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Mary’s Room Organization Makeover

Being organized gives you time and space to do things you love and help people who are less fortunate. This was the premise behind the Give the of Organization contest we held this year. We ask YOU to nominate people or organizations who give back to the community. In return, Rubbermaid would give them some organization so they could devote more space and time to helping others. We received so many great nominations but YOU chose a special organization as the winner – Mary’s Room.

Mary’s Room is a local non-profit in Watertown, WI that is run out of the local Episcopal church. Mary’s Room fills a gap in resources available to low-income families providing things like diapers, clothing and toys that food stamps and other organizations do not provide. The church and volunteers gave their space and time freely to help others in the community. In fact, the non-profit was run out of the main meeting room in the church. Members met in the meeting room around baby car seats and volunteers organized clothes and diapers in old bins stored in a small, scary closet.

You can see lots of before pictures here in this slide show (just click on the image to change the photo!):

[slideshow id=3]

With help from another grant the church received, Rubbermaid was able to move Mary’s Room into a new room in the church and provide organizational tools to make this a true shopping experience for the families who use Mary’s Room. Better yet, the tools Rubbermaid gave will help the volunteers be able to add clothing and other items to the room easily and quickly while providing flexibility to adjust the room based on what is donated. We took the new space they had and optimized it so they could store as much as possible.

How did we do it? Check out the video and images below:

Here are the highlights of what we did:

  1.  Added HomeFree series closet shelving to the walls. The main space had double hang (aka two rows of hanging space) with the top row used for boys clothing and the bottom for girls. We also added clothing divider tabs to the space to mark different sizes.
  2. Added FastTrack Garage rails and hooks to the back wall to hold larger items like car seats and strollers. This utilized the wall space and cleared valuable floor space.
  3. Created a volunteer zone with Bento and HomeFree series canvas bins to hold diapers, label makers, extra hangers and any other items volunteers might need as they work in the room
  4. Left room below clothing for clear shoe bins and Roughneck Clears to hold smaller items. Bibs, socks, bottles, small toys, etc. can be stored in these clearly labeled with the items and different sizes.
  5. We left Dymo Label Makers behind so volunteers can make clear labels for families to use when shopping for specific items.

So what do you think of the transformation?

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  35. Rachel H. January 30, 2013 at 10:05 pm #

    I thank you for all your work and help in organizing Mary’s Closet. I go there to receive diapers, and they are a huge blessing!!

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