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Spring Refresh: Lighten Up, Brighten Up and Get Organized
The trees, flowers and warmer breezes are here to announce the official arrival of spring. The dark, shadowy days of winter (and our sluggish pace) are behind us and it’s time to lighten up, brighten up and get our businesses refreshed and organized for (hopefully) busier spring and summer days. Here are some ideas to help you get motivated…all on a small business budget.
Lighten Up – Spring is a great time to do a massive clean out of your small business. Grab a box of giant trash bags and start filling them up. Your business space will immediately feel lighter and brighter without all the unused stuff sitting around.
Start with updating/upgrading your old technology. There are special recycling centers that take old technology and some will even come to take it away for you. If you haven’t used that “spare” printer in over a year, then it’s time for it to go.
Next, take on the supply closet. Toss out anything you no longer need. Be ruthless with everything that is broken and supplies that don’t do their jobs. If you bought a case of cheap pens to save money and no one uses them because they don’t write, toss them! They are commanding precious space; replace them with great pens that won’t break the bank. If you want a suggestion, try my favorite from Staples – the Staples brand Optiflow Rollerball Pen.
Lastly, attack your work surfaces. This is where the clutter can really stack up. Find a place for everything. If you’re like me and need all five projects you’re working on right in front of you, get a desktop file stand. Put each project in a folder and only pick up the folder you need to work on.
Brighten Up – There are endless studies that show the right colors can make us happier and more productive at work. If your office is looking and feeling run down, put some new paint on the walls! Paint a bright, happy color on one wall for extra punch. If that’s not an option, freshen up your walls with new artwork or framed photographs. Whatever you choose, make sure it brings a smile to you and your employees.
What about new office furniture? I love the reasonably-priced bright green Staples® Bonley Mesh Chair. The mesh back will keep you cool in the summer and the adjustable lumbar support and arm rests will keep you sitting comfortably for hours. Freshen up existing furniture with paint, colorful bins, binders and fresh pillows.
Get Organized – Now that you’ve cleaned out the clutter and freshened-up your environment, it’s time to get organized. The pace usually quickens for small businesses in the spring and summer months. You will save time (and stress) if you can find what you’re looking for in your office without turning it upside down.
I mentioned earlier that you need to have specific places for things. Let’s take that one step further. Create specific spaces for each kind of work you need to do. If you write, create an area that contains all of your writing supplies—maybe a drawer or a container. Does your work require assembling things? Designate space just for product assembly and keep all tools and supplies close at hand. If your business does a lot of shipping, carve out a place large enough to prepare and package products. Have tape, scissors, markers and other supplies that stay in the shipping area.
If your small business is like mine, you do lots of different things in a small space. To stay efficient, it’s critical to have the right supplies ready to go. I label task-specific containers like the Staples brand clear plastic file boxes so I can quickly grab what I need. Something new I’ve seen at Staples that I can’t wait to get is their four-drawer plastic storage cart on wheels that’s under the Staples brand name. Having supplies in a cart that I can move around with me from task to task will be a huge time saver.
Make the Investment – Getting your business space refreshed and organized does require an investment of time and money. Follow my Staples product recommendations and you’ll get high quality products that fit your budget. And by investing your time now, you’ll gain more time, energy, and focus – all of the things any small business owner needs to be more productive.