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Spring─time for fresh starts, new beginnings, and cleaning out the old. Making time for a spring clean-up can have surprising benefits for your business.

From productivity to motivation, cleaning out clutter can significantly improve how you feel every day. In an OfficeMax Workspace Organization Survey by Kelton Research, nine in 10 (90%) Americans admit that unorganized clutter at home or at work has a negative impact on their life. Their productivity (77%), state of mind (65%), motivation (53%) and happiness (40%) are affected when there is disorder.

Plus, being organized can save you time and money. Stephanie Winston, author of The Organized Executive, estimates a manager loses one hour/day to disorder, costing the business up to $4,000/yr if earning $35,000/yr or $8,125/yr at $65,000.

In 15 minutes or less, you can begin to make room for new growth and tame disorder. Check out our 21 ideas to reduce clutter and get organized.

Clean Out Paper

1. Overwhelmed by piles of paper? Start with one pile, sorting into keep, recycle, and shred. Then, file what you need to keep and get rid of the rest. Don’t try to tackle all your paper clutter at once. Set a timer for 15 minutes and see how far you get.

2. Create a system for files. File folders, Bankers Boxes, a Sharpie, and 15 minutes are all you need to get started on a filing system. Want to get fancy? Invest in a label maker.

3. When it comes to organizing files, divide into two categories: what you need to save long-term but can be stored away vs. what items need to be easily accessible in the short-term.

4. Think twice before you print. If you’re in the habit of hitting “print” on every document, try filing electronically instead. (You’ll save money on paper and a few trees as well.)

5. Documents with personal information (yours or your customers’) should always be shredded. If you don’t have a shredder, buy one. The Swingline® Style+ is under $100.

Your Computer

6. Is your computer desktop overrun with stray files? It only takes 15 minutes to sort through and re-save in the right place.

7. Old, outdated versions of documents can be moved to your Recycling Bin or Trash.

8. If you’re consistently accessing the same few documents, try using a shortcut to reduce time spent hunting around for the right file.

9. Empty your downloads folder. You most likely have a lot of documents in this folder that you have saved in other places.

10. Nothing beats a good inbox clean out. Create files for emails you want to save, and delete the email clutter that’s built up.

11. Use Unroll.Me to easily unsubscribe from unwanted emails. (It’s free!)

12. Wipe down your computer keyboard and mouse with disinfecting wipes. And clean your phone while you’re at it. Both tend to harbor a lot of bacteria.

13. Make sure you’ve backed up important files. There are plenty of free and low cost cloud storage solutions (here are ten). If you’re keeping everything on your computer, you risk losing important files if you lose your hard drive.

Your Business Location

14. Ask, “When is the last time I used this?” If it hasn’t been recently, take a long hard look at whether it makes sense to keep it around.

15. Gather and remove garbage, break down old boxes, and recycle old electronics.

16. Plan for excess inventory and supplies. Sell what you can even if it means dropping prices. Return supplies that are sitting unused on shelves. This might also put a little cash in your pocket.

For more inventory tips, check out our post: Your Guide to Improving Working Capital Management

17. If you’re holding on to something that is broken, arrange for it to be repaired, or get rid of it.

18. Make a donate pile and schedule a pick-up. Some Habitat for Humanity Restores offer pick up services, you can check to see if there’s one near you. They take small and large donations of new or gently used furniture, appliances, housewares, building materials and more.

19. Get cables under control. Zip ties and binder clips make low-cost cable wranglers.

20. Identify trouble spots, where things are piling up and overflowing. Increase storage where necessary.

21. Deep clean your work area: windows, walls, baseboards, door frames, floors, shelving. Magic Erasers are great for removing scuffs and can be an instant spruce up. No time to do it yourself? It might be time to hire a cleaning service for an annual clean out.

It doesn’t take much time to get organized and reduce clutter. Spring into the next season of your business feeling accomplished, motivated, and ready to take on your next business opportunity.

Our mission at Swift Capital is to unleash the potential of every small business by providing them with fair and convenient access to working capital. We harness data and technology alongside personalized human expertise to see the true potential in every business. Did you like this post? Tell us what you’d like to see on our blog. Email us at [email protected]

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