Recent Commercial Posts
2 Steps for Protecting Your Roof
Crack roof in a Silverdale,WA building
The roof on your commercial property may not get much attention, especially when the weather is great. However, when storm season hits Silverdale,WA, you may wish you'd pay a little more attention to the protective structure at the top of your buildings. Regular wind and rain throughout the year could lead to minor damages to the roof and if those issues aren't addressed, they could lead to much more expensive and harmful problems when a storm hits. How can you maintain a healthy roof and avoid roof damage when storms come?
1. Schedule Routine Roof Inspections
Did you know that you should have your business roof inspected twice a year, at least? Appropriate officials should thoroughly inspect the area. These experts could be your building engineer or a trained member of the maintenance team, or you may hire an expert from a commercial remediation company. The expert will probably look for cracks, broken areas, peeling edges, or damaged flashing. Any blockages in drain pipes or drainage systems will be flagged and trees that overhang the roof will prompt a recommendation for repairs. Remember that minor roof damage is easier to resolve than major damages.
2. Complete Repairs and Maintenance as Suggested
These expert inspections won't do you any good unless you put the advice to good use. Clean out the gutters along the eaves of your building and cut back the trees. Although they are a good source of cooling shade, they could also provide a way for moisture and pests to get into the tiny openings on your building. Some professionals may recommend that you take steps to waterproof the roof of your building. Storm, rain, sun, and wind damage could lead to major repairs, but a bit of preventative waterproofing could resolve many of those issues.
If it's been a while since you've seen your roof, it may be time to climb up. It's best to tackle inspections, repairs, and a complete roof rebuild before storms hit or damage becomes extensive.
Commercial Fires in Your Building
If you own a business or manage a building, fire protection should be a primary concern. The best defense against commercial fires is to understand how a fire can occur and having a prevention plan.
Everything has a cause, so let's take a look at what can cause a commercial fire? The following are a few causes of commercial fires.
- Cooking equipment can build up oils and grease on them, when exposed to a certain level of heat, a fire can be sparked and ignited.
- Keep equipment clean and in working order. Heating equipment such as heaters, boilers, and furnaces can cause a fire when overheated or malfunction.
- Keep articles of clothing away from heat sources.
- Last in our list electrical fires can occur if your electrical wiring isn’t up to code or if you have too many items plugged in to an outlet be aware of all of these can be commercial fire hazards.
If your business location suffered from a fire loss or damage in Silverdale, WA, don't think that your only option is to clean it up yourself. Call our team at SERVPRO of Kitsap County today to help get your damage back to normal "Like it never even happened."
3 Ways To Deal With Commercial Rentals and Dated Piping
Check pipes frequently to prevent future flooding
An older commercial rental can require special considerations regarding maintenance. The pipes could consist of outdated materials such as polybutylene that are no longer used because of longevity concerns. Even worse, you may not receive your landlord’s permission to do any systematic overhaul to prevent future problems. Here are three ways you can maintain the property during your tenancy.
1. Maintain a Dialogue With Your Landlord
Depending on the lease agreement, some responsibilities may lie with the landlord. You should immediately inform your landlord of noticeable problems, such as leaky pipes, so the issue can be remedied or documented. By practicing diligence, you can stop the blame from being misattributed to gross negligence.
In addition, you should take photographs of the damage when it’s first noticed. You can then forward these on to the landlord to show the situation and potentially urge her to act.
2. Evaluate Risks and Watch Weak Areas
Even if you don’t own the building, you should still familiarize yourself with its structural risks and flaws. For example, your utilities could be connected with polybutylene pipes that deteriorate from the inside when exposed to tap water.
You should recommend replacing the system to the landlord if you notice multiple rusted, flimsy, old, weak or damaged pipes. By keeping on top of your rental’s wellbeing, you can prevent costly repairs and shutdowns.
3. Know Your Insurance and Responsibilities
In case your landlord is cleared of responsibility due to your lease or your own provable negligence, you should familiarize yourself with your renter’s insurance policy. By knowing your entire policy, you can utilize it effectively in dire situations. It is beneficial to evaluate and adjust your policy’s coverage to compensate for your lease’s exceptions.
Scheduled, regular maintenance of old pipes, regardless if they are polybutylene, ensures your Poulsbo, WA, business remains operational. In the event that water does seep in, a damage restoration service can remove the flood and restore damaged assets. With your best efforts to maintain the rental’s condition, however, you can mitigate the risks of water damage.
For more on Poulsbo click here.
Why So Many Insurance Companies, Agents & Adjusters Use SERVPRO
SERVPRO combines our levels of excellent customer service with our amazing accountability! When a disaster strikes, it becomes a conundrum requiring various people to figure it out and help put it back together again. All involving the customers, professionals and insurance entities working together. We understand the responsibility to provide results and answers to the insured clients and associates, which we will work with, standing by insurances’ side to make sure all parties are happy as much as possible. Our Kitsap County team is distinctively experienced to help when losses occur, making insurance providers, look like a customer’s ‘saving grace’ in their times of need.
There are a variety of ways to ensure success as an insurance entity when customers have a household claim; maintaining a positive relationship with clients esp. since they feel like their worlds are turned upside down. Along with great communication, a strong work ethic, and representing a company who compensates claims in a virtuous and appropriate fashion.
Our entire staff knows how important it is that every job goes as smooth as possible and making sure that the insured clients know that they are in good hands when they trust insurance companies when they need assistance. We are trained to diminish the loss time and mitigate the damages as quickly as possible. Whether it’s a mold, water, fire or any other type of cleanup; we are always here to help. Any day, at any time.
We know that insurance companies earn their customer’s loyalty by providing timely solutions. By connecting them with help in a time of need. Our team members are available to take a call whenever. We will personally get in touch with a client, offer a listening ear, and strive to alleviate some of the distress they are feeling.
We will make sure that help arrives quickly to the customer (following our 1-4-8 time standard), and our production team will assist clients to get control of their lives again by treating them with professionalism, respect, and dedicated work ethic to get the job done right. Calling our office directly reduces the time that the customer has to wait to be attended to; the faster our team can get onsite to perform the cleanup, the better the results. Because we all know that when there’s a loss, time is of the essence. We want to make it feel and seem like the customers disaster feels “Like it never even happened.”
Our New Marketing Car
We have updated our Company Fleet!
Our marketing Department is now sporting our company color even more in a green fiesta. Look around for our amazing marketing department representatives in the Kitsap County area.
It has already proven to be a smart, economical and gas efficient method of getting around to our local business professionals. You may see us in it at local events, chambers meetings, and other association gatherings.
We want to send a huge shout out to our local Haselwood Ford Dealership located at the auto center complex at the Loxie Eagan Blvd. Exit in Bremerton. The staff there were kind, polite, and a huge help in our determination of this purchase and added value to our company.
The marketing staff here at SERVPRO of Kitsap County are so excited to visit more of our great local businesses and business professionals of the Kitsap area in our new SERVPRO green car!
What We Have Today Is Ever Changing in The Restoration World
The restoration industry has expanded enormously over the last several years and predictions point to a continual fast progression into the future. In general, the mitigation and restoration market is growing due to an increase in demand and need. This particular need looks rather different depending upon the customer. Things like natural disasters and aging properties contribute greatly to the rising demand for restoration. As the world becomes more and more connected, the standards for which restoration companies must adhere becomes significantly higher. Clients are now able to insist upon excellent customer service and can easily spread the world if they suffer from a poor experience.
Technology plays a major role in the future of restoration, and in a variety of capacities. For example, new products and services have become available that make both residential and commercial restoration more efficient and productive. As a result, projects are completed in a very timely manner and allow for restoration companies’ staff to move on to new projects. Additionally, new technologies allow for lower costs on commercial and residential restoration services. These decreases in cost and increases in volume make organizations like SERVPRO truly thrive.
The downside of technology and connectivity is the lightning fast response to poor service. Smart phones and mobile devices make customer service more important than ever before. Customers have instant access to sites like Yelp, Home Advisor, Facebook, and the corporate offices to leave reviews based off their experience with any company. These reviews can be vague statements, rave reviews of outstanding services, or scathing because they were dissatisfied with the final invoice. Residential and commercial restoration companies must strive to provide unmatched customer service or they run the risk of being hammered the aforementioned sites. The restoration market must take this into account as they move into the future.
With all of these state-of-the-art tools at their fingertips, commercial and residential restoration companies are tasked with the great responsibility to evolve. Looking inward, SERVPRO is committed to keeping up with this technology in order to provide our customers with the best resources, products, & services. As we work diligently to maintain high-quality commercial and residential restoration services we are constantly monitoring the state of the industry and how our company can stay ahead of the competition.
Relentless Office Odors
Disagreeable smells in work settings are distracting and unpleasant. Which in turn, can sometimes lead to various kinds of negative consequences. Persistent odors can lower staff productivity, and they can make employees feel disoriented and unfocused. The occasional ‘stinky’ lunch may not affect everyone for more than a few hours, but chronic foul odors can signal that there is a problem on your hands. If you have any concerns that involve unpleasant odors in your workplace, you don't have to sit by and try and deal with it by yourselves with possibly no success. Our SERVPRO of Kitsap County team has significant experience with the odor removal processes. Our technicians understand and make use of all the most effective deodorization techniques, equipment and products.
Why Qualified & Skilled Deodorization Service Is a Smarter Choice
So many things can contribute to distasteful office scents. Lack of proper ventilation can be a cause. The combination of coworkers' meals can also be a responsible factor. It can be tough task to rid stubborn smells without a professional cleaning and deodorization. Recruiting the assistance of experienced technicians can save you time, money and headaches. Our crew members have a solid understanding of the odor elimination process. We eradicate odors of all types expertly and methodically. If you have lasting food odors hanging around in your office space, we can help make them a distant memory. We can tackle musty odors from water damage or mold infestations as well. Your employees will enjoy the lack of odors in the office and your customers won’t even know what was there.
A malodorous business can turn away business almost as fast as poor customer service. Don't let the community link your company with unpleasant odors. SERVPRO of Kitsap County is a reputable local company that specializes in commercial cleaning services with the extra mile of deodorization. We can handle odor problems and get rid of them. If you want your office environment to feel and smell refreshing, you can call our office today. We're equipped with all the highest quality deodorization tools and products available. They know how to use all the equipment and products properly. Call us as soon as possible for additional information about our work and make an appointment for your business building.
Business 8 step plan – we are all about you & your B.U.S.I.N.E.S.S.
Did you know that 50% of the businesses that experience a disaster never re-open? When businesses plan ahead for a disaster, they have a better chance of recovering properly. We have comprised a list of important things to know, think about and work on having in place for your business today. Our team is here to help you and your B.U.S.I.N.E.S.S.
Recognize disasters most likely to occur in your area. Some may be natural disasters and that they can be limited, like a wildfire, while others can impede a wider area like a hurricane or flood. Remember to brainstorm some common emergency losses that your business can experience at your main location, such as a water damage from a pipe or water main line, an internal fire, or a mold situation that was unnoticed for far too long. You will need a plan that is flexible enough to deal with various types of situations.
Know and fully understand what your business insurance covers. Review your insurance protection in all its entirety regularly. As an example; some business insurance policies cover loss of income. That only applies to causes of loss specified in some business insurance policies, but instances such as floods and earthquakes and a few other types of natural disasters are sometimes not covered. When you understand what is covered and what isn’t, you may need to evaluate the amounts of insurance you will need to have all of your business is fully covered.
S.ETTING EVERYTHING UP
Designate crucial responsibilities your employees should be responsible for and confirm with all members of your staff that everyone knows who is in charge and will need to happen in case a disaster occurs. Some examples to help as an instruction are as follows:
- Setting up temporary operations
- Determining to implement the emergency plan or not
- Identifying the necessary chain of command in case specific people are injured/not able to hold the position’s responsibilities
- Contacting employees & their families
Create an emergency contact list that consists of names, physical addresses, phone numbers and email addresses. Confirm all employees have a copy. Important numbers that should be included are local fire, police and federal authorities (like FEMA and The Red Cross), in additional to head staff members that are designated for crucial responsibilities in case of a disaster. In the case of a disaster where the police and/or firefighters are needed, it is helpful to have a SERVPRO Ready Profile set up for your business and building. It includes all of the necessary information for outside teams and employees to know the location of shut offs, exits and other important information. If you don’t have SERVPRO Ready Profile set up for your business call our office to an appointment, at no-cost!
In today’s society, we are straying away from hard copies and moving all of our information and data to digital. In the case of a disaster or loss, it’s good to always have offsite backups and secured up to date files of everything your business would need to function to the fullest extent.
E.NVIRONMENT FOR WORK
Organize a ‘Plan B’, alternate list of locations for you to operate out of in the instance that your building will not be accessible and/or usable for a short-term or long-term duration. You may want to pinpoint a location that you could temporarily set up shop or subcontract work during a rebuild period. Be prepared accordingly in the situation that some or a good portion of your employees may need to telecommute or work from home until you have a more secure work space for everyone to operate out of.
When a disaster occurs, no one ever thinks that they will need to have a list set up of everything they own, use, have bought, and are storing. In the case of a disaster, you will need a list of all assets and property for not only your records, but for your insurance company as well as tax purposes should business property become damaged or destroyed. Create a cataloged list of all property and equipment including detailed descriptions, values, when item was bought, vendor/retailer names and serial numbers. It may seem tedious and unnecessary, but if the situation occurs where you will need it, you will be thankful and relieved you had this already in place.
What looks good on paper, isn’t always the same in reality and in most cases for emergency plans, it falls short of what is needed. Now that you have different general emergency plans set up, walk through them, set up drills with mock situations and consider a variety of scenarios. For instance, cell towers are down how will you let employees know what to do? If there is a natural disaster that has affected various areas near your location, what is the best evacuation protocol ensuring the most amounts of safety for your employees and potential onsite customers?
Emergencies occur more often than one would think, and when it happens to your business it seems like not only your world, but your employees worlds have come to a complete stop. We hope these tips encourage you to plan for the instance of a disaster because it’s always better to be safe than sorry. But no matter what happens, your SERVPRO of Kitsap County team is here when you need us; always here to help.
Commercial Fire Causes & Prevention
Granted Commercial fires don’t happen as often as residential, but they are still happen more than you might think. Let’s go over some of the biggest factors to take into account about commercial fires. Hopefully these tips will help you take the appropriate measures to prevent a fire.
Common Causes of Non-Residential Fires
To better understand when your business is most at risk, and what precautions you can take to diminish that risk, let's analyze when structure fires are most likely to occur.
The time of day fires are most likely to happen depends on what type of business you're in. An office building may have different operating hours than a manufacturing plant. For example, in office buildings, fires are most common during the typical daytime work hours with the occurrence of fires peaking in the early evening hours between 3 pm - 6 pm.
Outside of the work day, between 7 pm - 7 am, fires are 31% less likely to occur. Additionally, you don’t see as many fires on weekend days when office buildings are closed.
Cooking Related Fires
1 in 4 office building fires are related to cooking equipment including microwaves. These fires tend to account for less damage, but are easily preventable with fire protection measures such as alarms and fire extinguishers.
The second most common cause of commercial fires are those that were deliberately started. They account for nearly 10% of fires, and usually cause the biggest amount of destruction. Intentional fires also result in more civilian injuries and fatalities. Different from cooking and heating fires, it's most common for purposeful fires to be started between 3 pm and midnight or during non-normal business hours.
A few common locations in your building to be aware of include:
- Trash bins
- Open areas like a lawn or field
Arson related fires don’t just affect business owners or the company, they potentially result in loss of jobs for workers. These destructive fires can easily spread to other buildings and public utilities nearby adding to the overall damage and cost of the fire.
Human Error & Negligence
9.2 % of commercial fires were accidental, and result from careless acts. A few examples of acts that result in fires are:
- Leaving space heaters or other heat generating equipment on unattended
- Improperly thrown out cigarette butts that ignite fires
- Overloading outlets and extension cords by plugging in too many things at once, and not using surge protectors
The risk of fire increases as more people are in the building using any equipment or appliances. The equipment itself is not usually the cause of the fire, but instead it is the misuse of the equipment.
Building Maintenance on Equipment - Water Heaters, Boilers, and Furnace Fires
Heating-type fires make up 9% of all nonresidential building fires. Central heating units, fireplaces, water heaters, and other heating appliances and systems should be regularly inspected to prevent fires. It's important to move any flammable materials and furniture away from heat sources, especially in the winter months when the heat is turned on. Inadequate installation and lack of maintenance on these pieces of equipment can cause a fire. Flammable materials like chemicals, paper and trash should never be stored in the same area as this equipment.
Electrical machines or systems can cause a fire, but there are often other factors that lead to the fires. When businesses employ unqualified individuals to alter electrical outlets or circuitry, it can lead to complications. Electrical code violations are often committed by unreliable builders or workers. These code violations can translate to fires in your building. Another cause of fire can be the electrical equipment itself. Equipment that is misused or overloaded can often cause fires, as well as a lack of proper maintenance or airflow.
Now that you’ve looked over some of the common causes of commercial fires, hopefully you’ve noticed something you're missing that could save you thousands of dollars in fire damage and loss. The following are a few things you can do to help protect your business in case a fire does occur.
Putting Out the Flames & Protection
- Sprinkler system - A sprinkler system can put out a potentially deadly fire. Having only 1 or 2 fire sprinkler heads can contain the majority of fires.
- Fire alarms - This may seem obvious, but fire alarms are often disregarded or left with dead batteries, or are not maintained properly. These systems are not only required, but they save lives and property from damage.
- Fire extinguishers - A fire extinguisher placed near the kitchen area can give employees the power to stop a small cooking fire from spreading. Make sure your employees are trained in proper fire extinguisher usage. It is also important to make sure that your fire extinguishers are inspected yearly, and are still in adequate working condition.
Upkeep & Testing
Now that you know the essential fire protection methods to have in place, do you know if they are well maintained and up-to-date? Are your fire extinguishers expired? Are you following the legal state requirements for having these systems tested regularly? Is your building up to code according to local and state requirements?
Put in a Commercial Alarm System
No one likes to think that there are people who would deliberately start a fire on their property. Regrettably, this is a situation that you need to be prepared for. It would be wise to Invest in a security alarm system that will spot any suspicious goings-on in the evening hours when the building and surrounding area is most at jeopardy. Keeping the area well-lit at night, or setting up motion detection lights outside, can discourage unlawful activity.
You and your employees will appreciate the feeling of safety and security.
Emergency Ready Profile Service
Consider contacting your local SERVPRO of Kitsap County franchise to have a professional come to your business and set up an Emergency Ready Program (ERP). An ERP is a comprehensive and detailed booklet of your business’ building information in the event of any type of emergency. It even includes pictures for a clear and identifiable explanation to show where important things are when an emergency or disaster occurs. This has proven to come in handy when the business owner isn’t on site, and an employee is there. That employee will have all pertinent emergency information related to the building in hand to give to the emergency responders, preventing further damage to the building and property.
Now that you have the information you need to protect your business from a devastating fire, we hope you will review your safety plan, or create one if needed. We are always here to help, so give us a call to schedule your ERP at no charge to you. You can also call us during and after a fire has occurred. We will help make sure you, and your building and property are taken care of, and brought back to its preloss condition.
Teaming up to Help You be Ready
The SERVPRO® Franchise System is teaming up with the American Red Cross to help business and homeowners across the nation get READY for any disaster.
The American Red Cross Ready Rating™ program, is a free, web-based program designed to help businesses, organizations and schools become better prepared for emergencies. Through the Ready Rating program website, readyrating.org, property owners complete a 123-point self-assessment of their level if preparedness for weather-related or other emergencies. The Ready Rating assessment also offers tips and best practices to help improve their level of preparedness.
“Through the generosity of SERVPRO®, the Red Cross will help empower workplaces to re-open more quickly after natural or man-made disasters such as water main breaks, medical emergencies, power outages, tornadoes, floods and hurricanes through the Ready Rating Program,” said Tom Heneghan, manager of Business Continuity Program for Red Cross.
“Up to 40% of businesses never re-open their doors after such disasters; SERVPRO’s partnership will enable more businesses, schools and organizations to become better prepared. We are excited to have SERVPRO join us in community outreach efforts to educate and highlight the importance of community preparedness in neighborhoods across the country.”
“This partnership just makes perfect sense,” said Rick Isaacson, Executive Vice President of SERVPRO Industries, Inc., “and truly completes the readiness equation for businesses and other property owners. The Red Cross Ready Rating Program allows individuals to assess their readiness for a disaster, so they can take all necessary steps before disaster strikes to protect their property from damage and loss. But, when disaster does strike, knowing what to do and who to call saves time-and fast response is key to minimizing damage and downtime. That’s where SERVPRO’s Emergency REAY Program can help. Together, these two programs offer maximum peace of mind to businesses and other organizations.
With SERVPRO’s Emergency READY Program, your local SERVPRO Franchise Professional will establish an Emergency READY Profile (ERP) for your facility. The ERP is a comprehensive document containing critical information about your business, including emergency contact information, shut-off valve locations and priority areas. In the event of an emergency, the ERP can help minimize business interruption by having an immediate plan of action in place for your facility. The ERP is a no-cost assessment; all it requires is a little time, making it a great value that could save time and money in the future.
The time to prepare for a disaster is before it happens. Taking steps to make your property as secure as possible, then having a plan to deal with the aftermath if disaster does strike is just good business sense. For more information about SERVPRO’s Emergency READY program, visit SERVPRO.com/ready. Call your local SERVPRO Franchise Professionals to learn how to develop an Emergency READY Profile for your business and BE READY.
Plan to Stay in Business
As a business owner or manager, you are a leader in your community and have the opportunity to set an example for your employees, customers, and community to follow.
This year, for National Preparedness Month (NPM), join your community in preparing for emergencies and disasters of all types, and leading efforts to encourage the community as a whole to become more prepared.
Disasters not only devastate individuals and neighborhoods, but entire communities, including businesses of all sizes. As an employer in your community, having a business continuity plan can help protect your company, its employees, and its infrastructure, and maximizes your chances of recovery after an emergency or disaster.
Ready Business asks companies to take 3 simple steps:
- Plan to stay in business;
- Encourage your people to become Ready;
- Protect your investment,
This year, the Ready Campaign and Citizen Corps, with support from members of the National Preparedness Community across the nation, including your local SERVPRO Franchise Professionals, are focusing on encouraging individuals, families, and businesses to take active steps toward becoming Ready. We must work together as a team to ensure that our families, businesses, places of worship, and neighborhoods are Ready.
Ready Business, an extension of the Ready Campaign, helps business owners and managers of small and medium-sized businesses prepare their employees, operations and assets in the event of an emergency. At Ready.gov/business, companies can find vital information on how to get started preparing their organization and addressing their unique needs during an emergency.
Tips to Help Your Business be Ready
- Update and Distribute Emergency Contact Information to your Employees. Additionally, you can create and distribute a list of important emergency numbers in the areas you do business.
- Organize an Emergency Preparedness Procedures review with employees to review your company’s emergency plans.
- Conduct Office Evacuation/Shelter-in-Place Exercises and Drills. Once completed, evaluate how well they worked and if additional training or exercises are needed.
- Put Emergency Items of Display. Showcase an Emergency Supply Kit in your break room or other high-traffic locations and encourage employees to get their own Emergency Supply Kit for their homes.
Spruce Up Your Space
Birds are chirping and the temperatures have warmed up! Spring is finally here! Spring Cleaning is a tradition allowing us to freshen our environment and get a head start on the hectic seasons of spring and summer. While many people deep clean their homes, this is also a great time to clean and organize your business.
Your local SERVPRO Franchise Professional can help get your facility in tip top shape. In addition to air duct and HVAC cleaning, SERVPRO Franchise Professionals are trained to use state-of-the-art equipment to remove soils hiding deep within your carpet, as well as focused stain removal and stain resistance applications. Other services include: upholstery and drapery cleaning, hard floor cleaning and care, and odor deodorization.
A clean environment is a healthy environment! Improve your living and work spaces this spring. If you need a little help, done worry, your local SERVPRO Franchise Professionals have the tools to make your home or business sparkle in no time!
Spring Cleaning Your Workspace
- Divide Your Workspace Into Zones:
Determine how you want and need to use the space and set up zones for your daily functions. You may require a workspace for your computer, a library area for your research, a storage area for your supplies and a filing area for your archives. This will provide a foundation for a more efficient use of space.
- Keep Only What You Need At Arm’s Length:
Boxes of pens, stacks of papers and old coffee cups need to go. Rid your desk of visual clutter by pairing down the items on top to the essentials only. Supplies, paperwork and personal items should be kept in the zones you’ve established for them.
- Sort Your Catch-All Drawer:
Use drawer dividers to give everything a place, like compartments for paperclips and rubber bands. Go through the drawer every six weeks and clear out anything that is out of place or isn’t being used.
- Eliminate Digital Clutter:
Digital clutter can be just as stressful as physical clutter. Organize digital files and your e-mail inbox just as you would paper files-with a system of logical and clearly labeled folders. Also, keep the icons on your desktop to a bare minimum, and trade in sticky notes on your monitor for calendar reminders.