The Relatives Basement Transformation

I first started volunteering at The Relatives 8 years ago after hearing about this Safe Place house through a friend.

safeplace-logo

The Relatives is a 24-hour, 365-day a year facility that answers crisis calls and houses children ages 7-17 for up to 14-days, even walk-ins.

I wanted a place to volunteer with my children who were young teens and needed a little perspective. I immediately fell in love with the mission, the staff and the organization. I was blessed to join the staff 4 years ago in the development office as well as coordinating volunteer activities.

In all of those years, the basement at the Relatives has always been a project that the staff (and volunteers) would roll their eyes in frustration with any attempt to make it better for the children and teens. It was too overwhelming to even know where to begin. The basement is a space designed for the children who come to us, to get what they need in order to make them feel at home in the Dilworth shelter. I have never seen the basement any way other than unorganized and cluttered…until the wonderful ladies from Simplicity came to save the day!

Relatives Volunteers

Simplicity teamed up with College Hunks Hauling Junk to volunteer an entire day sorting, organizing and hauling off many items that were not appropriate for the Relative children and teens. The pictures in this blog tell the real story of how these two companies transformed the space from complete chaos to a beautiful (as beautiful as a Dilworth basement can be) and efficient “clothing room” where the children we serve can immediately find what they need.

RelativAction

RelativeHouse

They designed and implemented a system that is now easily maintainable.

BEFORE1

BEFORE2

We are beyond grateful for the precious time and talents that Simplicity and the College Hunks gave us in order to make a difference for the over 4,000 youth and young adults we serve each year within The Relatives organization!

By Spencer Guthery

 


Overcomplicating Organization

Overcomplicating Organization

When it comes to conquering clutter, one goal is often to create simple, functional systems to make daily tasks run smoother. Labels, containers, calendars, lists- you name it, and we use it. But with most things in life, the “less is more” adage holds true here as well. When trying to get organized, it’s important to not overcomplicate it. Being honest with yourself, acknowledging other participants in the space you’re organizing and being realistic about your expectations will save time and money.

Some people start by making the (extremely fun) trip to The Container Store or Target for supplies. Whereas, anyone who has worked with Simplicity knows, we won’t bring anything in before we’ve pulled it all out, sorted, and purged. Our team leader as well as many of our project managers ensure clients that “it gets worse before it gets better.” You can’t figure out where you’re going until you know where you’re starting. Logically, all things are like this, you can’t solve a math problem without knowing the numbers. You can’t make a delicious meal without determining what ingredients you need. So how can you expect a purchase of essentially more stuff to help with your current stuff issue?

While organizing can be overwhelming, tackling projects with these tips can help minimize frustration and keep it simple:

–       Start small. Instead of tasking yourself with an entire room to accomplish, pick a single drawer or cabinet. The feeling of success will come a lot quicker and may motivate you to keep working!

–       Timeframe. Give yourself a time limit. Set aside a specific increment of time, ex. 1 hour or the afternoon 2-4pm. Set a timer. This keeps you focused on your expectations and decisions when sorting or purging. Even if you merely come to a stopping point in that time, it allows for a natural break as well.

–       Incentive. Although a newly organized, simplified space is rewarding enough, most of us are motivated by more tangible rewards. Especially if organizing is more daunting than fun for you, decide on something to work towards!

–       Challenge yourself. Your intentions to simplify are admirable and you owe it to yourself to do the very best. Ask yourself challenging questions about what you’re sorting, “Do you love it?,” “Do you use it?,” “Can you live without it?”  

–       Keep it simple. Sort into only a few categories, you’ll only confuse yourself if you try to get too specific. For example, if you’re sorting through kitchen utensils, consider your storage and create piles of frequent use, occasional use and seldom use (this pile you could potential purge and donate).

Keep it simple and STICK with it, you can do it!