Spring cleaning for nurses: How to get organized
1. Identify your barriers to organization
Don’t know where to start? Space? Inability to manage paperwork? Crunched for time? We nurses are incredibly busy people and juggling work obligations and fatigue with family obligations is no easy task. Identifying your barriers to organization is the first step to overcoming them.
2. Remember that less stuff requires less time to keep organized
If you can reduce, you can rest easier. Not only will your pockets, tote bag, or purse be lighter, but your barriers to organization may be fewer. If your tote bag is breaking your back from textbooks or nursing tools, tally your resources at nursing school or work and determine what you can store there or leave at home in order to lighten your load.
3. Find an organizing style that fits your personality
Are you a messy person or a neatnik? Need a spark of coordinating color, or will neutrals soothe your soul? What may work for your best friend may not work for you. You may like one box to throw everything into, or you might want everything to have its own place. Experiment to find your comfort zone.
It’s amazing how just a little organization makes life less stressful! Small projects will also help you set your budget for larger projects. Think about your nursing scrubs pockets, for instance. It’s a nice small project to start with—one that doesn’t involve shelving or complicated color schemes. Is there a nook or out-of-the-way desk at work in which you could store your pocket reference, trauma shears or a stash of pens (watch out for those sneaky pen-snitching residents!) instead of carrying those items around all shift? What about keeping your pocket supplies in a small labeled box at the nursing station? The ideal solution will provide convenient access while reducing pocket weight.
5. Be flexible but persistent
Organization methods and ideas only go so far in meeting your needs. Don’t feel locked into a method if it just doesn’t seem to be working for you. Even something as simple as switching shifts on your unit may require alteration in organizational methods.