Last week we talked about Spring cleaning the fundraising plan. Now, it’s time to turn some of that cleaning attention onto your office!
A development office is no stranger to the need for some light – or serious – Spring cleaning this time of year. The first quarter has whizzed by, and our workspace often reflects the survival-mode chaos of the last few months.
Spring cleaning is something I look forward to each year. It’s an opportunity to purge the clutter that has accumulated and emerge anew and refreshed. I recently returned to work from maternity leave, and as many of you well know, keeping a clutter-free home with a newborn is nearly impossible. This is my second (and equally perfect) baby boy, and I was determined to be more productive during this round of my time at home…HA! I did, however, learn a new cleaning and organizing technique that can be used at home and at the office!
Thanks to Netflix (and some spare time to binge-watch), I brought myself up to speed on the KonMari Method by Marie Kondo featured in the series Tidying Up. The method organizes items by category instead of location. For example, she recommends starting with clothes, then moving to books, papers, miscellaneous items, and finally sentimental things.
The idea is to only keep things that “spark joy” for us, and if they don’t, we should thank them for their time with us before letting them go.
Now, we can’t just get rid of things in the office that no longer “spark joy” for us, so hold off on pressing CONTROL+ALT+DELETE on that pesky database. But, there are ways to organize our personal workspaces using the KonMari method. Here are just a few recommendations to get you started:
Files, marketing materials, meeting notes, board agendas, Post-It notes. If it looks, feels, and smells like paper, put it into a heaping pile on your desk. Carefully review each one and ask yourself, “Do I NEED this information?” If you do, create a place for this type of document; if you do not, thank it for the times it kept you there burning the midnight oil and toss it in the recycling bin.
Put on another pot of coffee, because this one may take awhile. We’re not the experts on email organization, but Merlin Mann’s Inbox Zero method is geared towards keeping your inbox empty, or nearly empty, at all times using five possible responses: delete, delegate, respond, defer and do. Here are some quick bullet points to get you started.
Pens, notebooks, supplies, and any random item you might have lying about. Pull it all into one big pile and organize or toss (unless it can be donated). For office supplies, try using drawer organizers to keep the chaos of paperclips and staples contained into one small area.
Photos of your family, special notes from donors, or a souvenir from your first successful campaign. Determine which items you’ll display, and which will go into a special folder or box for safekeeping.
The things you’ve accumulated over time didn’t appear in a day, so give yourself time to cleanse each aspect of your workspace. If you’re wondering how far I got with the KonMari method during my maternity leave, I made it as far as the clothing. I’m hoping by Chase’s first birthday, I will have made it to my kitchen cabinets.
It’s so wonderful to be back, and I would love to hear from all of you. Drop a note below or share some other tips on finding joy in your Spring cleaning!