Recent news articles and blog posts are — somewhat ironically — now cluttered with articles about the so-called queen of decluttering, Marie Kondo — star of the Netflix series Tidying Up With Marie Kondo. Now, you can add this post to the pile. Because today’s tip for Make Money Mondays is to declutter your law office.
Online subscription services are one of the first places to look to declutter. With new tech tools being released all the time, it’s easy to enter your credit card to sign up for a free trial – and then forget to cancel. Then, nine months later, you discover that you’re still paying $19.99 a month for online storage or a project management tool that you’ve never used. Even worse are online ad campaigns – maybe you decided to experiment with an Google ads campaign and six months and several hundred dollars later, you discover that you never turned it off. Finally, there are legacy subscriptions that you may have used at one time that have now been rendered obsolete by new technology or services.
Even in a digital age, many lawyers still have physical clutter – paper files, law reporters and statutes. Many of these materials consume so much space that you may wind up paying for extra storage space, or for a physical office space when you’d rather work virtually. If you’re disposing of client files, check your jurisdiction’s ethics rules and your malpractice policy for document retention requirements. In many instances, you may be able to retain digital copies rather than the originals.
Of course, decluttering can be time consuming – which is why, in my opinion, it’s a task worth pursuing only if it will save you money. For that reason, I haven’t recommended trying to declutter your email. Instead, I prefer the approach of Inbox Infinity which suggests that you don’t even try to respond to every email because it’s simply too stressful and time-consuming – and just let the inbox pile up.
Decluttering isn’t much fun – but if it can save you money, that just might be enough of an incentive to do it.
Have you done any January decluttering? What have you gotten rid of, and how much money have you saved as a result?