3 Easy Ways To Streamline Storage At Your Small Assisted Living Facility

If you run a small assisted living or skilled nursing facility, then it may seem like the items you need to store take up more space than the patient rooms do. It may also be difficult for staff members to access items they need quickly, when they need them. Instead of reducing inventory of items you need, instead focus on streamlining storage, so it just feels like you have less than you do creating the illusion of a larger facility. When items are stored properly, it can also keep staff members from wasting time hunting for things and more time focusing on patients' needs. Try these three tips to give you, your staff, and your residents more space to enjoy. 

1. Swap out Bulky Filing Cabinets for Stackable Plastic Storage Containers in the Office

If the main office of your facility is so jam-packed with filing cabinets that your office staff barely has room to move when working, then swapping out those bulky filing cabinets for stackable plastic storage containers can be a great idea. 

How will this swap help? Take inventory of your current cabinets and make note of any empty or close-to empty drawers. These drawers are taking up precious space that you cannot spare. If, instead of a filing cabinet, you had heavy duty plastic stackable containers from places like Quantum Storage that hang file folders, you could simply remove a container when it is not currently needed to free up space. You can then easily move it back when needed. 

You can also opt to use a rolling container on the bottom of each stack, so you can easily condense stacks of storage bins close together in an area of the room not being used. Large filing cabinets often don't have wheels, and even if they do, the heaviness of a filled cabinet can make it too difficult to move at-ease. 

2. Use Clear Bins when Organizing Resident Recreation Areas

With a small facility, you may have one recreation room that is used for many different purposes. One day it may be an arts and crafts room, and another it may be a movie-viewing room. When meal-time arrives, it may then be used as a cafeteria. Keeping a room organized that is used for so many purposes can seem difficult, and it may leave staff members hunting for items they need when it is time for the activity they supervise. 

You can keep your recreation room organized by using clear stackable bins. One stack can be designated for each activity, and like in the office, you can place a rolling bin on the bottom of each stack. When you opt for clear bins, most objects can be easily seen from the outside of the bin, which can make it easier for your staff to find the items they need quickly. When a certain stack is not being used, it can just be rolled out of the way to help create more room for residents. 

3. Choose Linen Carts Wisely to Make Bed Changes and Patient Hygiene Easier

Like most nursing facilities, you likely have laundry staff that washes and dries linens and nurses' aids that distribute and use the linens. If you keep the process organized, it can make it easier on both your laundry staff and your aids. Some facilities have one or two large linen carts that the laundry staff places clean linens on after washing and drying. The nurses' aids must then take turns pushing around these large, heavy carts or running back and forth to the laundry room to grab what they need. 

To make the jobs of your nurses' aids easier and help them improve patient experience, have many small linen carts (you can even use stackable clear organizers) for laundry staff members to place a designated number of sheets, towels, and washcloths on. When a nurses' aid then begins a shift, he or she can grab a fully stocked cart to use until more linen is needed. This process can end up in each nurses' aid only visiting the laundry room once or twice per shift instead of repeatedly during shifts. 

If you run a small nursing facility, then don't let clutter make the facility feel smaller and make the lives of your staff members difficult when they have trouble finding what they need. Follow these tips and think of other ways organizational tools, such as plastic storage bins and containers, can make the lives of your staff members and your residents easier and more enjoyable.