Tidy office, Tidy mind

Tidy office, Tidy mind

Spring must be (almost) in the air. I awoke this morning, walked into my tiny office, pushed a pile of papers aside to try to find my laptop and decided that SOMETHING HAD TO BE DONE ABOUT THE MESS. I take great care to present immaculate apartments, houses and rooms but somehow my personal organisation falls short.

De-cluttering Over The last 3 years my business activities have expanded substantially, from a small portfolio of single let properties to those plus a holiday let management business with clients, booking systems and complex accounts as well as having undertaken numerous renovations. Each of these activities require a sheaf of record-keeping. My diligent and talented assistant prevents it from getting out of hand and makes sure that it all runs on time. The two of us huddle closely in my tiny office to keep the wheels turning and satisfying guests, landlords as well as HMRC. As you walk into my office there are 7ft bookcases with glass doors along one wall. This is the area causing problems. They are the type that are stable while full, but if you empty them they tip forward alarmingly. To prevent myself being found, like the wicked witch of the East, with my feet sticking out from under a collapsed bookcase, they need to be attached to the wall at the top. In addition a job lot of 100 cushion covers that were stored (thrown) on the top seem to have slipped down behind making the whole situation positively dangerous. Cue movement on the bottom shelf. As my accounts as far back as 2011 (was that when I last sorted it out?) still lurk here I am sure that they can now be archived in the loft. I am the type of person who has few regrets but, having shredded the '90s only to discover that I can potentially claim some Capital Allowances back as far as purchase, I have now decided to keep everything, forever. A 4ft pile of box files is now on the landing. Moving up the shelves there are magazine racks full of appliance booklets. A quick sort rids me of 50% of them. Sheaves of magazines with 'useful" articles can go as can any reference books from the last century and anything on CD or cassette except Wedding pictures and a Windows recovery disk. I pass over the photographs or I will never get it done. 2 shelves of small items 'kept for spares" and a huge box of random wires and chargers later I can set about moving the shelves out. From down the side tumbles my collection of 'long items", spare blinds, curtain drawing rods, copper pipe , shower curtain rails, wrapping paper and a useful long aluminium rule that I use when I am making curtains. Boxes of projects started but not finished are binned leaving me feeling unburdened. Projects that kept me distracted and provided hobbies to free my mind from work stress are no longer needed. Working for myself does not need to be escaped from in the same way. Shelves empty and fixed securely, cushion covers retrieved and a quick hoover up. The stationery deliveries that have been waiting can be installed. Box files for each property, neatly labelled in matching colours, are the order of the day. Bits and bobs placed neatly in stacking boxes and accounts for the current and last year easily accessible. Desk organised systematically (as a left-hander I prefer right to left) with all broken items summarily thrown away. Ta-Dah! The impression of efficiency restored I am ready to fight 2019!

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