Robyn Taylor says that storing your many resources is all about being creative and clever with what you need and how often you need it…
For activity coordinators, storing all their resources can be a problem. I was lucky enough to turn the old maintenance outhouse into a storage haven. The walls were lined with shelving units with boxes full of activities. It didn’t happen overnight; it took years of persistence in finding a place to put our stuff. Years of collecting, buying, and finding resources for the home.
Some care homes have little space for activity resources, and must use sideboards in the lounges or hallways. Other homes turn medication cupboards into activity storage, while some may have a trolley with everything on.
THE BEST WAY TO ORGANISE RESOURCES
- Find a space which you can use– or have a bit of a move about with other departments if necessary.
- Can your maintenance team build some more shelves in the cupboard to help?
- Buy plastic boxes to store things in. Or ask people if they have any at home that they do not need. Transparent ones are the best, but any will do.
- Print off labels and laminate them. This way people will know where to put things.
- Have a contents page for each box.
- Ensure you know where each box is going to be placed and draw a plan so when others need to find anything, they can refer to that.
- Ask in your newsletter or bulletin boards around the home for items you need. You will be surprised at how generous people are. You may need paintbrushes, fancy dress, cotton etc. People have all sorts lying around and others may want to contribute so they feel they are doing their bit.
- Look out in charity shops. Speak to the shop and ask them to call you if certain items are donated which you are looking for.
- Set aside a certain amount of your budget each month to invest in resources.
It is good to have resources left about the home for other team members to use with the residents or for the residents to use independently. To make space in your storeroom, put items around the home for people to use: books, games, colouring-in crayons and sheets, reminiscence boxes, gardening tools. Make featured areas so they look appealing when visitors and managers walk around the home, and most importantly engaging for the residents. Ensure they are at a level where residents can reach.
It is essential, however, that you have some resources locked out of sight. There is nothing worse than planning an activity and realising someone has used all your paint. There are things that should only be accessible to activity coordinators as they are the ones who need to know what is available and for when.
Activity coordinators are enthusiastic and creative; they want to keep that spark in their job, so a clean and tidy workspace makes an organised and happy mind.