Can't afford a new office? Why not declutter?

Julie Lord
 


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It's a common story: business is booming and you could really do with some more space to capitalise on your success but bigger offices come with hefty price tags so you are stuck where you are. If you've been in business a little while chances are you've already managed to accumulate lots of stuff that you no longer need or need infrequently and is just taking up space. Sorting through it and placing what you don't need on a day-to-day basis in a cheap storage unit could give you that extra space you’ve been craving. It may also save you an absolute fortune when it comes to finding new office space, moving costs and higher rental charges on a larger office.

What to declutter: Documents

You need to keep records but you probably don't need instant access to all of them. Sort through your filing cabinets and put records that haven't been touched in a while in self-storage. Whilst you're at it you can also send for shredding documents that you have no reason to keep any more. You may even choose to convert some of your paper resources into electronic copies, which will save even more room.

Bookcases

Do you have a bookcase groaning under the weight of five-year-old catalogues and reference manuals? Ditch anything that is out of date and if there is an electronic version available switch to using that instead. You also gain the advantage of being able to access it when you're not in the office – for example if you use your supplier's online catalogue to check prices you can work on quotes on site.

Desks

Don't equate not having enough room on your desk with not having enough room in the office. Sort the piles on your desk into four piles: file, bin, and storage, keep. Now go and file the records that should have been filed weeks ago, bin the rubbish, box up the items for storage and tidy up the items you need now. Then sit back and admire your tidy desk. Don't forget to go through the drawers too!

Equipment

Most offices have a cupboard or corner where everything else ends up. Maybe even a corner large enough to squeeze another desk into – if only the junk wasn't there! Some of it is going to be rubbish. The kettle that never switches off or the computer that was state of the art in 1990 just need to be sent to the tip. Items such as the box of Christmas decorations or equipment that you only need a few times a year can all get put into a self-storage unit until you actually need them.

Extra furniture

If you have more chairs than people or an annoying number of tables you should consider whether it is more cost effective to get rid of them or to put them in a cheap storage unit. If you're still hoping to move to larger offices eventually, you might need them one day, but while you don’t, at least they’re not getting right in your way!

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