Organizing Principles

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Autumn is the perfect time to declutter. We give you tips for clearing out and cleaning up your store after a busy summer

While spring is the traditional time for deep cleaning, mattress retailers can benefit from getting in the habit of tidying up and decluttering their stores every autumn. You’ve just completed a successful (we hope!) summer selling season, making it the perfect time to take a cleansing breath, so to speak.

Set aside a few days to tackle the areas where stuff tends to pile up in your store, such as the drawers and cubbies of the sales desk. Enlist store managers or trusted retail sales associates to sort through paperwork, office supplies, cleaning supplies and other accumulated items, using the same principles that professional organizers recommend for homes:

  • Use bins or trash bags to sort items into categories, such as donate, recycle and trash.
  • Toss anything that hasn’t been used in the past year.
  • Categorize and organize. (For instance, keep cleaning supplies in one place; stash business cards for each employee on one shelf of the sales desk so they’re easy to find.)
  • Clean drawers, shelves and other surfaces before returning items to them.

There are two other specific areas of your business that likely can benefit from an annual decluttering:

Your sales floor

Take a hard look at your sales floor. Remove lower-performing mattress models to create a showroom that is more attractive, easier to maneuver and less confusing to shoppers. You may want to invest in an easy-to-use rack system that can house twin-size versions of lower-priced mattresses, creating an orderly display.

While you’re studying the sales floor, consider how your mattresses are displayed. Reorganize them, if needed, into a pattern that makes sense not just to you but also to shoppers. Finally, remove outdated or faded promotional materials, and tidy up all your accessories displays.

Your computer and smartphone

Set aside an hour or two (or the better part of day, if it has gotten that bad) to clean out your email in-box, responding to important queries and requests — and deleting everything else. Going forward, commit to clearing out your inbox weekly and to using folders to organize emails that need to be saved. Next, do the same with work-related text and voicemail messages, responding and deleting until those inboxes are clear, too.

Next, tackle other files on your computer, deleting and consolidating where you can. If you’re reluctant to part with a 2013 marketing plan or other old files, save them to a USB drive and date it. If you haven’t needed those files a year from now, delete them all. (Caveat: When it comes to tax, financial and personnel records, follow the guidance of your financial and legal advisers about when it’s OK to delete.)

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