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Spring Cleaning: Where to Start

At the DRG Group, we love spring cleaning! It's a chance to organize, purge, and reevaluate. But spring cleaning means so much more to us than just getting rid of things not working. It is also a time to readjust your goals and to ensure that you are measuring what matters most to your intended audience—the donor.

This past year has brought about many changes in our field, several of which have helped create a better experience for donors. When the pandemic is over, we hope you'll hold on to the positive changes and resist reverting back to old habits. Spring is for renewal, after all!

Take a hard look at what is working, and what no longer makes sense—and don't be afraid to get rid of it!

These days, nearly every aspect of our work is digital and our offices might just be in the middle of the living room. Taking time to declutter our lives is as essential as ever, so here are a few tips for Spring Cleaning 2021:

  • Go through your budget with a critical eye—start with the largest ticket items and move downward. What needs repair or modification, and what can you toss?

  • Look at your events—one of the most expensive things many organizations budget for each year. Are they still working? Do you get the same sized audience as you once did? If not, is it because it has run its course, do you need to make some changes, or is it time to cut it? Don't resume those events that weren't working!

  • Stick with the adaptations you have made during the pandemic that are working - What did you change in 2020 that is actually working better? Hold on to that and fight against reverting back to old bad habits—like printing everything by default!

  • Get organized! Put things in order and find inefficiencies in the way you work. Sometimes making order out of chaos is freeing and allows you to see things in a new light.

  • Scrub your to-do list. As Ideators, our task lists turn into never-ending streams of ideas and to-dos that never quite bubble to the top of our priority lists. Block off 30 minutes and go through yoru to-do list with a critical eye—evaluate each item to be kept and prioritized, delegated to another team member, or deleted. Take one of those actions immediately, and pay attention to when the task was added. Because let’s be honest: even the long-term aspirations we had in 2019 may not be worth holding onto in today’s world. (side note: this tip also works if your to-do list is a stack of Post-Its)

  • Dump those Email Folders. Do keep folders for myriad topics dating back to …well, when did email start? Listen, not all of us subscribe to an "inbox zero" philosophy, and while some of this historical reference material may come in handy, much of it is just clutter. Again, let’s face it: many of the challenges we will face and problems we will solve in the next 12-24 months will look nothing like the ones we’ve tackled before. It’s freeing to release ourselves from the weight of the past, so as Elsa says, “Let it Go!"

  • Enjoy the process. It's cathartic and can open up some great conversations with your team members. If you're on the fence, do some testing and evaluation before you make a decision. The best part? Once you clean out the old and broken, you'll find room in your closet (or budget) for something new and fresh!

  • Make sure that you put time for self care on your priority list—and make sure it's somewhere near the top!

What are you getting rid of in 2021, and what are you holding on to? We'd love to hear about your spring cleaning process in the comments below.


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