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2 Cultivating an Organized Experience

Cultivating Inclusion Farm

How did SK Simple Solutions become involved with Cultivating Inclusion, the Farm?

This is S, Shannon McCarthy, of SK Simple Solutions. I will continue the October theme of 'declutter journeys' with an interview with

The Cultivating Inclusion Farm in Murrieta, CA

The last blog about Cultivating Inclusion Farm is a non-profit organization the we have been involved with their reorganizing pod project. Mary Ann came to SK Simple Solutions to discuss the disorganized state of the pod and a storage problem. Mary Ann knew it was cluttered and messy. There wasn’t enough space in the pod to store supplies, inventory, or assess what was needed to for the farm.

The pod was untidy, she knew, but clutter can be overwhelming. She saw items donated, games, gardening tools, boxes all over the shelves and didn’t have the time or desire to organize the mess.

The pod before.

A common problem with any organization is its “common use” items. If there isn’t a clearly designated space for everything then everything goes anywhere! The volunteers and the client’s job coaches are there for the clients. During their visit they use the tools to teach about cultivating, harvesting, and eating produce. When their time was over the groups put the tools back where there was room.

The organization of the pod was left to…well….

But decluttering the POD would be extremely time-consuming. Mary Ann questioned how she would know what to keep. How do you decide items to keep, throw away, or donate if it was a donation in the first place! Many feel that way about gifts. According to personal organizers SK, Shannon & Kim, you can change that guilt into gratefulness for the donation and still let it go.

The reorganizing of the POD would be messy. Everything would need to be taken off the shelves, sorted, and put back together. Another factor that stops organizing are the little voices in our head that says, “one day I’ll use those seeds, maybe we’ll use it, it just needs to be finished, it was donated, hopefully we can build that etc.” Clutter is overwhelming.

SK Simple Solutions can help you look at decluttering with a new perspective. The decluttering process will relieve clients of feeling overwhelmed, disorganized, and unproductive.

We designed a plan for the POD. We recommended the decluttering process to include alternate containers, ease of access to supplies, a dedicated place for tools etc., and a complete POD inventory.

Pod plan by SK Simple Solutions

What is your goal for the POD and its connection to the Cultivating Inclusion farm?

“It’s more than the POD. I want the kids to be welcome here. They need to experience the outdoors, learn a skill, and enjoy themselves. These kids want to socialize with their friends, and I love to see them happy.

Whatever I can do to get the POD organized will help

the program. I also want the kids to participate and they

need to be able to get supplies

and be safe."

We have more dedicated volunteers now and so I need the POD to help the volunteers do their job more easily when the day groups come. I want when I’m not here that everyone can still find tools and supplies AND know where to put them back.”

Farm drip irrigation.

The Solution:

To redesign the pod to locate tools/supplies quickly, increase storage space, and promote returning items to their designated space and to keep it organized.

Simple Solutions by SK:

  1. Remove all items

  2. Sweep/clean pod

  3. Redesign placement of shelves, tools, storage units etc.

  4. Inventory pod

  5. Arrange/label tubs, containers, crates

  6. Containers to replace boxes to keep out the critters.

  7. Organization unit for large tools: rakes, shovels, broom, hoe etc.… to stand tools up

The empty pod. Organize by category. SK Simple Solutions' vision.

Why is it a community garden?

“Well, it isn’t just for special needs kids. We have home schooled groups come too. Our volunteers and board members are also local people. And we have consistently given back to our community by donating produce to St. Vincent de Paul of Saint Catherine’s church in Temecula and to the Community Food Pantry of Murrieta.”

Mary Ann, what keeps you going?

“The kids. I love them. They are wonderful to be around. I hope more people will come and work side by side with these kids to get to know them as I have. And we always can use more volunteers. We have a website, Facebook page, and email.”

If you would like more information about the Cultivating Inclusion Farm,

please contact Mary Ann Tams




(951) 296-7756

Cultivating Inclusion is a 501(c) non-profit organization.


SK out! Have a great week! Be happy!

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