How do you take an already efficiently-run stockroom and make it even better? Hannah Ashwell-Dickinson (Declutter with Hannah) and nine other APDO colleagues did just that as part of National Organising Week (NOW) last week with North London charity Smart Works.
The team, headed up by Marcella Caricasole (Think Tidy), joined forces to organise the stockroom and offices of the charity Smart Works as part of APDO’s annual Donate a Day where professional organisers donate a day of their time and expertise to charities.
“Having an opportunity to work in a team with my awesome colleagues was the strongest appeal. Doing so for the benefit of such a terrific charity was the icing on the cake,” said Arianna Steigman (Reclaim your Space), a sentiment that was echoed by the whole team.
Donate a Day was an idea introduced by APDO’s President Katherine Blackler (SortMySpace) in 2016 when a team of six organisers helped to organise a charity’s new stockroom. Katherine says “This year I was delighted to participate in one of 10 events across the country involving over 40 APDO members. It’s amazing to see an idea grow with such momentum.”
Smart Works is a UK charity which provides high-quality interview clothes, styling advice and interview training to women in need. They give women the confidence, the self-belief and the practical tools they require to succeed at interview and start a new chapter of their life.
Hannah said “Smart Works’ attention to detail in making their clients feel comfortable and special is so inspiring. We were very lucky to have had the opportunity to help make their already well-organised space even easier to manage.”
After being shown around Smart Works and learning more about the valuable work they do, APDO members got stuck in: organising rails of clothing, categorising shoes and bags, fixing and organising jewellery, steaming and mending clothes, and sorting out pedestals of paperwork.
After five hours of focused activity everyone felt very positive and happy with what they had accomplished, and they had enjoyed some good giggles along the way.
“It’s very inspiring to see so many beautiful clothes and accessories and how much love and care has been put onto creating this amazing walk-in wardrobe which will change the lives of so many women who are trying to get back into work,” said Filipa do Carmo (Khôra : Space . Sorted)
Sarah Owen (A Place for Everything) said “I wanted to be part of Donate a Day because I really liked the idea of teaming up with other APDO colleagues and giving my time and expertise to a charity which would benefit from my help. I was particularly impressed with the work that Smart Works does supporting women getting back into the workplace. It was a fun day to boot, so a ‘Win Win’ for all.”
One of the achievements in the office was liberating a pedestal by reviewing, culling and organising older paperwork. “It’s a task which often slides down the list as day-to-day demands shout louder,” explained Sam Hofer (Untangled), “but creating that additional space by scanning or shredding historical paperwork can make such a difference so it’s really worth the time investment.”
Smart Works were delighted to host the APDO team “Thank you all so much…your expertise was incredibly valuable to our staff, volunteers and clients.”
Catch the team in action with the video round-up of the day activities.
Group photo (from left to right):
Front: Arianna Steigman (Reclaim your Space), Lizzie Grant (Simplify Stuff), Sarah Owen (A Place for Everything), by Marcella Caricasole (Think Tidy), Nicki Munns (All Organised) and Filipa do Carmo (Khôra : Space . Sorted)
You can read about more Donate a Day activity by APDO members here!