TRAID lucked out when an amazing turbo-charged crew from the APDO Association of Professional Declutterers & Organisers helped to organise the stock room in our Wood Green charity shop as part of the Donate-A Day initiative during National Organising Week 2017. Professional declutterer and member of the Donate-A-Day team Liz Aitken tells us more.

On Monday November 6th, a team of APDO members teamed up to re-organise the stock room in TRAID’s Wood Green charity shop. Katherine Blackler (SortMySpace), APDO Head of Partnership and Marcella Caricasole (Think Tidy) had met with Rodrigo Flores, TRAID’s Volunteer Recruitment Manager to talk about how the charity could make the most of our time.

Rodrigo explained,

“When the team restock our shop, the operation takes a whole day and we need to close completely while we do it. Mirroring the layout of the shop downstairs in our stockroom would make future restocking exercises so much smoother and efficient. Having the people power, energy and skills of a professional team meant we could achieve this in a day”.

From left to right: Isabelle Lamy, Idea for your Space, Katherine Blackler, SortMySpace, Liz Aitken, Carefully Sorted, Tracy Muir, Support to Sort, Shula Levy, Out of Space, Chloë Howat, Declutter with Chloe, Sam Hofer, Untangled, Juliette Harding, Tulips Decluttering Service, Rodrigo Flores, Volunteer Recruitment Manager, TRAID
From left to right: Isabelle Lamy, Idea for your Space, Katherine Blackler, SortMySpace, Liz Aitken, Carefully Sorted, Tracy Muir, Support to Sort, Shula Levy, Out of Space, Chloë Howat, Declutter with Chloe, Sam Hofer, Untangled, Juliette Harding, Tulips Decluttering Service, Rodrigo Flores, Volunteer Recruitment Manager, TRAID

On the day, the team put their heads together to work out assembling the new racking, learnt some ‘process improvements’ along the way and then set to, building the units. A lot of measuring and drilling later, the new hanging system was in place! As the racks were secured, the team hung restock clothes destined for the shop floor onto the new rails in categories following TRAID’s system. Their shop displays are organised by colour rather than size. This gives greater visual impact on the shop floor but caused much debate amongst the group especially with patterned garments. “Is this shirt blue and brown? or brown and blue”? However we found an appropriate home for every item and the racks were soon filled up and looking logical.

Making the rails
Making the rails

The group also spotted that boxes of future sale stock were being stored in multiple locations throughout the stockroom so suggested collating them for staff to easily see the volume they had of each clothes category. As these were not (yet) intended for the stockroom’s new hanging rails, we stacked the boxes according to the season or sale they were marked as. The cartons were so large that we nearly lost a couple of members of the team inside them!

To avoid injury, any heavy cartons that weren’t on pallets that could be easily manoeuvred, had their contents moved onto mobile clothes racks and wheeled round to their new box or handballed along a line of declutterers to reach their new home! The team also collected up 46 enormous empty cartons, flattened them and wrestled them into one upright spot ready for recycling which made a real difference to the space!

Throughout the day there was a steady flow of clearing space, assembling racks, collating and hanging clothing as well as a lot of laughter and exchange of ideas amongst APDO members.

The team truly transformed Wood Green’s stock room, giving the TRAID staff an accessible and well-ordered space. Rodrigo and the team tested out the new system two weeks later and he said

“The difference in our restock process is incredible. We weren’t digging through numerous cartons to get stock ready for the shop floor. Giving instructions to staff became far simpler as the stock was clearly visible. The time we spent doing the re-stock reduced down to 3 hours instead of the previous 8 hours so we could open up to customers again by lunchtime. What’s also great is that all the empty racks now upstairs are ready and waiting for us to line up the next re-stock onto. We can do that at our leisure before the restock is scheduled in January and save ourselves time and stress again then! Thank you APDO. You certainly got us sorted for National Organising Week 2017!”

Let the colouring begin!
Let the colouring begin!

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