: Consumes 5 hours weekly, prone to errors, and disrupts sales time.

Financial Reporting for a Service Business:

  • Monthly Task: Manual compilation of financial reports.

  • Evaluation: Requires 10 hours monthly, essential for business but highly time-consuming.

Take the time to think this through and then move on to the next step.

Step 3: Out with the Old. In with the Improved.

a cup of tea beside a book that says "simplicy over clutter" with a pen on top of it

Ok. Here comes the sun. Do you feel it?

Clutter keeps you stuck and slows you down. When you begin to clear it away or devise a plan for dealing with it, you feel good.

How To Clean Out Your Business Closet

Purge what’s holding you back. 

Put outdated marketing strategies and inefficient tools into the “throw-away” basket. If you still need this job done, you’ll find new (and more fun) ways to do it.

Move the tasks that don't move you closer to your vision into the 'give-away' basket so you can, well…give them away - to someone else to do. 

Consider tasks like data entry, social media management, or bookkeeping, which are not directly related to your core business activities.

Decide which strategies and tools are working for you and which you’ve been keeping because they’re habits. Or perhaps you are doing it because you’ve been told you should be. 

Take Action

Be brutal. Let’s look at the examples we used before:

Content Creation for Social Media:

  • Daily Task: Posting on multiple social media platforms.

  • Evaluation: It takes about 2 hours daily but generates minimal engagement.

  • Purge and Replace: Focus on platforms with the highest engagement, automate or delegate postings to others, and consider reducing frequency where ROI is low.

Inventory Management for a Retail Store:

  • Weekly Task: Manual inventory checks and ordering.

  • Evaluation: Consumes 5 hours weekly, prone to errors, and disrupts sales time.

  • Purge and Replace: Implement an automated inventory management system that syncs with sales data, reducing time spent and improving accuracy.

Financial Reporting for a Service Business:

  • Monthly Task: Manual compilation of financial reports.

  • Evaluation: Requires 10 hours monthly, essential for business but highly time-consuming.

  • Purge and Replace: Invest in financial software or hire a part-time bookkeeper to automate the process, freeing up time for business development.

That’s it! Out with the old and in with the new is a journey of accomplishment and fulfillment. 

Oh yes, one more thing…

BONUS STEP: Chase the Joy 

A business man in a blue shirt leaning back, smiling with his hands behind the back of his head.

Yes, you can chase the joy.

In other words, your “keep” basket is a clue to what lights up your heart. Never let that go.

The ultimate goal of tidying up your business is to find joy in your work again. Focus on what you love and delegate or automate the rest.

Identify the business activities that give you the most satisfaction. Seek ways to spend more time on these tasks.

How To Keep Your Business Closet Tidy

  • Passion Project: Pinpoint the core activity that drives your passion for the business. Plan to expand or enhance this area.

  • Joyful Delegation: This month, choose one less enjoyable task to delegate or automate, freeing up more time for your passion projects.

Be Proud of Your "Marie Kondo Your business" Efforts

A business man in a hallway jumping for joy

Marie Kondo would be proud of you and your "Marie Kondo your business" efforts. You should be, too.

Decluttering isn’t easy. Staying with it, from assessing the mess to spinning around, arms open, big smile on your face in the middle of feeling organized again (as if it were a super-clean room,) is only for the stout-hearted.

In the end, spring cleaning your business isn’t just about decluttering—it’s about aligning your operations with your goals, streamlining for efficiency, and reigniting your passion for what you do. 

It’s about creating space for growth, innovation, and joy. 

It’s about working smarter, not harder, allowing you to focus on what truly matters. 

And who knows? Maybe you’ll enjoy the results so much that your determination will spread to that garage you’ve been avoiding.


Would you rather pull out your toenails than declutter your business? I can walk you through a quick Business Assessment to see what needs to go and what needs to stay. We'll make it as painless as possible, I promise. Book a complimentary assessment here.


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