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Storage Room Solutions

One of the common problems with being an activities director in a retirement community is the lack of storage for all of our goodies! I am lucky in the fact that I do have a large closet that I keep my theme party, special events, and holiday decorations (besides Christmas). Christmas is in another separate storage area. If you do not have a storage area, maybe now, with the housing market being slow, is a good time to discuss this with your administrator.

Once you have a storage area, what is the best way to make the most out of it? Here area a few pointers that I use:
  • Buy clear plastic bins that are large enough to hold a specific subject's items. I try to pick up one or two when I find them on sale. Keep in mind the largest item and buy accordingly.
  • You may also find that when residents leave their home that there are storage pieces that you may be able to use
  • Use clean and dry boxes from your kitchen and housekeeping departments
  • Label the box well.
    •  I use a simple piece of typing paper and write in a black marker what is inside (St Patrick's, Back to School, etc) and put it where it can be seen from the outside
    • You may find tape that you can write on to be helpful also. I don't like to label a box in a permanent way so that I can reuse it in the future.
    • Use a black thick marker on a cardboard box
    • Dates do not usually matter.... it is content that matters
  • Keep like items together
  • Have shelving added if necessary.
  • Keep the items that you use on a regular basis nearest to the door.
  • Keep the items that you use less frequently in the back of the room
  • Break the room into sections within your mind.
    •  At the front are the theme boxes, holiday boxes and silk flowers & vases.
    • Towards the back are Fall, Thanksgiving and Halloween
    • In the far corner are sports items, wrapping supplies for Christmas and past gift items
    • Throw away items that you haven't used in a while, a not in perfect shape, are dated or that you've inherited and don't like.
    • Always look to raise the quality level of your decorations! If you are not excited to put it out, go shopping or ask your crafty residents to assist you! Look at Pinterest for cool ideas. (I have a page there also so after joining (free) look for Recharging Retirees!)
    • If you need to replace old items, shop "off-season" for your best deals - which means you have to know what you will need in advance...... so keep a list handy and get stuff when you see it during the year, not when you need it.
  • If something does not fit in a box, keep it as close to the appropriate box. You might even put a note in the box to remind you, or whoever, to look for the larger piece.
  • Keep it clean

It will make you so happy to have nice things and most importantly, knew where they are! I promise you it will make your job more pleasant and effective. Don't hesitate, start with one box at a time!


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