Have you Reached Peak Clutter?

A potential new patient or client walks into your practice and looks around.  What they see can influence their opinion of your professionalism and whether they will become a patient or client of your practice.

Will they see a clean, well-organized, zero-clutter front office and be impressed by what they observe?

Or will they see clutter and feel uneasy and be put off?

What is Clutter Exactly?

Let’s look first at what is considered “clutter”.  Definition:  a collection of things lying about in an untidy mass; an untidy state.

In the reception area of a practice, it could be a disorganized pile of old magazines, files piled high, an in-basket on the front desk overflowing, papers all over the reception desk, messy waiting area, dirty carpets, old posters/pictures on the walls that are faded, messages or signs all over the front of the reception desk, plants that are taking over the space or that are looking sick, and so on.

And what about the delivery areas in the practice?  Is there clutter on counters and on the walls, and sometimes on the floor (boxes, instruments, unused “things”)?

Why does Clutter Happen?

Clutter stems from several sources:

  1. the impulse not to throw away things in case you need them in the future;
  2. you’ve grown attached to the item and can’t bear to let it go permanently;
  3. you got the item out from where it belongs and meant to put it back after using, but didn’t, so it sits on a counter or wherever it doesn’t belong;
  4. inadequate shelving or storage places or filing systems, etc. so that everything has a place where it should be and organization reigns supreme.

How does Clutter Affect You Personally?

Firstly, working in such a cluttered environment can make you feel mentally exhausted.  This is because you have to remember where everything is so you can find it when it’s not in its appointed place.  Also, you may find yourself keeping things near you so as not to forget to do them.  Another problem is that you keep meaning to ditch the item (but don’t) and every time you see it, it’s back on your mind again.

As for Patients or Clients …

Don’t put them off your practice by being a clutterbug!  Examine your practice from a new person’s viewpoint and take appropriate measures to de-clutter.  If it all seems too daunting, call a Professional Organizer to come in and help.

Present a pleasing professionalism and you’ll keep them coming back!  And you’ll feel happier too!


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