Keeping Austin Organized with PlanetSAFE

July 27, 2018 11:54 AM | Melynda Weiland (Administrator)

Please enjoy this guest post, reprinted with permission from
NAPO Austin member Melynda Weiland of Order To Everything

KEEPING AUSTIN ORGANIZED 

WITH PLANETSAFE

NAPO Austin is a local chapter of The National Association of Productivity and Organizing Professionals currently working to help Austin non-profits stay organized by volunteering their organizing services.

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FINDING NAPO

I have been in the professional organizing world for over a year now.  When I decided to become an organizer, I fully immersed myself in all things organizing so I could find and learn everything there was to know about running my own business.  

Organizing was easy, but putting myself out there to market myself and learn the business ropes was super scary.  In my research, the first thing I found was NAPO (The National Association of Productivity and Organizing Professionals).  

Now, if you don’t know me, I’m a “everything has to be in place first” kinda gal (that’s everybody, right?).  The ability to jump in blind not knowing the outcome is one of my toughest struggles, so my first inclination is to do things, all things, “the right way” and “in the right order” (also known as perfectionism and analysis paralysis).  Yup that’s me, so of course finding NAPO first, I joined both the National and Local chapters right away.


Perfection is the death of possibilities. ~ 


Mary Kay Hamm


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Now typically, my lovely analysis paralysis partner holds me back from getting things accomplished in a timely manner.  You know, since everything needs to be perfect first of course.  But joining NAPO before I even new what I was really getting in to was the best thing I could have done for myself and my new business.  

I have met some wonderful people, formed great relationships and am now growing my business and actively involved in the local chapter as well as helping our community.  I say all this to segue into the whole meaning of my post today, which is about NAPO and our new organizing project. (And, if you have perfectionist friend, to have you send her my way!) 

KEEPING AUSTIN ORGANIZED!

This year, NAPO Austin (the local chapter of NAPO) has put in place a new volunteer program to help non-profit organizations in Austin.  Our ‘Keep Austin Organized’ project gathers NAPO Austin Chapter member volunteers to visit non-profits in Austin and the surrounding areas to help get their spaces in order and create awareness for their cause.  I’ve been fortunate enough to take part in the first two projects and want to share here with you the second.

NAPO Austin helps keep Austin organized one non-profit at a time.   

For our first 'Keep Austin Organized' project in 2018, we visited AGE of Central Texas, Round Rock in January.  

We transformed their chaotic craft/storage office into an organized space that now allows staff members to easily find what they need to take care of and entertain their members. You can read all about our first project with AGE in Carol Jones’s (A Jones for Organizing) blog post by clicking here or the images below.  I just love seeing the transformation.

AGE Before.jpg

AGE Before.jpg

AGE After.jpg

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PLANETSAFE

Our second project for 2018 was for PlanetSAFE, A Program of the SAFE Alliance, to transform two play spaces into enjoyable and functional environments for families to spend time with their children.  

PlanetSAFE is an off-site initiative that provides a safe location for children whose families have a history of family violence, stalking, and/or sexual assault, where they can be exchanged between parents for supervised visits and custodial exchanges.  

Offering cheerful and bright play spaces and services at no extra cost to the families, PlanetSAFE works to protect Austin’s children from family violence and abuse.  NAPO Austin was thrilled and honored to be a part of creating a pleasant experience for family exchanges and making these play spaces both functional and enjoyable for their families.  I'm so happy I could be a part of it.

To learn more about PlanetSAFE, visit them at http://www.safeaustin.org/safeprograms/planetsafe/.



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FIRST THINGS FIRST

We gathered up 6 of our NAPO Austin professional organizers and organized two spaces for PlanetSAFE. One space, more for families with toddlers, and another for families with older children.  

The play spaces are home to books, toys, etc.. to entertain the children while visiting with their families. They were filled with toys, games and furniture that, while keeping littles busy, did not utilize the space to it's full potential nor provide homes for items to be put away.  Myself and the other volunteers couldn't wait to dive in and have some fun.  

Below are photos of the rooms before they received a little TLC from us. 

PlanetSAFE Toddler Rm Before Image 2.jpg

Bulky furniture and toys took over the toddler space creating a crowded and uninviting space. 

PlanetSAFE Toddler Rm Before Image 1.jpg

The priority in both rooms was to give everything a home so the families could easily find what they wanted and be able to place it back in the proper home.

The big kid room had lots of space to work with, but needed more functional storage.

PlanetSAFE Big Kid Rm Before Image 1.jpg

PlanetSAFE Big Kid Rm Before Image 2.jpg

GETTING STARTED

We started with the furniture as some larger items had to be moved to create more function in the rooms. Getting an extra large bookcase from one room to another proved to be quite a challenge to say the least.  

How many organizers does it take to move a bookcase?  Well, at least 4 and more than 30 minutes!  After more than a half hour of working the puzzle (and getting some comic relief), we were finally able to get it moved. 

PlanetSAFE Bookcase Montage.jpg

Erin Morper, Kathy Blair, Kate Martin and myself took a crack at moving the monster bookcase.  After finally removing the back frame, it made it into the room with a centimeter to spare.  Oh, and did I mention it weighed a ton?!  Seriously didn't think it was going to go in.  All the work was totally worth it though.  The bookcase fit the space perfectly and the big kid room now has an awesome storage center for books, games and electronics.

PlanetSAFE TV Image.jpg

We tend to think the more storage pieces we have the better, but sometime less is more to give everything room to breathe.  In both rooms, there were pieces that cluttered the space and didn't provide the necessary storage, so we moved and removed other furniture in addition the the bookcase to open the space and make more room for play. 

Once the main bookcase was moved, we were able to finish up the rooms quickly.  Games, toys, and books were sorted and new furniture layouts were created to allow everything to fall into place.  

I love before and after pics (who doesn't right?), so here is some eye candy to show off the end result!

TODDLER ROOM TRANSFORMATIONS

PlanetSAFE Toddler Rm 2 Before (1).jpg        PlanetSAFE Toddler Rm 2 After (1).jpg

PlanetSAFE Toddler Rm 1 Before.jpg        PlanetSAFE Toddler Rm 1 After.jpg

PlanetSAFE Toddler Rm 3 Before.jpg        PlanetSAFE Toddler Rm 3 After.jpg

Both rooms came out looking fantastic.  

In the toddler room, the furniture placement created an inviting environment as well as much needed floor space for playing.  We utilized space under the tables to maximize storage and gave all of the large items their well deserved wall space.  

BIG KID ROOM TRANSFORMATIONS

PlanetSAFE Big Kid Rm 1 Before.jpg        PlanetSAFE Big Kid Rm 1 After.jpg

PlanetSAFE Big Kid Rm 2 Before.jpg        PlanetSAFE Big Kid Rm 2 After.jpg

The big kids room gained more floor space as well as streamlines storage.  We created playing zones to make the space fully functional and moved the foosball table to give players the room they need.  Now, a craft area provides a space for homework and crafts, the large bookcase houses all games and books and the stuffed animals, dolls and toys are all together.

THE ORGANIZERS

From left to right:  That's Me! Order to Everything, Kate Martin of Organized Joy, Beta Shad of Living Tidy, Erin Morper of Start Somewhere Organizing, Kathy Blair of Envision Organizing, and Jamie Steele of Steele Organizing.

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MISSION ACCOMPLISHED

In 3 hours, our NAPO Austin team of professional organizers were able to transform these play spaces and make them the inviting rooms PlanetSAFE needed and wanted.  By sorting, assigning homes and organizing, toys and books now have a proper place and the families have plenty of space to play and spend time together.  We thank PlanetSAFE for allowing us the opportunity to help them and our community.

If you would like to learn more about PlanetSAFE and how they are helping Austin's children, visit them at http://www.safeaustin.org/safeprograms/planetsafe/

To learn more about NAPO Austin, visit us at www.napoaustin.com.

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