Thursday, December 28, 2017

"Good Riddance Day" Is Good For Our Business"

So here it is, "Good Riddance Day" - that annual day where we specifically are permitted to discard anything we don't wish to hold onto any longer. This empowers us to leave behind anything we don't feel like we want to pack into the new year with us.

Yesterday, we discussed how this day is an import observance for mental health and aging in place reasons because it allows us to discard anything that we feel has been weighing us down or distracting us. This targets our stuff, but we know that most of us are going to need far more time than just a day to sort through and deal with everything we have accumulated over the years. The older we are, the chances are good that we have collected the most stuff along the way.

One thing is certain. If we ignore this tremendous opportunity when we have permission to discard what is not necessary in our lives and to move on a little lighter for the experience, we will be missing a great chance to unclutter our lives a little. Of course, there will be other days, but this day is specifically marked to do what we want to do and that is to streamline our lives and businesses somewhat - maybe not a lot, but some.

Obviously, there is a tremendous amount of possessions that we have that we may not need to keep - mementos, souvenirs, spare parts, keepsakes from events we attended, things the children have made over the years, clothing that we have outgrown or never worn, clothing that is out of style, tools or sporting goods that we likely will never use, and more.

In addition to the tangible items ("stuff") that we have amassed over the years, there are other items that deserve our scrutiny for possible elimination from our lives. This is a little more time-consuming than looking through items stored in various places and deciding which to continue keeping and which can be sold, donated, or discarded. Also, they do take up the amount of physical space that our stuff does, but going through them and discarding the important or unnecessary items will make a huge difference for our businesses. Yesterday, we discussed space issues in our homes. Now, we are concerned about business matters. Both fall within the scope of "good riddance." 

Locked inside our computers, our file cabinets, our credenza, and our desk drawers are perhaps hundreds of items that are doing us no good and just occupying space. They may not take up much physical space, but they are unnecessary, and we can move on into the new year without them quite easily.

There are proposals and letters that we have written - some several years ago - that were never acted upon or involve businesses no longer in operation. We can do without them. We have computer files and documents created for a specific purpose that has long since passed, along with the reason for needing to keep them. We likely have copies of old letterhead, business cards, ads, flyers, and other marketing materials that we are never going to use again. We can safely discard them. We maybe overbought supplies that we thought we would use but never have. Donate them to a school or youth group. 

In our database, we have the names and contact information of people that we are not going to contact anymore (for various reasons) or we have them listed at their previous place of employment as well as at a more current one. Duplicate records are unnecessary, especially when one is incorrect and we may accidentally access it.

We have obsolete office equipment, monitors that don't work, cables and cords to outmoded machinery or just too many of them. Occasionally we purchase something at a really good price and we get more than one since it is such a bargain. The original is still working fine, and the replacement has never been needed - or taken out of the original box.

This "Good Riddance Day" is a great excuse to throw us into action to remove some of the unnecessary files, paperwork, and other materials we have been needlessly hanging onto. We can move in 2018 a little lighter and a little more prepared to get down to business.

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Steve HoffackerCAPS, CEAC, SHSS, is a licensed Certified Aging In Place Specialist - Master Instructor and best-selling author of aging in place books. To learn about this and other programs for aging in place or universal design, visit stevehoffacker.com or call 561-685-5555. Also, check out the "Aging & Accessibility" groups on Facebook and LinkedIn.