Why and How to De-Clutter Your Business

September 21, 2010
“Why is it so hard for people – and organizations – to throw things out?” asks the author of the article “De-Cluttering Your Organization” in the Harvard Business Review Blog. The answer is we’re sometimes afraid of new things and so we cling to old things just in case we need them in the future. But most of the time we don’t need them, and they just take up space. Climbing paperwork, Fishbowl Inventory BlogDoes your company still have user manuals for software or hardware you’ve long since replaced? Do you have trouble organizing your warehouses because of all the idle inventory waiting to be sold? It probably comes as no surprise that those things aren’t useful to you. However, you must realize that they can also be harmful to your company. People and companies can get complacent about their packing habits. That’s why you need two things to de-clutter your organization: Strong motivation and equally strong inventory management software. You Need Motivation to De-Clutter An organization that never takes the time to de-clutter itself is like a huge ship that accumulates barnacles, causing it to drag and become less efficient. If the problem becomes too severe, the ship could actually sink. To stay competitive, your company needs to get rid of clutter and get organized. But how? Start by coming up with a good motivation. Many times companies devise sales goals, customer service goals and other ways to track their success. Set a goal that you can reach mainly by becoming more efficient. If you’re struggling to grow or facing some sort of crisis, that can also be a good motivation to clean house. It’s best not to wait until you face a critical situation, though. You Need Inventory Management Software to De-Clutter After you commit yourself to de-cluttering, you need to get the right tools to make it less painful and daunting. Inventory management software is a good solution. With inventory management software, your business can start organizing all of your materials, parts and products so you know how many you have and how many you need to order. You should take a close look at your hardware and software inventory to make sure you’re only keeping what you need. Use inventory management software to carefully track what products you want to keep, so you won’t accidentally throw away an essential item. The good news is that as you start de-cluttering your business, you’ll probably feel better. Listen to the way the article’s author describes his experience: “And while it was painful at first to see my treasured acetates and conference binders disappear, eventually I felt liberated and de-cluttered. With a little hard work I had simplified my life.”