Declutter your Workspace
04/06/2021 | dunnedwards |
Spring is the time to get organized.
As a painting contractor, it's important to keep your truck and office clean, but this post isn't about cleaning. Staying organized is just as important for efficiency and safety. This month, learn how to declutter your workspace with these two simple tips.
Tip 1: Get in the zone.
Take a look around your work van or truck. Are brushes stored near paint, is tape mixed in with scrapers and other tools? If so, you probably haven't established zones. Dividing up your storage space into zones makes it easier to find what you need when you need it, while keeping a closer eye on your belongings. When tools are scattered around in different places, it's much less likely that you'll notice if something is left behind at a job site or if you're running low on supplies. But when everything is in its zone, you can tell with a glance how many of each item you have, and when it's time to restock.
Where you place each zone is entirely up to you and your workflow, but as a general rule, you should aim to store heavier items in lower areas and lighter, smaller items in bins or on shelves. Consider keeping things that you use most often closer to the door for easy access. You might also find it helpful to establish your zones clockwise based on the order of your process: setup, prep, painting, cleanup.
If you don't have a custom storage solution in place, a few accessories can go a long way:
- Rubber clamps, metal spring clamps, or mop and broom holders can be used to store poles or items with long handles (ensure that they are mounted and secured properly so that there's no risk of a pole going through the windshield during a sudden stop).
- Used FrogTape containers can be repurposed to store and organize sanding discs. It keeps discs from getting bent or damaged, and it saves the plastic from ending up in a landfill.
- Hanging shoe racks have pockets that are the perfect size for holding spray cans and plastic bottles.
- Bungee cords, PVC pipes, and pegboards are inexpensive ways to organize and secure tools.
Tip 2: Go paperless.
According to Agency Sales Magazine, most people never use or look at 80% of the papers and information they keep. Although that is a consumer statistic, you've likely felt the strain of paper clutter in your painting business too. Painting is a hands-on business, and many painters are still using paper estimates, receipts, and filing systems because it feels more familiar and portable. Although the cost of paper is relatively affordable, printing, copying, organizing, and storing all take time and space, and those things cost money. If you're still using paper, now is the time to shift to more modern paperless systems––you'll lessen your clutter and have a more convenient and seamless integration that will save enormous amounts of time across all of your processes.
Try these paper alternatives:
- Do your accounting on the go: Wave is a free app that lets you snap a photo of your receipts to scan and file them, track expenses, create invoices, and organize everything for taxes. For an additional fee, Wave allows you to accept credit card payments and run payroll through the app.
- Take control of your calendar: ScheduleOnce and Calendly are apps with free versions that allow you to keep track of your client meetings, job times, and appointments without needing a paper calendar. They integrate with your usual calendar apps (Google calendar, Outlook, iCloud, etc) so you can get mobile reminders, but they both take scheduling a step further: you can post a link on your website for clients to book you for a meeting or job, and it automatically shows up on your calendar.
- Track time anywhere: Clockify is a free app that lets you keep track of your hours, as well as those of your employees. With options for different employee rates and jobs, you can easily stay on top of multiple jobs and employee hours with helpful visualizations that let you see how much each employee has earned. To track hours, employees download the app and then just clock in and out on their phones. If they forget, you can adjust the record manually after the fact.
Keeping your work environment clean and decluttered can help make sure things run smoothly. When everyone knows where everything is, downtime is eliminated. That's good for business, and it can even help contribute to a more positive mental outlook for yourself and your employees. Scientifically speaking, clutter causes stress because it is too stimulating to our brains—it sends a signal that our work is never done and creates guilt, anxiety, and the feeling of being overwhelmed. It might sound like a touchy-feely subject, but the truth is that happy, unstressed workers are more productive. So if you want a relatively easy and inexpensive way to give your business a boost, try decluttering. All you've got to lose is a bunch of clutter that you weren't using anyway.