If you haven’t heard the name Marie Kondo, whose name has made countless headlines since her Netflix series “Tidying Up”, you might be living under a rock – or just a lot of clutter. The show and book detail Kondo’s method to creating a more joyful home through decluttering and organizing. What I find especially interesting is how the now-famous KonMari method is not just relevant to my home, but also could be applied to something I do every day as a PR professional – come up with creative ideas.

Here’s a tidied-up, two-step approach that will spark joy and creativity. Anything more than two steps would just be clutter.


Step 1: Pile the ideas high

Kondo’s first step when beginning to tidy up is to lay out all the belongings in front of you. While it can feel like an overwhelming task, the intent is that you can see the extent of what you own and consider each item individually before sorting the items by what should go and what should stay.

Creative take: This step applies to how we go about brainstorming. When brainstorming, we always paper the walls with as many ideas as many as possible – including the good, the bad and even the ones that might get us fired. Just like the KonMari method, it’s the best way to see all that we’ve got to work with and measure each idea’s potential and purpose before sorting them out. The higher the pile of ideas, the better.


Step 2:  Spark yourself some joy

Kondo’s coined phrase, “Does it spark joy?” intends to drive consideration of the value each item brings to its owner. Kondo instructs clients to hold each of their possessions and ask themselves if that item sparks joy. It’s a simple question that will determine the item’s fate – answer yes and the item stays, answer no and it’s time to let it go from your life.

Creative take: Once you’ve achieved your sheets full of ideas, it’s time to put them through the test. Review each idea and ask yourself if it sparks creative joy. Does the prospect of seeing that idea come to fruition excite you? Would it excite the client? Use these questions to gauge the value of each idea and determine which will move forward – but don’t toss away the others just yet! Per the KonMari method, each idea should be thanked before you part with it. It may not have been what was needed right now, but you never know if it may serve a creative purpose in the future.  

Feeling inspired? Use this two-step method to come up with some really “neat” ideas.