Case Study: Corporate Storage Organization
This not-for-profit organization works with children ranging in age from toddlers to age 16. As part of their service they provide children with a backpack containing a complete change of clothing, a quilt, and toiletries. These donated items were stored in a caged unit that had become so cluttered that not only was it impossible to access needed items, it was unsafe with boxes of goods precariously piled to the ceiling. It was also virtually impossible to keep track of inventory and know what was in the containers and boxes, which were not necessarily labelled correctly. Backpacks for children could not be pre-assembled as they could not pre-determine specific needs. As part of my mandate to give back to the community, I volunteered to organize this space for them. backpacks with clothes and toiletries for children ranging in age from 4 to 16. The storage units were repositioned for better access and hanging storage was added to the back wall. Sliding drawer units were added for easy access to standard backpack items and clothing was ordered by gender and size and displayed on hangers for quick selection. Extra supplies are housed along the sides in clear plastic storage containers and labeled for easy re-stocking of the end unit. An inventory control process and procedure was put in place to keep track of current stock and trigger the need for restocking on a timely basis.
The first step in this project was to clear everything out of the space and start to sort through all the boxes. A sorting station was set up to organize the items by size and gender as well as season - clothes appropriate for summer vs winter. This was a massive undertaking and many items were donated to various other charities.
I reconfigured the placement of the shelving for better access to the space, leaving the only actual wall space free. On this wall I attached two rods to hold clothing sorted by age and gender. Below this, Ikea drawer units were purchased to house undergarments, socks and PJ's - again sorted and labeled by size and gender. In this way, backpacks can be quickly and easily filled based on the needs of the child.
It was difficult to keep track of inventory, so I developed a simple inventory control system and process to track inventory levels and trigger the need to replenish supplies. Extra (over-flow and seasonal) inventory is now housed in clearly labelled and sorted storage containers.
The smaller containers here hold items to quickly replenish those taken to fill the backpacks. Another Ikea unit holds toiletries.
Quilts are now easily accessible and sorted in age/gender appropriate categories.