7 Refinery29 Editors Used The KonMari Method — Here's What Happened

We're no strangers to the KonMari method here at Refinery29. Marie Kondo's book The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up has changed countless lives, including many of ours.

But while the decluttering method has been instrumental to our home lives, we decided to take things a step further. Could we apply the techniques to our work desks, too?

We asked seven staffers from various departments to apply the KonMari method to their workspaces. The decluttering coincided with Refinery29's semi-annual desk cleanup. But instead of shoving everything in drawers to present the illusion of a tidy workspace, we challenged participants to get rid of anything in or on their desks that didn't bring them joy.

Obviously, at the office, you've still got to hold on to some practical stuff — even if it doesn't make your heart skip a beat. Case in point: Senior health editor Amelia Harnish took her phone off her desk for the "after" photo, but didn't actually get rid of it.

Another lesson from the cleanup process? One woman's trash is another woman's condiments. Beauty editor Maria Del Russo saved a stockpile of soy sauce packets within her desk drawers, because "everyone needs soy sauce." (She also noted that she's gotten frustrated at beauty director Cat Quinn for tossing out her own soy sauce packets.)

And while some studies have found that clutter can make you happy, this wasn't the case for senior fashion news editor Alexandra Ilyashov, who admitted to heaving an industrial-size garbage bag of stuff into the trash. What made the cut to keep on her (very clean) work station? An Alexander Wang-branded bottle of Evian, which she admits she'll "probably never actually drink." As Kondo herself once told Refinery29, "no item is worthless unless the item's owner regards it as worthless."

Meanwhile, content editor Amelia Edelman shares her desk drawers with copy chief Laura Norkin, and both of them said the drawers were so filled with clutter, they didn't even know whose stuff was whose. Edelman said much of the clutter dated back to before each editor went on maternity leave, because they didn't want to get rid of each others' belongings. This time, though, they tossed what they weren't using, which included a lot of old tea, and created a perfectly organized drawer to share.

Check out our editors' before and after desk photos below.
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