Declutter Your Business

Do You Need to Declutter Your Business?

3 More Ideas to Get you Started


Welcome back to my series on 21 Ways to Declutter Your Business and Get More Organized. You can read the last post in this series here. Productivity is a hot topic in business circles as well as my mommy circles. We never seem to have enough time to get everything done that’s on our list or in our heads. Paperwork seems to be leaking out of every drawer and falling over on every surface of the office and you know that permission slip for tomorrow’s field trip is in their somewhere… Bookshelves are double and triple stacked and they are driving you crazy but you can’t seem to find the time or motivation to do anything about it.

So far in this series on 21 Ways to Declutter Your Business, I have shared 12 ways to make small changes that lead to big results. You don’t need to do all 21, in fact I encourage you not to. Pick the one or two that feel most important and start there.

Today’s 3 tips are a blend of the emotional and the practical. When it comes to productivity, mindset can get in our way and can be unconsciously sabotaging our own success. Clutter isn’t good for creativity and in fact can hinder you from being creative and thoughtful. Physical clutter creates mental clutter.

#13 – Change your Habits

In the last post I shared some ideas on using software to help with productivity and managing paperwork. But it isn’t just spaces or software that don’t really work for us sometimes: It’s habits too.

Mindset is one of the key elements to our business success. We have to believe it is possible!

What are you doing that is unnecessarily complicating your business?

  • Do you habitually lose money by waiting till the last minute to use this month’s VA service package, wasting her time (and yours) by assigning trivial tasks instead of the ones you really need her to do?
  • Do you have bad email habits that either drive your subscribers away (inconsistency; mailing too much—or so little they forget you)… or allowing your inbox to clutter up again?
  • Do you never call people back or send follow up emails? Do you procrastinate? Follow up is another key element of business success!

Whatever it is that makes you self-sabotage, realize that identifying that habit is the first step to changing it. And change it!

I know, I know, easier said than done, right? Start small and celebrate every time you make headway. Pick on habit and put a large colorful x or a gold star on a paper calendar for every day you make progress and don’t do that habit.

Mindset habits around our business can have to do with an inner lack of faith in own ability or fear of being successful. Look at your motives for self-sabotage and ask yourself what is going on underneath the surface.

#14 – Use the “Rule of Three”

If you are having a hard time discarding multiple belongings—whether or not that is business books or old bath salts—use the rule of three: Keep your three favorite items in that category—and discard the rest.

If you really have trouble letting go of things, continue this way:

  • Donate three items in that category
  • Throw away three items in that category

If you still have items in a category left after that, take another pass and do it again: You will most likely find it easier to discard or donate the extra items the second time (but try not to keep more than three of each item!)

I love this tip – it works in the office, the bedroom closet and the kitchen. But I would have to say that tip 15 is my personal nemesis – I love books and my shelves are overflowing. It’s definitely time to do some purging…


#15 – Purge your Office Bookshelf

If your addiction is books, you are likely to have so many that it will be hard to apply the “Rule of Three.”

Sort your books into two categories:

  • Relevant and current
  • Evergreen authority books (e.g. Funk and Wagnall’s Style Guide; Webster’s Dictionary

Take the rest and sell them at your local used book store or donate them to a youth center.

We moved from Texas to California two years ago and it was so great to get rid of stuff before we moved. I went from about 10 bookshelves double and triple stacked down to four, neatly shelved. Now they seem to be overflowing again with kids’ books, business books, my husband’s traithlon and fitness books, art books… I am not surprised at how easy it has been to accumulate new stuff since we have been here – mostly books and art supplies but definitely more than we need.

I will definitely be making a trip to the library to donate books to them for their annual book sale. I also like to donate books to the kids’ schools for the English teachers’ classrooms.

It feels really good to give books, art supplies and other useful items I no longer need to someone who can use them. If you struggle with giving things up, stand in the shoes of someone who might be able to put these items to use and imagine how grateful they will feel.


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