Our third 10 Acts of Organization Contest winner is The Friends of Patterson Park (FPP), a non-profit membership organization formed in 1998 to promote, protect and advocate for our treasured common ground so that it can be enjoyed for generations to come. They were nominated by one of their board members (a Sappari Solutions client) for the Ten Acts of Organization.
Jennifer Robinson, Director of FPP, was excited but not hopeful when they won 2 hours of organizing. At most, she thought they would get a lot of suggestions for how to organize but not much in the way of actual organizing.
Jennifer and her colleagues have their offices in“The White House” on the grounds of the park which creates many organizing challenges. Designed in 1866 by George A. Frederick, a prominent architect of historic Baltimore Landmarks, the house was never meant be an office building. It was the home of the park superintendent and his family. The staff and an army of volunteers host many events and activities at the park and therefore have a plethora of items that need to be stored. From soccer balls, signs, and crafts to a hundred or more wine glasses, the house is filled to the brim. To make matters even more difficult the basement flooded this Spring making it clear this area could no longer be used for storage.
The staff decided they would like Karin Walker & Jane Hall, the organizers working on the project, to begin the office organization in the large “meeting room”. This room contains a filing cabinet, one storage cabinet and a large conference table, but no closets. This room fills many functions; meeting space, staging area before events, volunteer work area, storage for linens and crafts and the place where things get parked once an event is over. Once Karin & Jane began working on the meeting room, as often happens during an organizing project, it became clear that a small storage room at the back of the house would need to be organized first in order to create space for things that were not needed in the meeting room.
When the office organization appointment was over, Jennifer and her staff were amazed at what had been accomplished in a short amount of time. She said it would have taken her and the staff more than a day to do as much. The storage room contained many things which were no longer being used. Once they were removed, the remaining things were arranged neatly and labeled for easy access. Since there are now designated areas for items, things will be easier to put away and hopefully not left in the meeting room. Disclosure: FPP purchased an additional hour of organizing for a total of 3 hours in order to get more accomplished that day. The meeting room was not completely organized.