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Thread: Our volunteer organizations and their stuff

  1. #1
    Senior Member iris lilies's Avatar
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    Our volunteer organizations and their stuff

    This is as much about organizing as it is about purging.

    As I take on volunteer jobs, I find that most of them come with piles of crap. It is so tiring to have to clean out the files of every job I take on before I even understand what the current documents are and where they are. I find myself shoveling loads of chit out of my house for these organizations.

    The average person seems unable to organize stuff.


    I just took over a treasurers job that is tiny. This job writes less than 8 checks a year. The treasury is under $1000. It is a small job. Yet it came with an unorganized mess of crap including 30 years of ledger records, spotty bank statements, and then the mess of non-financial records which was the bulk of the crap. I just wanted the checkbook and last 3bank statements, but finding them was a problem!

    After that, I took over a huge job at a statewide level that generates chit tons of paper to accomplish the work. The number of forms that need to be completed is scaring me. So much paperwork (that must be completed in triplicate, sent via tracked post office method,etc.) yikes! A huge, packed box of old materials was passed on to me with the suggestion to “probably get rid of anything before 2017” but actually as a newbie with this complex job I am keeping most of it, just separating really old crap from more recent crap, the recent crap I can use as example work.

    The jobs above plus a previously mentioned cleanup of dog club records had me touching, deciding on, filing and organizing probably a thousand documents. The one thing I see above all else from people who cannot organize is: they keep multiple copies of everything. The copies are stuck in random places, not together, because these papers are not organized. Keep one good, clean copy, people! And if you need blank forms, peel them off the website because they become outdated quickly, do. Ot keep old forms around. (!)

    And THEN, in case there isnt enough crap to consider, my garden club district had to vacate the nearly free space where we stored our crap, and there was unhappiness and disagreement on 1) how much we really need to store 2) where will it go since leadership claims there is NO MONEY 3) WHO will take this crap.

    STraight up I said “this is not coming to my house” so after throwing 3/4 of it away, someone took the rest to her house. I was nominally in charge of these items but I resigned my position because I wont be in charge of something that has no budget to support it. All of my plant societies rent commercial storage units for their crap, these garden club ladies need to get real about volunteers storing their stuff.

    And I am now on the “space needs study” committee for our neighborhood because we need space for meetings big and small, storage, storage, storage, cop substation, archives work space and office etc and the storage of crap will be prominent.

    So here is another long rambling post from Iris about her volunteer organizations. Dont read it!Just know the TLDR: people are crap at organizing, groups have too much stuff and they dont inow what to do with it.

    haha!



  2. #2
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    That’s funny! It seems like no one wants to make a decision.

  3. #3
    Senior Member SteveinMN's Avatar
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    It's also easier (for others) to kick the can down the road and throw everything into folders than it is to update "golden" copies of documents and do proper archiving/backup. Someone else will clean up. Someday.
    Success is to be measured not so much by the position that one has reached in life as by the obstacles which he has overcome. - Booker T. Washington

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    I’ve worked my way through about 7 offices during my career that were in a similar state of disarray. It took 1-2 years each, but I left each one as a Marie Kondo dream for the next person. I couldn’t believe how much I shredded. I once found copies of a patient’s records from 20 years prior, shoved in a closet with cleaning supplies.

  5. #5
    Senior Member iris lilies's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tammy View Post
    I’ve worked my way through about 7 offices during my career that were in a similar state of disarray. It took 1-2 years each, but I left each one as a Marie Kondo dream for the next person. I couldn’t believe how much I shredded. I once found copies of a patient’s records from 20 years prior, shoved in a closet with cleaning supplies.
    Oh yeah, I was in my last job for 25 years. The last 12 months there,
    I boxed up records to go to the library archives because they were OLD! I mean 60 years old! When I took over that job in the 90’s there were results of a consultant study that evaluated each employee, some with unflattering evaluations. Pitched that stuff of course although I was amused by it. One amusing thing was that
    I woman in my neighborhood who lived a block from where
    I live, had my job in the 1970’s. She was fiercely competant! i could tell from her reports and files left behind.

    I left some files of some managerial interest for anyone doing longitudinal data comparisons, but I emphasized to managers there that those files could be tossed any time with no great loss.

    I will say that one job I took in the 80’s was over-Kondo’d. A select files of summaries of annual activities woiud have been VERY useful, ya know just “here is what we did in 1985, 1986, 1987” and etc to give me a flavor of recent years. Instead,
    I had a clean desk. No files. Nada. Made it look like someone was hiding something! Haha

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tammy View Post
    I’ve worked my way through about 7 offices during my career that were in a similar state of disarray. It took 1-2 years each, but I left each one as a Marie Kondo dream for the next person. I couldn’t believe how much I shredded. I once found copies of a patient’s records from 20 years prior, shoved in a closet with cleaning supplies.
    Throughout my working career, I have been tasked with cleaning out entire offices to prepare for office moves and after mass layoffs, as well as to get crap out of a working space for a new person to occupy. I just completed yet another office move a few months ago. I am amazed at the crap that people continue to hold onto. During one office move 15 years ago, I cleared out stuff that was over 20 years old and of no use to anyone anymore, yet there it was. When I took my current job, one of the first things I had to do was clear out all the crap from my predecessor and he held onto everything.

    Quote Originally Posted by iris lilies View Post
    I will say that one job I took in the 80’s was over-Kondo’d. A select files of summaries of annual activities woiud have been VERY useful, ya know just “here is what we did in 1985, 1986, 1987” and etc to give me a flavor of recent years. Instead,
    I had a clean desk. No files. Nada. Made it look like someone was hiding something! Haha
    This describes exactly a job I took in the late 90s. When I interviewed for the job, my predecessor had tons of stuff all over her workspace, it was huge mess. When I started the job, she cleared out everything, and I mean everything: desk, drawers, files were all empty. I had no recent files to refer to, not even the travel profiles of the people I was arranging travel for and they traveled a lot. It would have made my life a lot easier too, but couldn't help but feel she was hiding something. Even my boss was a bit suspicious. Turned out months later that she actually was hiding something, she made off with a company owned laptop among other things.

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