The Christmas and New Year celebrations of the last few weeks may already be becoming a distant memory, but what do you do with your Christmas lights, the extra emergency chairs, the artificial Christmas tree or the stand for the real tree and all the other items that put in an appearance? Are they in the storage cupboard/room/attic? What happens normally is that things are initially put away in a calm and orderly fashion, but as the storage area fills up and people tire, then they can become frustrated and in the end storage is simply chaotic. It is likely to lead to things being damaged and is inherently unsafe in a number of ways. Chaotic storage or over-storage is avoidable. Now is a great time to make a resolution to turn over a new leaf and deal with this once and for all!
Church Growth Trust suggests three possible steps to take:
First – de-clutter. Storage space is often taken up by equipment that is broken, faulty or not used anymore. Resolve to remove all this sort of equipment NOW and to be sensible about it. For example, you could decide that if an item has not been used for two years then it should be removed.
Second – deal with what is left that needs to be stored NOW. Plan the storage area, maybe including some shelving, so that anything needing storage has a place. This may initially be trial and error, but keep going! Make a plan and put it on the wall of the storage area so everyone knows what goes where. Make sure that in the case of chairs, for example, there are clear ground rules for stacking height. If there is not enough space, do not shove everything back as before with a shrug of the shoulders! Deal with the issue and work out what you need to do. This will vary with the circumstances, but deal with it NOW.
Third – keep following through. Regularly check that the plan is being followed and that the storage area is tidy. If not, act. Then next Christmas, the tree, the lights and the decorations will be where you left them, intact and usable.