Frequently Asked Questions

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About RE-ORG

What are the benefits of becoming a registered user?

To access the storage reorganization methodology, you must be part of the re-org community. This will allow you to track the reorganization process using the re-org progress log. Each time, you complete a task, click "done." It will appear in the log with its duration and the members of the team who worked on the task. At a single glance, you will have access to all forms, guidelines, exercises, etc. associated with the tasks you have completed. Registering also allows you to send feedback on specific tasks, or on the overall process.

About the storage reorganization methodology

Why are there so many tasks?

Contrary to creating storage areas in a new space, reorganization requires that you uncover key deficiencies in the current situation. The entire process has been subdivided into many small tasks. This will facilitate your work and help you succeed.

Can I only do a few tasks?

Yes. Many of the worksheets are stand-alone mini-projects that can be used to diagnose certain aspects of storage. However, to ensure all issues are addressed, it is recommended to go through all the tasks. The tasks are visible even if they have not been marked as "done", but an alert will appear on top to indicate which tasks should be done before this one.

Does it really matter where I begin?

Yes, it could. The methodology has been created to help those who do not have access to expertise or resources for storage reorganization. Disastrous situations can be overwhelming! By following the suggested Phase 1, 2, 3, 4 sequence and tasks, the chances of overlooking important issues is reduced. You are sure to have everything you need to move forward.

Why can’t I just begin tidying up the storage area(s)?

Situations that have deteriorated over time have complex root causes that must be addressed. Tidying up the space may solve some access issues immediately, but on its own, it does not ensure the functionality and effectiveness of storage in the long term.

What if storage is so crowded that I can’t circulate at all?

This situation is much more common than you think! During the reorganization process, it may be necessary to clear up the space. For example, if you cannot open the door, if you cannot walk in the aisles because objects are on the ground, if rubbish or objects that are clearly not part of the collection are overcrowding the space. Be careful: if you move objects around, keep a record of the movement, as this might create problems when doing the inventory.

Can I skip some of the tasks?

This methodology is meant to be flexible and adaptable to a wide range of users and situations. It is highly possible that some tasks do not apply to your situation. For example, there may be no storage furniture in your storage area(s) at the moment; in this case, you obviously cannot evaluate if they are suitable. Moreover, you may already be experienced and confident enough to accomplish the tasks in different ways, using the objectives to guide you. Nonetheless, it may be a good idea to read each task carefully to ensure you do not leave anything important out.

How long should I spend on each phase?

There is no specific time for any of the tasks or phases. The time required varies according to each situation, the size of your team and its familiarity with the storage area(s). As an indication, some teams working on Phase 2 have produced useful results in just five hours. In other cases, it can take a few days. For all phases, try to limit yourself to what is required by the task to avoid collecting too much information. Less is more! Focus on 20% of the information that will yield 80% of the results.

Why are there suggested sequences?

The methodology is a tool to help you make decisions. The dependencies of certain tasks on others, and the suggested sequences help you ensure you have the information you need before you make important decisions. This helps you manage your time more efficiently and better organize your team’s work. Finally, following the suggested sequence will limit roadblocks because you will have the approval of the right people at the right time.

When should I do the inventory control?

Museums all over the world have documentation backlogs or inadequate documentation systems. Some storage areas have been abandoned for so long that it is impossible to reach the objects safely to do the inventory. The inventory control is an important step that will help you identify specific problems with the documentation system. A healthy documentation system improves the odds that storage will stay organized. So, the sooner you can do the inventory, the better. In some cases, this will be during Phase 2. In others, it will be during Phase 3, or Phase 4. This depends mainly on how disorganized storage is to begin with, especially on how accessible the objects are. Documenting objects and doing an inventory control is time-consuming, so it is important to plan ahead! Be aware that inventory controls can be sources of conflict or discomfort because they may reveal that several objects are missing (lost, misplaced or stolen). This can be especially worrying if museum staff are legally bound to the collection. Hence, the inventory control can be seen as a threat. Be prepared to deal with this.

Why is there a difference between ‘museum collection’ and ‘archaeological mass’?

Museums associated to ongoing excavations may have a considerable amount of incoming material from digs (e.g. potsherds, soil samples, slag or mosaic fragments). This archaeological mass may not be formally accessioned into the museum’s collection for some time and its needs may be quite different from those of the collection. While the museum collection must be easily accessible to the museum staff, this is not always the case for archaeological mass. If this material is being studied actively, it may be creating unnecessary traffic in the storage areas. If it belongs to an excavation which has long been completed and has not been accessed in years, it is occupying very valuable storage space, and could be stored more compactly or at off-site locations. This important problem worldwide is addressed several times throughout the methodology.

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