You might remember my post about my office makeover a few weeks ago. One thing I wanted to be really intential about was LABEL! LABEL! LABEL! There’s no point in organizing everything into rubbermaids if you have to open up or peer into every container in order to find what you’re looking for. There’s just something about labeling that makes everything easier. The “one less step” principal (Have you read the book Demand? You really should). Maybe it’s just me, but if I have to think, “What’s in that container?” “What in that one?” for more than 3 containers in a row, I’m going to give up and just order something from Amazon. Of course, this is not good stewardship, so I grabbed a pack of oval labels, a sharpie and got to work. Here’s some tips from my experience:
Keep it Simple
You’re going to be lucky if your container makes it back to the office (in one piece), so don’t over complicate things by having some kind of color-coded or equally crazy system. Anything that requires a diagram is too much. Anything that requires more than 2 seconds of thinking is too much. PLEASE don’t alphabetize. That just gives you a reputation of being completely unapproachable. Find an empty place and stick the rubbermaid in. People will get into a habit and you’ll be surprised that things will quickly find a “home” usually end up back in the right place.
Keep it Clear of Clutter
Clutter kills your brain power. And your energy. It’s distracting and annoying and definitely makes things harder to find. Try to keep things tucked away whenever possible. Don’t let things pile up. If your team sees clutter and chaos as soon as they walk in the door, they are going to assume everything is a mess and give up before they even begin. Do them a favor, keep it clean.
Don’t Get Rid of the Back Room
There are some things we only use about once a year (that “Welcome to Bethlehem” sign, for example). There’s no need to keep bins of seasonal stuff in with the every day stuff. Stick the Easter Eggs and the VBS decorations in the back closet and only bring them out when you need them.
It is easier to find what you really need when there is less stuff to sort through to begin with. Now, I know I know — we want to keep everything. What a great prop! I did a fabulous lesson with this! Oh, this is a fun little gadget. Let it go. Really. Free up some space and start stocking those few “go-to” supplies instead. Instead of hogging that great gadget inside of a container you haven’t even opened in nine months, pass it on to another kidmin worker. Better yet, give it to a kid in your ministry and then if you ever DO need it again, you can ask to borrow it. My rule of thumb is, if I haven’t used it in a year, get rid of it.
What About You?
How do you keep things organized and easy to access?
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