Small business owners get busy. After all they wear at least 27 different hats everyday taking care and growing their businesses. Keeping things organized and uncluttered can be a daunting task even for those who don’t wear 27 different hats.
Could clutter hurt your business?
"Some clutter is normal and may be the byproduct of a high-functioning, well-engaged mind," Robin Raflo Hurtado, LCSW, a geriatric outpatient care coordinator for Piedmont Sixty Plus Services, says.1 Clutter is known for facilitating falls and attracting pests in the home, and that idea could be applied to workplace safety as well. It also affects productivity and increases the production of cortisol (the stress hormone). (Like small business owners need more stress!!! Yikes!)
Can everyone safely escape your workplace in an emergency? Can the firefighters get in?
An over cluttered environment can affect our performance and wellbeing at any age. True clutter is more than just being messy. It can facilitate accidents, draw pests, and impact one’s ability to safely escape during an emergency. It is known to create a more stressful environment and sometimes signal more serious mental health problems. 2
Can hoarding affect a business, just like a home?
Why not? How easy would it be to hang on to outdated promotional items, reports, and other materials? Attacking some of this clutter may delay moving your business to a larger, more expensive venue where you can store more junk...
Does the glare from all of the paper on your desk hurt your eyes?
As someone who collects paper, the diffused paper glare can create distraction and eye stress. Light scattering.3
Can you easily find stuff?
You know, like promotional flyers, bills, orders, tax receipts, and other paper critical to your business? If so, this could lead to major problems for your small business affecting both customers and suppliers.
Is there a way to assess business clutter?
Maybe. The Institute for Challenging Disorganization has a personal assessment tool that seems like a fairly good fit for assessing a business with a few slight modifications. This site has both a questionnaire and answer interpretation information. The questionnaire is subjective tool with a scale, rather than just yes/no answers and was designed for professional organizers to determine how clutter affects your quality of life. The interpretation could be eye-opening when applied to a business.
Some questions do not need modification to fit a business environment, such as “I can’t find things when I need them because of clutter.” Others may need a slight change such as substituting the word “business” for “home” as in “I try to avoid thinking about the clutter in my business.” It seems like a great tool for periodically measuring the impact of clutter and gauge the impacts on your quality of life.
1 Is clutter and disorganization hurting your health? From https://www.piedmont.org/living-better/is-clutter-and-disorganization-hurting-your-health
2 Does Clutter Affect Children? Even The Littlest Family Members Get Irritated With A Mess. From https://www.romper.com/p/does-clutter-affect-children-even-the-littlest-family-members-get-irritated-with-a-mess-15905653
3 Why Doesn’t a Plain White Piece of Paper Reflect Light but a Mirror Does? https://engineering.mit.edu/engage/ask-an-engineer/why-doesnt-a-plain-white-piece-of-paper-reflect-light-but-a-mirror-does/
Business Retention& Expansion
Entrepreneurs often wear at least 27 hats and have to do many tasks to make a business succeed. Email processing can be one of those hats and take an extraordinary amount of resources out of an already packed schedule!