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A Hoarding CPA? You Don’t Say!

By Joey Havens

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My wife and I are so blessed to be moving into a new home this month. This is our first new home together and we are very excited. It is very modern, open and WHITE. I was so excited when she let me know I could pick the color of my office. She gave me three choices: pure white, white wisp or winter white. I think I picked the grayest tint I could find. You get my drift. One of our best friends recently asked, “Joey, where are you going to live? There’s no way you are going to make it in this white house!”

So this blog is not about the house but the move. Everyone loves to move! (At least CeCe does!) She loves to organize and most of all, give things away. When she drives up at Goodwill, they come running to her car. So for weeks now, I get home and stuff is just gone. And some of it is my personal stuff! When I inquired as to where these things might have gone, she quickly responded, “We are going to simplify our lives and really get organized on this move. Do you realize you are a hoarder?!”

This conversation was not going anywhere good so after defending myself, I stopped trying to find those tennis rackets that I haven’t used in five years. And now my golf shoes are gone,I may start playing again. Did I mention I lost a few wide ties? Why can’t I decide what we keep?

Now that we have completed the move, I realize how right she was. We did need to get rid of some things we were not using, especially those that could help others. I admit, my closet is more organized and I have actually found a few other things that might need to go as well. I also have to admit that I actually feel a little freer or maybe just more organized after the move. 

That’s when it reminded me of how I feel when I clean up my office. Right now as I type this blog, I literally have a stack of 18 books in different stages of completion sitting on my desk.  Whether I realize it or not, there’s a certain amount of unconscious stress that hits us as we get unorganized. What is under that stack of files? What is in that drawer of papers? What book have I not finished that I thought was very relevant?

I share all of this to share that my personal move (with CeCe’s oversight, of course) also helped me realize I needed to organize my office.  An organized work space does lead to less stress and a creative mindset. This also applies to our client and customer lists.  Over time, we keep relationships that do not fit anymore or they have grown too “painful” to enjoy.  We have clients and customers that simply do not appreciate us or treat our team members poorly.  We certainly know we have that list of clients that we hope the scope and profitability will be better next year.  Just like last year, we used the strategy of hope.  We might also find in our treasure trove of clients, one-of-a-kind clients that we do not have the critical mass, knowledge or resources to properly serve them. 

With today’s transformative move in how we work, changing client expectations and new technology tools, it’s a great time to organize and transition some clients that are simply bad fits for who we are and where we are going.  Chances are, we will not be able to keep everything anyway, so if we are going to lose some along the move, let’s be sure it’s the right ones—the ones we choose to give away.  Happy organizing and moving.