desk study area

Sparking joy while studying: How Marie Kondo changed my study life

Just as quickly as the last semester ended, a new one began. You promised yourself to become more organized, get through all of the recommended readings and stick to a study schedule. One month into the semester, your desk is covered in dirty scrubs, leftover Chipotle and half-highlighted syllabi. In 30 days, your study goal has gone from hero to zero. Semester after semester, I lose the motivation to study because my desk is in the running for the next episode of “Hoarders.” Fortunately, my Netflix obsession let me tumble across the KonMari method, which completely changed my study life.

In her Netflix show, “Tidying Up with Marie Kondo,” Kondo explores the world of clearing out clutter and choosing joy. The National Survey of Student Engagement reveals first-year students spend an average of 13.8 hours a week preparing for classes. It’s almost a necessity to have an environment that brings joy while studying for long periods.

A main difference between the KonMari method and other decluttering strategies is Kondo discards by category, not by location. Cleaning one room at a time would take the rest of your dental school career before you got around to discarding your oral pathology notes from three semesters ago. The key to KonMari-ing your study space is to focus more on the things you want to keep instead of trying to throw everything away.

Get more organization tips from the rest of this article in the September 2019 issue of Contour.

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Jordan Browning

Jordan Browning is a second-year student at the University of Michigan School of Dentistry.

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