Start-of-year decluttering tips for SMEs

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When is a better time to declutter than the start of the year?  With the holidays just over, surely, you have accumulated more stuff – like gifts you weren’t able to hand over to the recipients and those you receive but cannot  use.

When you get rid of stuff you don’t really need, you free up space in your home so you have room for the new.  Studies show that living in a chaotic environment can trigger stress.

This is true not only in the household but also in business premises and workplaces.

Small entrepreneurs will find the new year a perfect time to get rid of junk.  Doing this will mean less stress for them and their employees.  Most of all, a clean and orderly workplace can make work smoother and faster.

Obviously, in an office, the stuff that tends to be accumulated is paper.  So for starters, look at the documents and files you have.

Ann Margaret Lorenzo of inquirerdotnet suggests that business owners and managers get rid of the following papers:

  • Monthly account statements. You accumulate a lot of these for the accounts you maintain (bank accounts, accounts with your broker, rewards/points membership account, etc.). These statements can create a sizeable pile, but whether you will need them will depend on the circumstances.
  • Receipts. A lot of us accumulate a ton of these little things, from restaurants, coffee shops, groceries, etc. But which of them do you really need to keep? Unless they’re receipts for important purchases you may claim a warranty on, or receipts for reimbursement or expense records, you’re better off discarding them

Lorenzo suggests applying three criteria in deciding what to keep or junk:  First, is it likely you will NOT be needing this document in the future? Second, if you ever need it, will you be able to retrieve a copy somewhere else? Third, will it be easy and inexpensive for you to get such a copy? If the answer to these three questions is yes, feel free to trash that document. Desist when in doubt.

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