Spring can mean many things to different people: warmer weather, flowers in bloom, and spring cleaning. While these first two thoughts are a reason for me to anticipate the end of winter, the thought of spring cleaning can fill me with dread. How can we maximize our space by minimizing the hassle?
At our community branch library, space is at a premium. We have to regularly sort and review whether we need items because we simply don’t have the space to keep it all. Is there a way we can minimize the huge burden of spring cleaning? How do we ensure the materials we need stay at our libraries and the clutter stays out?
A Little Goes a Long Way
One tip I have tried is to spend just 15 minutes organizing during each work day. This has worked best for me as one of the last minute tasks I complete at the end of my shift. Of course, other situations could end up taking priority, and organizing may fall to the wayside. However, when it’s feasible to incorporate a little organization into my daily time at work, it’s an opportunity to clean up these final projects and to focus on a plan for the tasks that need to be accomplished tomorrow. Trying to put this tip into practice can go a long way toward minimizing the overall clutter within the library.
Think Outside the Box
Sometimes storage space is simply what is needed most at our location. Whether it is finding room for craft supplies, programming books, or puppets, it may be that we have de-cluttered as much as we can and simply need to find a space at our work for housing the items we use most frequently. This may cause us to re-envision the function of the spaces we have within the library. At our community branch library, we had a significant need for storage, but our kitchenette was not frequently used. We changed our kitchenette into a staff closet and now use this space for holding programming materials.
Scheduling is Key
While each staff person ensures his or her desk space is organized, we also have staffers responsible for reviewing the storage needs for our shared office space. While this responsibility may alternate between team members, it helps that one employee is responsible for ensuring the staff closet remains organized and stocked with the items staffers need. When we maintain a schedule for organizing these shared spaces, we ensure that major spring cleaning projects are not as overwhelming as staffers work to keep these areas free from clutter on a frequent basis.
With a shared, and often small, working space, it’s a necessity that our libraries are as organized as possible. By keeping up on de-cluttering throughout the year instead of just during this season of spring cleaning, we can take away some of the overwhelmed feeling often associated with these projects. We could all use help when considering how to best maximize the use of our work space. What tips and techniques have been effective for you and your co-workers as you work to organize your libraries? Please share your ideas in the comments below!