“We have so much stuff!”
“It’s a never-ending battle to fight the clutter!”
“Most of this is just random stuff!”
If you’ve ever watched professional organizer Marie Kondo’s Netflix show, Tidying Up with Marie Kondo, you’ve heard this before. It’s usually from harried homeowners who just want a semblance of order in their busy lives. But they might also sound familiar if your content is as messy as a post-play playroom.
How does Kondo whip disheveled dwellings into shape? In her best-selling books The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up and Spark Joy, she breaks down her process – the KonMari Method – into six easy-to-follow principles. If you do it right once, she says, you’ll never have to do it again.
Sounds pretty good, right? It gets better. Those ideas work for more than the clutter in your home. That includes all the content you’ve got laying around in your Google Drive, CRM, chat, and wherever else it’s hiding.
The six basic rules of tidying up (your content)
The KonMari Method is more than just tossing old junk and putting things away, though. It’s about deciding what to keep. Getting your mindset right and learning how to create order out of chaos is 90% of the battle, she writes.
Here’s how it breaks down for your content:
- Commit yourself to tidying up.
It won’t be an easy process. Things will get messier before they get cleaner. There will be fights over what to keep and where to put it. It will take time. That’s okay. Remember that there’s a goal, it’s totally worth it in the long run, and there’s light at the end of the tunnel. (Take a deep breath. You’ve got this.)
- Imagine your ideal lifestyle.
Don’t start with what you want to tidy; start with why you want to tidy. Maybe it’s because your reps are spending far too much time looking for content. Or because that content is next-to-impossible to keep up to date. or maybe it’s because it isn’t working the way it should.
Whatever your reason, now’s the time to define your pain points and set goals for how things should run in the future.
- Finish discarding first.
Resist the urge to simply dump all of your existing content into a repository and tuck it away into neat categories. It may look organized, but you’re not actually dealing with the problem of clutter. There’s only one way to do that, and it involves hitting the “delete” button on anything that’s not serving you. That might mean scrapping entire documents, or sorting through those long PDFs to pull out the golden sales-ready nuggets your reps can use.
- Tidy by category, not location.
Chances are, you have similar content in more than one place. If you clean it out folder-by-folder, you’ll end up doing the same work over and over again, just in different spots. That’s why it’s so important to group content into categories, take stock of what you have in each bucket, and sort through it one-by-one. We’ll leave it up to you to decide what those categories are, but consider mapping them to your sales cycle, and what your different personas need at each stage.
- Follow the right order.
Which category should you attack first? Kondo recommends a precise procedure for household items It starts with the easiest so you can practice the skill of purging, and ends with the most sentimental when you’ve perfected the art. Obviously content isn’t the same as, say, clothing or books, but the same rules apply: pluck the low-hanging fruit first, and move on to the more difficult categories as you get better and better at tidying them up.
- Ask yourself if it sparks joy.
It’s pretty unlikely that you’ll hold a piece of content in your hands to see how it feels and if it lifts your spirits. Still, you can ask yourself – and you team – whether it’s helping your reps do their jobs better.
The beauty of Kondo’s method? You don’t just put your things in order – you learn how to keep things in order. After all, there’s nothing inherently difficult about tidying in and of itself. We just need to tackle it more effectively.
Or, as the expert herself says, “I never tidy my room. Why? Because it is already tidy.”