Look what I did, Mama! (organisation)

To follow on from the post two weeks ago on storage aand organisation, I am sharing how I tamed piles of gorgeous art work that were building in our home office.

As a teacher I didn’t think too much about the work I was sending home. I was glad to send home folders and collections of writing, hoping the students were proud to share their work with family. As to where it went at home…. no idea. Now I am on the other side of the fence and getting buried under “Look what I did, Mama!” crafts, art, pictures and writing. Time to organize!

Last year I received a folder of Daisy’s work and photos of her in daycare. It was lovingly put together by her room teachers and makes all of us happy to flick through it.

They used card in plastic sheet protectors and added photos and crafts on top of the card. This inspired me to continue the effort. Twice a month or so the pile of work gets sorted into three piles:

  • Keep
  • Photograph
  • Recycle
Asking a four year old to help with this can be a challenge as she wants to keep everything. Every time we do it she is getting better at letting things go. As for the photographs of work she can part with but wants to remember, I keep a folder on my desktop for each month and then each academic year. Eventually a CD can be burned or USB added to the collection.

The folders are labelled and easy to find. I am hoping eventually Daisy will be able to do this process with less and less guidance. When gets bored watching me organize she looks though last years folder and her sister’s folder, proudly explaining what Rose has scribbled.

The pile of art work, which comes home every few days, now has a contained home and does not overflow its basket!

We have a easy to maintain record of the girls work to keep. We add dates and comments to explain the work if necessary. We love finding out how Daisy entertained her preschool room. Her teachers often send home notes to share a comment Daisy has made that entertained. These are treasured and also stuck into the folder. With these notes comes the realization that our daughter is spending less time with us and more time with her peers. Realization and acceptance are two different things!

What do you do to organize the ‘bring home’ or ‘send home’ work chaos?

Organisation and storage

So home and classroom storage is always an issue. There never seems to be enough space for all the stuff! I am struggling with organization of all the wonderful resources I am now collecting. I watch an episode of hoarders occasionally to remind me not to keep everything! So I am not yet brave enough to share before photos but I promise to share after photos.. cheating I know!

At the moment we are reorganizing, as everyone seems to be doing. I pinned a pic of onto our board at Pinterest and it was immediately repinned many times. It must be that January, fresh start feeling. I would like to share some sources of inspiration today.

MaryLea from Pink and Green Mama Blog likes to sort everything into rainbows. Here she is featured on a crafters blog showing her wonderful art studio space. Colour sorting makes it easier to find a colour, and really are you usually looking for a type of colouring material or a colour? I love how this method of organizing will encourage mixed media art. Her art studio is a dream space.

I have just discovered the joys of flannel bards and the creativity they allow. Flannel board sets however seem to be building in our office. Deborah from Teach Preschool organizes her flannel board sets into zip lock bags and then into plastic sheet protectors with the relevant activities and books and then into binders (lots of ‘and then’s!)

RL from Play at Home Mom has a beautifully organised art space for her little ones. The see though containers allow the children to spy what they want and help themselves.

Homework is not an issue for us yet but this cupboard is inspiring. Everything you could possibly need seems to be easily found.

There, that was what I needed to get my organizing buzz going again. I will fill you in on my accomplishments soon. In the mean time here are some lovely organizational products from Quality Classrooms that I covet: