Volunteer Management BLOG

Your source for tips, techniques and articles to improve your Volunteer Program.

Savvy Space Management: Making Office Space & Filing Work For You, Not Against You

by Stacy Ashton | Nov 03, 2014

Full disclosure: this is a picture of my office.  When we were planning our 2014/15 “Practical Management” workshop series, one of my first thoughts was “wouldn’t it be great to have an expert in organization come talk about why and how to streamline your office space and files?”


Enter Marnie Kurylo of Savvy Space Solutions.  Marnie has helped me organize even messier offices than my current office space, and even though I am a backslider in the organizational department, I have valued her lessons greatly.


Marnie was our first speaker this year, presenting on the topic “Office Space Planning & Streamlining File Systems”.  In two hours I took eight pages of notes, because that’s how much valuable information Marnie shared.


When it comes to office space planning, there is a lot to think about. In our sector, we are often challenged for space. But good space planning helps you make the most of what you’ve got by creating comfortable multi-use spaces. Think about the spaces in your office that aren’t used 100% of the time:  Meeting rooms? Storage? Waiting rooms? Break rooms? How can you use those spaces to benefit your Volunteer Program?  Perhaps you can create a volunteer nook in a corner of the break room, a little space for volunteers to rest, brush up on new policy, and catch up with what’s happening at the organization.


When it came to filing, I like the first lesson the best:  No matter what topic you are dealing with, include this picture of Daniel Craig. It’s motivating. 


Okay, maybe that wasn’t the key takeaway, but the idea that any project or body of work can be summed up in four or five key categories, and then you file within those categories, was super-helpful.  Also, if you are running a Volunteer Program, “Volunteer” is not a good category unless you want all your files to start with “V”.  Better to have categories like “Recruitment”, “Position Descriptions”, "Events", etc.


Want to learn more? Community Volunteer Connections has some great home-grown resources on file management for Volunteer Programs.  Check out our Working Group summary on Records Management for some timeless guidance on keeping volunteer information straight!


Want one-on-one support? Call Marnie at Savvy Space Solutions.



Or follow Marnie on Twitter for organizing tips & tricks: @MarnieKurylo

And don’t forget to sign up for our upcoming Practical Management workshops.  Next up is November 26, Advanced Volunteer Management with Carol Dixon and Charlene Dishaw.  This workshop has been delivered at international conferences, so this is a great chance to participate without flying to another country! Register here!



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