Decluttering your business comes with many pros and cons, but the end result is always refreshing!
When you have a lot of clutter going on, it can be hard to focus.
When it gets hard to focus, you have a hard time moving forward.
When it gets too difficult to move forward, you’ll start to feel as if you aren’t capable of achieving your goal.
When you feel like this, it may be time to declutter!
There are many things that can clutter your business and most Mompreneurs aren’t aware of them until it’s too late.
Where exactly do you start?
There isn’t a rule to what you must declutter first, but let’s start with some things you may use the most.
1. Declutter Your Phone
You probably use your phone much more than you realize. You may even be using it to read this post.
If you find yourself swiping through multiple things to find what you need, it’s time to declutter your phone!
You can run a nice portion of your business through your phone, and you probably do. So it’s important to keep the clutter down.
Delete unused apps
I know you plan to use certain apps, but sometimes you download them and never use them. Or you rarely use them.
If you have apps on your phone that you go more than a couple weeks without using, you should delete them and reinstall when necessary.
Removing unnecessary apps can speed up your phone’s performance and create space for other apps that may be beneficial to your business.
If your phone allows you to create folders, you can group similar apps together.
When you place apps that you regularly use on your home screen or bottom menu bar, you’ll save lots of time.
If your phone is full of images that you’ve taken for your business, organize them in albums.
You should also delete duplicate photos or other photos that are sitting around from taking a million pictures to find the perfect one.
Keep your toddler away from your phone also!
Turn off notifications
Having notifications on for everything can be distracting and create more clutter for you to go through when looking for important things.
- You do not need to know every time someone likes your Instagram photo.
- You do not need to be notified of pins you may like on Pinterest.
- You do not need to be notified that your engagement on your latest Facebook post is 95% higher than the rest.
- You do not need to know that a celebrity is tweeting about something on Twitter.
- You do not need to know each time every channel you subscribe to on YouTube posts a video.
I can go on, but you get the point, right?
2. Declutter Your Inbox
When you’ve had a long day (or week) and finally get around to checking your email, you may become overwhelmed to see a ton of unread messages.
You know you were added to someone’s list after grabbing a freebie (content upgrade, opt-in, etc.) while reading their blog post, but you weren’t planning to “be part of their list” if you know what I mean?
Now, you’re getting multiple emails per week, or month, about things you aren’t interested in.
You don’t want to unsubscribe because you’ll feel bad since it’ll seem like you just grabbed the freebie and ran.
You also fear that you may miss something important, so you stick around a little bit longer.
Then a lot longer.
And now you’re irritated by all the unwanted emails or are suffering from information overload while trying to consume every single thing.
Unsubscribe from lists
If you really joined someone’s email list just to get one thing, go ahead and unsubscribe.
Both of you will save time and stress, and they will save money if they’re paying to send you emails.
You see? It’s a win-win situation!
You can manually unsubscribe from each list, or you can use a 3rd party tool in case you can’t remember everything you’re subscribed to.
Some people only email their list once a month, or when they have something to sell, so it can be easy to forget about them.
I like to use 3rd party tools because they can find all the lists you’re on, even if the person or brand doesn’t email you much.
I use Unroll.Me because I found it to be simple and quick. I also didn’t have to download an app, create an account, or any other time-consuming tasks.
Although I manually unsubscribed from some emails, Unroll.Me showed all the ones I missed.
I noticed that I was subscribed to things that I don’t remember signing up for.
Another thing I saw is that I was automatically subscribed to several emails associated with a brand after opting into ONE thing.
Example: I grabbed a freebie from xyz.com and later unsubscribed from receiving emails when MyMom@xyz.com kept emailing me each week.
On Unroll.Me, I saw that I was still subscribed YourMom@xyz.com and EveryoneElsesMom@xyz.com.
I wasn’t a fan of that, but now I know why I was receiving emails from Your Mom and Everyone Else’s Mom after I unsubscribed from receiving emails from My Mom.
Disclaimer: I’ve never visited xyz.com and don’t know if it’s a real site, so view it at your own risk.
Now that you’ve unsubscribed from emails, you can go on a deleting spree.
You’d be amazed at how uncluttered your inbox will appear when you start deleting emails.
Delete every single email that you intentionally ignored, or read and weren’t interested in.
Delete old drafts that were saved and never sent.
Create folders or labels to categorize your emails.
You can use these folders and filters to organize emails by importance.
Some emails may be important and high priority and others are important, but low priority.
You may also be subscribed to things that you use for a source of entertainment during work breaks, or just to keep your mind at peace.
Organize each of them accordingly.7 In-depth Ways to Declutter Your Business Click To Tweet
3. Declutter Your Browser
No matter how hard you try, there will be some day, if not every day, that you find yourself with a million tabs open as you surf the web.
With so much to do and never enough time, you end up getting lost or distracted while trying to focus on your work.
Due to the shortage of time, you may also bookmark a bunch of things each week.
I’m guilty of opening tabs in new windows and bookmarking things, especially when reading blog posts that have links to articles with more details on what I want to learn.
Clean and organize bookmarks
Delete bookmarks you no longer need and create folders for ones that are still relevant to what you’re working on, or will be working on in the near future.
Each time you bookmark a blog post, or something else online, place it in one of your folders. If you don’t have a folder that fits what you’re bookmarking, create a new folder for it.
If you just save the bookmark to your bookmarks bar, or “other bookmarks” folder, you will find yourself in the same clutter that you may be in right now.
Place the folders you use the most on your “bookmarks tab” so they are easily accessible. You can create sub-folders that relate to the overall purpose of your main bookmark to keep everything together.
Set up your default page
If you know that you’re going to check your email or Facebook as soon as you get on your computer, you may want to set that site as your home or welcome page.
If you frequently visit the same sites daily throughout the week, you can set your default page to display them as thumbnails that you can easily click.
Google Chrome automatically generates 8 thumbnails based on the sites you visit the most.
You can customize the thumbnails so you won’t have to bookmark the site or type in the URL each time you go online.
It’s easy to get distracted when you’re trying to get things done online.
In the midst of typing your blog post, you may remember that it’s promo day in a Facebook group.
Now you’re on Facebook because you have to go share your other post that didn’t get as many views or email sign ups as you wanted.
Next thing you know, you’re reading someone else’s blog post and sharing it, or watching viral videos on Facebook.
There are tools you can use to block sites that distract you while you’re trying to get things done.
Your time is precious and limited. And even if you have an entire day to do something, you will get much more done if you prohibit yourself from giving into your temptations of surfing the web.
FocalFilter allows you to temporarily block sites that may distract you from getting your work done
4. Declutter Your Social Media
If your only method of marketing your blog or business is via social media, like many Mompreneurs, you need to ensure that you’re using it efficiently.
If you’re using your social accounts for business purposes and are following others that add no value to your business, unfollow them.
You’ll find yourself spending extra time on social media trying to filter through distracting content or stuff you aren’t interested in.
Sometimes you may follow unnecessary accounts because you participated in a giveaway, or an influencer recommended you follow accounts they may have an affiliation with.
You may also find yourself following accounts just because they’re your favorite celebrity or brand.
All of those things can clutter your feed and cause you to spend more time on social media while trying to find something that will contribute to the growth of your business.
Delete irrelevant content
If you’ve posted things that may not be in line with the overall message of your brand, delete them.
I know that you may be in love with what you are sharing, but it can be confusing to your followers.
Confusing your followers can affect your engagement and conversion rate.
Unless you’re the type of person who mixes your personal life with your brand and your audience loves it, you should refrain from posting random things that clutter your profile.
Put yourself in your ideal audience’s shoes and ask:
“Can I tell what I do from looking at the content on my page?”
“Would I invest into my business if I looked at the profile and saw these things?”
Remove any photos, tweets, or other statuses don’t align with how you want others to envision your business.
Focus on one platform
If you’re on multiple social platforms and are struggling to produce content for them on a regular basis, you should cut back and focus on the one (or two) that get you the most results.
You don’t have to delete the accounts unless you just know that you don’t have any plans on using them in the near or far future.
5. Declutter Your Website
Your website can be the reason your business excels or struggles.
While there are many things you can do to the front end of your website, the back end is just as important as what your site visitors will see.
Some things you can do (from a self-hosted WordPress perspective):
The back end (what your audience doesn’t see)
- Delete unnecessary plugins
- Delete themes you aren’t using
- Clean up dead or broken links
- Resize and smush images
- Delete drafts you aren’t going to publish
- Delete media files you aren’t using
- Remove unused tags or categories
The front end (what your audience will see)
- Remove and rearrange tabs on your menu
- Remove excessive ads
- Clean up your sidebar
- Delete irrelevant text, images, and pages
- Spruce up or simplify your pages
Before you do anything to your site, make sure you back it up first in case something goes wrong along the way.How To Declutter Your Business and Be More Productive Click To Tweet
6. Declutter Your Finances
There’s nothing more frustrating than not having enough money to do what you want to do.
What’s even more disappointing is spending money on things that aren’t benefiting your business.
The more tools and resources you invest in, the more income you have to generate to pay for them.
When you shift your focus from helping others to making money, you can easily lose sight of your purpose. Next thing you know, you start hustling to make enough money each month to pay for everything and generate a profit.
It’s easy to get caught up in what you need in order to be a successful blogger or entrepreneur.
Every tool may not be necessary for you right now, so you have to remember that before making irrational investments that seem necessary when you first hear about them.
Many mompreneurs invest into social media management, email marketing, and branding tools. They also invest into courses.
So let’s focus on these for now.
Social media scheduling
If you’re paying for a social media scheduling tool and have only scheduled a few pieces of content in the past couple months, you may want to consider letting it go.
When you have time to batch content together, you can subscribe to it again, or use a free scheduling software with fewer features since you weren’t really using the tool anyway.
If you started building an email list out of pressure and subscribed to a paid service, you may want to let it go until you create a strategy.
Sometimes making those investments will encourage you to get on top of creating epic opt-ins to grow your list. But sometimes you really don’t have time to learn about the email software because you’re still stuck on figuring out how often to post on social media or publish a blog post. You also don’t know which type of freebie to create.
So now you’re paying monthly for email software and maybe a P.O. Box as your list sits there.
Branding and design
If you’re subscribed to paid tools that allow you to create graphics, source images, etc. and you aren’t using the service, unsubscribe from it until you’re ready to take it seriously.
Find some free stock photo sites and use free graphic design tools in the meantime.
If you see that you have a habit of not completing courses, stop investing into them.
This doesn’t mean you should never buy a course again, it simply means you need to create a plan before taking a one.
I know this new course seems to have everything you need, based on your current struggle. But what about the other ones you needed and only completed a few modules, then forgot about due to being busy with #MomLife?
Ahh… You forgot about those courses, didn’t you?
Go back and finish those courses (if they’re still available) because they may have exactly what you’re about to invest into (either as part of the course or in a bonus).
If you aren’t sure of what to get rid of financially, take a look at what you’re paying for each month and view how much you’ve used it in the past 30-60 days.
If you don’t have time for something, or don’t have a plan for how you’re going to leverage it to grow your business, get rid of the paid subscription until further notice.
Real life example
I spent the first quarter of 2017 redoing things with each of my blogs. I was also adjusting to life with a toddler and newborn baby.
Although I had an Instagram eBook, VA services and social media strategy sessions available, I wasn’t marketing them. As a result, I didn’t earn any income (via my blogs) during those months.
It was fine in January because I was on a high of creating my epic plan to make 2017 my year, but that high eventually faded away.
I would then receive monthly email notifications about payments being successfully processed via PayPal and I didn’t like it at all; especially since I wasn’t using the tools.
Since I wasn’t doing anything to grow my blogs from a financial standpoint, I unsubscribed from EVERYTHING and saved over $100 per month.
I recently re-subscribed to a few things after taking the time to create a plan for how I’d use my blog to cover the expenses.
7. Get organized as a whole
After decluttering your business, you’ll want to start creating some structure.
The first thing you can do is schedule your next decluttering date. I used to declutter every month. Now I declutter every 2-3 months.
I use Asana for team projects I do outside of my blog and I love it for group work. If you’re working with a team of people to complete a task, I highly recommend using Asana!
I use Trello for my individual blogs and business, and I love it! It allowed me to create an account without having to add team members. (I heard you can make a solo account with Asana, but it told me to add team members to get started when I tried in November 2016. If you’ve created a solo account after that time, let me know!)
I’ve gone a bit crazy with Trello, but it helps me stay organized. It also keeps me from purchasing new planners and a pretty to-do list that I partially use. Here’s a peek at my boards.
As you can see, there are many ways to declutter the various parts of your business. How often do you declutter and what decluttering methods do you use? I’d love for you to share in the comments!
I have a free business decluttering checklist in The Mompreneur Vault. That’s where I stash my goodies for Mom Bloggers and Mompreneurs to market and grow their business through blogging. You can join below!