I love the opportunity that our annual inventory count gives us to get our stock organized.  We start the year by throwing away broken merchandise, marking down odds and ends, and cleaning the shelves in our storage area.

This year I’ve vowed to expand that fresh-start feeling to the rest of the store.  First off, I need to make sure that important data is backed up on “the cloud” and an external hard drive, and that important records detailing the history of the store’s sales and profitability are safe.  

After that is done, here are some of the areas I’m targeting:

  1. Sorting through display props to eliminate those that are dated or no longer useful
  2. Purging the office of old computer paraphernalia, software manuals, and other tech tools we no longer use
  3. Shredding payroll records that are more than more than 4 years old and tax records over 7 years old (check with the IRS for current regulations)
  4. Recycling catalogues and price lists that are out of date
  5. Purging the files of information from companies we no longer plan to buy from
  6. Making sure we have copies of the forms we commonly use, and a stock of everyone’s favorite office supplies
  7. Going through the files on our store computer to see what we really need to keep
  8. Getting my inbox under control, using a digital filing system for important items
  9. Organizing our display materials such as hooks, frames and stands
  10. Checking to see if we have an adequate supply of the various boxes and bags we need for customer purchases
  11. Making sure all the year’s trade shows are on the calendar, with hotel rooms booked
  12. Getting rid of desktop and office clutter so that all our workspaces are efficient and pleasant

What are your goals for getting off to an organized start? Devoting just 15 minutes each day for a couple of weeks to decluttering can make a real difference in how smoothly your small business functions!

Happy Retailing, 

Carol “Orange” Schroeder

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