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Tidying Up with 44

During her work experience at 44, Beth Adler-Smith explored how decluttering your home, mind and internal communications can lead to a better employee experience – and make you a better gift-giver along the way.

This year the world went Marie Kondo crazy. More and more people are putting concentrated effort into decluttering their home and focusing on the ‘less tangible’ things in life.

Tidying Up with Marie Kondo on Netflix has people sorting out under their stairs, their creepy attics, and that cupboard in the corner they dared not open for fear of what might fall out.

Where does this clutter come from? From personal experience, most of the things lining my shelves are gifts from family and friends – including that glass swan from Great Aunt Millie last Christmas.

As I thought of the clunky (and quite frankly hideous) ornament, I realised my tolerance for sentimental clutter had to change.

Inspiring joy

I needed to listen to Marie Kondo and only keep things that inspired joy. And I needed a new gift-giving strategy so I didn’t end up presenting someone with their own equivalent of the hideous glass swan.

I’ve always been terrible at giving gifts, but after this realisation it seemed harder than ever to think of something for an upcoming birthday. Instead of the usual glass trinket (hypocritical, I know) or scarf from Next, I decided to take the non-materialistic route and try something my Gran and I could experience together.

I browsed Groupon and Red Letter for what seemed like a lifetime. A sky-dive? Race car driving? They didn’t quite suit my grey-haired Gran’s 70th birthday.

I eventually decided afternoon tea and a relaxing spa day would make a good treat. It was a hit! Even though it may not have been the thrill-seeking adventure you might associate with the word ‘experience’, Grandma had a great time. Eating scones and a massage, what’s not to like?

Gifting an experience

Spending time with Gran and being part of her experience meant I had a fantastic time too. So, why don’t more people give the gift of ‘an experience’?

Research by the University of Pennsylvania suggests ‘experience giving’ is far more meaningful than opting for a physical object, as there’s always a lasting memory to return to.

Adapting quickly

Cassie Mogilner, a marketing professor at the university, says: “People adapt to things really quickly. It sort of sits on your shelf and you engage with it every day, and so it loses its shiny, bright newness. Whereas a memory, every time you refer back to it, is just as shiny and bright.”

With this minimalist mind-set revolution happening, perhaps we need to start embracing the value of experiences in all aspects of our lives.

Lasting memories

We’re already doing just that here at 44. We can help you Marie Kondo your employee strategies and declutter your internal communications. Not only do we specialise in producing physical content and design for our clients, but we also have a team dedicated to the IC ‘experience’. We’ve created campaigns, product launches and specialist events that have really immersed employees in their company’s brand. We’ve created something that lasts in people’s memories.

And as my favourite romantic poet John Keats said: “Nothing ever becomes real till it is experienced.”

Get in touch if you’re ready to build your own employee experience legacy with 44.*

*Office decluttering and cleaning not included.

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