Interior Design

Marie Kondo reveals the one thing she tells her clients to never throw away

Marie Kondo has one important exception to her decluttering rules

Marie Kondo
(Image credit: KonMari Media, Inc.)

Marie Kondo has made a name for herself as an advocate for getting rid of anything in your life that doesn't spark joy. However, she has one exception to her golden rule.

A Japanese-born tidying consultant, Marie Kondo shot to fame as the author of The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up, and star of the Netflix show Tidying Up with Marie Kondo. Since then she has helped homes across the world organize their homes with her KonMari method.

In her latest book Joy at Work, Marie Kondo tackled the issue of keeping your home office ideas neat and tidy. Speaking exclusively to Homes & Gardens, Marie Kondo explained that when helping clients to declutter and tidy their homes there is one thing she tells them to never get rid of. 

'Important documents such as contracts,' she confesses. 'I tell my clients not to discard them even if they don’t spark joy.' 

Marie Kondo

(Image credit: KonMari Media, Inc.)

The KonMari method centres around the concept of joy and what sparks it. She encourages her clients to take a mindful approach to declutter, holding each item to determine if it sparks joy before throwing it away. 

Marie Kondo's definition of joy is relatively wide and expands to items that make your life easier. For example, a slow cooker might not make you want to sing from the rooftops, but it can spark joy if it makes feeding the family in the evening less stressful.

However, Marie Kondo admits that important documents such as bills and contracts are the exception to this rule. These items might not spark joy, or make your life easier, but it is still important to keep hold of them in paper or electronic form.

Unfortunately, when it comes to desk clutter these important documents can pose a serious threat. Marie Kondos tips for cutting paper clutter include filling away each and every piece of paper to prevent it from accumulating on your desk.

Marie Kondo

(Image credit: KonMari Media, Inc.)

Marie Kondo explains that everything on your desk, including important documents, needs to have a home to keep the space orderly.

'The most important tidying tip for your home office is to decide a home for each item on your desk,' Marie explains. 'Doing this will help keep clutter from accumulating on your desk and you will get you in a habit to put the items back after use or at the end of your workday.'

'That way, you can start fresh every morning and have a productive day, stress-free.'

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Joy at Work| £14.99 at Waterstones (opens in new tab)

For more tips, you can pick up Joy at Work by Marie Kondo and Scott Sonenshein now. US readers can order a copy on Amazon US (opens in new tab) or shop deals below. 

News Editor

Rebecca is the News Editor on Homes and Gardens. She has been working as a homes and interiors journalist for over four years. She first discovered her love of interiors while interning at Harper's Bazaar and Town & Country during my Masters in Magazine Journalism at City, University of London. After graduating she started out as a feature writer for Women's Weekly magazines, before shifting over to online journalism and joining the Ideal Home digital team covering news and features. She is passionate about shopping for well-crafted home decor and sourcing second-hand antique furniture where possible.