Recently, I worked with an organization that was doing a spring cleaning. In the course of the exercise, I discovered that some files slated for trash were indeed important archives. Mon Dieu!! Like the old saying goes – one person’s trash is another’s treasure!
Take note – I caution organizations to approach spring cleaning with more care than doing the weekly refrigerator purge. #HistoryMatters While it is important to have files organized, and workspaces neat and free of obstructions, this does not have to be at the expense of disposing of valuable historic assets that speak to the mission and achievements of the organization and its community.
Tip One – Identify one person within the organization or department to be the point person. Then have that person reach out to all members of the organization’s work community to identify or claim items by a certain time period.
Tip Two – Work in small groups, with a stated deadline, to make sure things are sorted, filed and/or disposed of, if appropriate. Always work together, stop and communicate – some documents or photos may be less important to you but are vital records to your colleagues.
Tip Three – Haste makes Waste – Once an item is thrown away – it often cannot be replicated. Perhaps you don’t need it, but in twenty years – think about how this could impact the organization’s story if not told.