Spring is here, and that means you may be thinking about cleaning and organizing. The freshness of spring seems to bring out a desire to get rid of the old and bring in the new. Here are some tips on spring cleaning for mystery shoppers.
Get rid of old paperwork. Shop guidelines and report forms, receipts, and other paper accumulates quickly. This is a good time to discard old papers. Most companies ask that you keep shop notes and other records for at least 90 days after the shop date. To be safe, you may keep them six months.
You may want to keep receipts as long as you keep other tax records (typically at least three years after filing your tax return). However, you do not have to keep the hard copies. Consider scanning the receipts and discarding the originals to free up space in your filing cabinet. Scanning can take time, though. You may not want to take the time to scan old records, but just start scanning new ones as you get them. Hint: Scanning is a good task to delegate to the kids.
Don’t forget to clean up your hard drive. Keeping your hard drive too full can actually slow down your computer. Plus, having a bunch of unneeded files makes it harder to find what you do need. Delete those old files, or archive them to an external drive. External drives are cheaper than ever, and they are easy to use–just plug and play. And did you know that you can back up computer files to your iPod?
Clean out your car. We spend a lot of time in our cars, and it is easy to let stuff accumulate in the car. Throw away the trash, and bring anything that isn’t trash into the house. Only keep what you need in the car. (That includes your shopper emergency kit.)
Spring cleaning time is also a good time to make sure all of your shopper profiles are up to date. Do you have a list of all of the companies to which you have applied? If not, start compiling it. Add a few companies to the list every day. When you do, check your profiles on those sites to make sure all of the information is current. Is all of your contact information right? Did you enter your MSPA certification status? What about other elements of your profile—does your profile reflect your current status? Keeping everything up to date means you will not miss out on mystery shopper jobs.
Whew! Spring cleaning can be a bit of work, but doesn’t it feel good to have everything in order?