Spring Cleaning

Winter is over (almost) and I’m craving the freedom that comes with warmer weather and less constricting clothing.  I live for the summer.  I’m like Julia Roberts in The Mexican, I need sunshine to grow.  I can’t wait to start planning for outdoor regional meetings (although I’m not a fan of bugs).  The summer is a great time of year for nonprofit organizations.  During the summer, organizations are able to more easily connect with their client base; people are much more willing to be engaged and participate in events when the weather is nice.  

Fun summer events are well and good but preparing for the ensuing busy-work requires commitment and organization.  As a Regional Coordinator, I too am gearing up for an intense few months.   Megan and I are working hard to plan Destination AmeriCorps, an annual networking event for AmeriCorps members serving in Maryland.  We are also working on several other projects like partnership application review, trainings for current AmeriCorps members, and providing resources for current Volunteer Maryland Coordinators creating and sustaining programs at Maryland nonprofits.  It’ll be a busy summer.

One thing that I’m worried about is staying on top of all these very important tasks.  I’ve developed a bad habit of compiling to-do lists, brochures, and files and forgetting why I kept them.  I’m also admittedly unorganized.  That being said, I think I’m due for a little spring cleaning!

Tips for Spring Cleaning Your Work Space

  1. Clear out the clutter.  I don’t know about you but I’ve accumulated a massive amount of stray papers and post-it notes.  Going through these odds and ends to see what is of importance and what can be ditched is super helpful. 
  2. Create a filing system.  Some people like filing in alphabetical order.  Some people like filing by subject matter.  I’m lucky if my papers even make it into a file folder!  Find a system that works for you and order it by priority.  Or better yet, create a separate file to hold your priorities for the week.
  3. Re-connect with old contacts.  Put those business cards that you’ve collected throughout the course of your employment to use!  Gearing up for summer activities is the perfect reason to get in contact with potential partners, sponsors, presenters, and funders!  Dust off the rolodex and get busy!
  4. Re-evaluate goals.  Remember those New Year’s Resolutions you made?  Remember the strategic plan you created for your organization?  The spring is a great time (one quarter through the year) to re-evaluate whether you are on track to meet your goals.  Maybe you’re well above the mark and need to make some changes to your plan to allow for more growth and expansion.  Perhaps you’re not quite reaching your initial benchmark and need to re-work your plan to reflect more feasible and realistic goals.
  5. Change your office artwork.  An awesome way to immediately change the look of your office whether it is a cubical or a hallway is to change your scenery.  Put some photos in frames on your desk.  Tack an inspirational poster to your wall.  Get yourself a plant to add some extra oxygen to your space!  Be fun and be creative with it!

Tell us about some of your office spring cleaning experiences.  Were you successfully able to change the look and feel of your work space?  Did it end terribly in a dust induced allergy attack?  Share your spring cleaning success stories and woes!


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