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Organize + Energize: 10 Organizing & Efficiency Tips for Small Business Owners

Tuesday, September 19, 2017


Whether you’re a new business owner or you’ve been in business for years, everybody can use these tips. When a business is disorganized, there are important qualities that are lacking. If you continue to operate this way, you’ll feel the effects from it. It won’t take long to notice you’re in a downward spiral, losing time, money and clients due to your disorganization.

Here are 10 tips to help you get on your way:

Systemize your entire office. You should have a process and procedure for everything that you do on a daily basis. Systemizing your office will allow you to have structure; in turn you’ll become more efficient. Once you create systems and work with them for a while, think about how you can streamline the systems and take them from 10 steps to 5.

Hire an organized support staff.  It’s imperative that you have administrative assistants that are organized. You could be the most disorganized person, but if you have an organized and efficient assistant, he/she will make your work life much easier.

Organize your drawers and supplies. I know some of you are saying, it’s silly, big deal it’s a drawer, but you wouldn’t believe how much time you’ll save by having an organized drawer and organized supplies. Think about how much time you waste throughout the day searching for things. This time adds up and it can amount to hours at the end of the week. It will save you time and stress. Organize your supplies.

Streamline your workspace.  This includes your desk, the walls, your computer, bookshelves, etc. You can’t become efficient and productive if your desk is a chaotic mess. Working with a bulletin board? When was the last time you took everything off of it and evaluated what’s on it?  Stickie notes attached to all areas of the wall and desk? It’s time to think about how you can make this work better for you.

Have a process to handle paper. People think because we’re in this digital world that all of our paper issues will be solved. Wrong. Paper is more of a problem now than it’s ever been. Just because you’re digital doesn’t mean that paper is going to disappear. You have to create a process and systems to contain every piece of paper that arrives in your office. Create a streamlined system for paper and maintain it and you’ll never have an issue with paper.

Have a process to handle emails. The same goes for emails. People are inundated with emails. Some have over thousands of emails in their inboxes. Your inbox should only be used as a to-do list of things you’re working on or waiting for.  Utilize folders, unsubscribe when you can, and delete the non-important information. Print out what you can to remind you to do things and release the mental clutter.

Organize your business cards. This is a problem for so many people. There are many great systems out there to organize your business cards. Find a system that works for you and maintain it. How many times have you ever gone to actually look for a card that’s in the bottom of a pile? Take inventory, toss, keep and create a system so you can grab at a moment’s notice.

Work with a calendar and to-do lists. Working with these will release mental clutter. Whether you choose to use paper or electronics it’s up to you. Don’t be peer pressured into going digital if you don’t think it works for you. There’s nothing wrong with paper and sometimes it’s more efficient than digital.

Archive information on a yearly basis. Be sure at the end of every year, you’re going through your file cabinets and archiving information to make way for the New Year.  Decide whether you need to toss, shred, or file away in a weather resistant plastic tote. Start the New Year on the right foot.

Work on time management.  I saved this one for last. Although, it’s the biggest issue because everybody is looking for more free time in their day! Understand that you can’t work on your time management skills until you physically get organized and put working organized systems in place. Work on all of the above and you’ll find that your time management skills will start to fall in line.

Work on one area at a time and continue to move throughout the office. You’ll find you’ll be less stressed, have more energy, more free time, more money and above all, your clients will have more confidence in you.

Kristin Carcieri-MacRae, is an organizing & efficiency expert and owner of Organizing in RI. Kristin teaches her clients that living an organized lifestyle will save them time and money, decrease their stress levels and help them become more efficient and productive. Her articles have been published in local and national magazines. She has also given over 70 presentations throughout the state. Watch Kristin LIVE every Thursday at 3pm here on GoLocal LIVE with Molly O’Brien.


Related Slideshow: Organizing Products For Your Closet

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Flip flop organizer

How many flip flops do you own? Are they thrown all over the closet floor? How long does it take you to find a match to one of them? Bed Bath and Beyond has a $9.99 flip flop organizer that holds 6 pairs of flip flops and hangs nicely in your closet. This is a must-have if you have more than 5 pairs of flip flops. I’ve purchased these for my clients and they work great!

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Scarf organizer

You love your scarves, but it takes you forever to locate one and you have to throw 5 around to find the one you are searching for. Use a scarf organizer and you will be able to see all your scarves and find them at a moment’s notice. Bed Bath and Beyond has a few different types of scarf organizers, including this one for $9.99.

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Belt organizer

How are you storing your belts? Are they in a tangled mess? Purchase a belt organizer for a cheap solution—they can be as inexpensive as $6.99 from the Container Store.

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Tie organizer

Keep your ties organized and hanging on a tie rack, or keep then rolled in a drawer organizer. Whichever way you choose to organize them, treat them with care. To take care of both your belts and your ties in one fell swoop, check out this organizer from the Container Store.

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Drawer organizer

This is a must for your underwear, socks, bras, nylons, etc. Drawer organizers will help to maximize space in your closet. You won’t believe the amount of space you will have once you contain these items in drawer organizers!

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Jewelry organizer

Are you always trying to detangle your necklaces? Think about how you grab your jewelry and then purchase an organizing system according to how you function. Before you purchase your container, take inventory of what you own and purchase accordingly.

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Shoe rack

Did you know people who didn’t own shoe racks were 7 times more likely to show up late for an event? Are your shoes in piles on the floor? Get them off the floor and contain them in a shoe rack. There are many options out there, like this one from Bed Bath and Beyond. Choose the shoe rack that is going to fit what you need to hold and fit in the space you are working with.

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Are you hanging your clothes on the wire hangers from the dry cleaner? Those hangers will ruin your clothes. Get rid of them and store your clothes on the hanger of your choice, but be consistent and stick with one type of hanger.

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How are you storing your handbags? Are they stored all over your closet? Are they in bins or crumpled up on the floor? It’s time to organize your bags. There are many options depending on the space you are working with. You can stand them up on a shelf, you can hang them, or if they are small, you can store them in a canvas bin. The choice is yours. Think about how you function and develop a system from there.

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Baseball cap organizer

How many baseball caps do you own? How are they organized in your closet now, and how long does it take you to find one? The Container Store (pictured here), Bed Bath and Beyond, and other stores sell this baseball cap organizer. I have a few clients that have purchased them and they love them!

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Function over flash

There are many variations on these products. Choose the product that is right for you. There are some organizing products I would never use, but other people might choose to use them. Choose the one that is going to be the most efficient and productive product for you and your family. Don’t choose a product because it’s pretty, choose it based on functionality. Search online for different products before you rush out and purchase a product. You may find that one store is more expensive than another. Don’t forget if you are going to Bed Bath and Beyond to use their 20% off coupons. If you don’t want to purchase these items, get creative and re-purpose items around the home, or make your own!

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Kristin MacRae

Kristin Carcieri-MacRae, the founder and owner of Organizing in RI, has always enjoyed finding creative ways to streamline the environment around her. She has appeared on air on Patricia Raskin's Positive Business Radio and her articles have been published in the Rhode Island Small Business Journal and New England Home Life. Kristin's CD, Organizing Basics, is a 1-hour guide for the person who wants to get organized but doesn't know where to start. She is also available for organizing workshops. Tune into her weekly radio show, Organize, Energize! on Mondays at 8:30am on www.talkstreamradio.com.


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