Now is a great time to get rid of any clutter in your business.

Merriam-Webster defines clutter as “to fill or cover with scattered or disordered things that impede movement or reduce effectiveness”. To help prepare your business for a productive and successful 2018, here are 5 ways to clear the clutter:

Clean out your filing cabinets and bookshelves

Do you have closed files that need to be scanned and shredded? Do you have old tax returns or tax return documentation that you can now get rid of?

Do you have filing cabinets or bookshelves holding additional documents, books, or file folders full of information you may someday use. If so, assess whether you used it in the current year or will actually use it in the new year. If not, shred it! If you think there is a great possibility that you may use it in the next year, scan it and save it to your computer or an app such as Dropbox for easy access from anywhere.

Delete unnecessary online documents

Clean out your online computer files. Are there documents on your computer that are not necessary? If so, delete them. Or, do you have documents that need to be filed in an appropriate client file but instead are lingering on your desktop? Now is the time to clear everything from your desktop. Either put it in an appropriate computer file folder or delete it.

Empty your email inbox

 If you don’t already do this on a daily or weekly basis, get your email inbox to zero. Go through each and every email and either delete, delegate or save it in a designated email folder. Next, go through and unsubscribe from emails you no longer are interested in receiving.

Then, dig even deeper to clear the clutter. Go through each of your email file folders and delete the folders that are no longer needed or review each folder and delete specific documents that are no longer needed.

Assess your memberships

Take a good look at the organizations and groups you were involved with in 2017. Were they beneficial to your business? Did you enjoy being involved? If so, then remain a member in 2018. If not, get rid of those memberships in 2018. 

Take a good look at who you’re paying

Are you subscribed to business journals, magazines or other monthly service? Were these beneficial to your business in 2017? Did you spend time reading or utilizing the services? If so, consider subscribing again. If not, cancel your subscriptions for 2018.

 Finally, carefully review your staff, virtual assistants and vendors. In other words, make a list of everyone you paid this past year. They may work for you full time, on a contract basis or provide goods or a service from time to time. Were they beneficial to your business in 2017? Is that where you want to spend your money in 2018?

Take some time to clear the clutter so you can make 2018 your best year yet!


Anna Freeman Greer describes herself as “entrepreneur first, attorney second.” After starting and building her own law practice in 2009, she quickly realized her passion for helping other entrepreneurs and small business owners launch and grow their respective businesses. Visit her at