Monday, August 27, 2007

progress....

Organizational bliss....
Those of you who don't get it have probably already got that glazed over look in your eyes. I'm excited about my progress though.

First, in the area of "managing the paper tiger"...


This filing idea was adapted from Dawn. These are my day to day files...bills, papers needed for church activities, kids activities, homeschooling papers, liturgical year stuff....it all goes here. There's a hanging folder for each person with manila folders inside these for all their stuff. Maria's, for example, has manila folders for different subjects, a folder for work she is giving to me to be graded, a folder for work I have graded for her to correct, and a "to be filed" folder for school work we are all done with, as well as various artwork and creations from other classes that we want to keep. For bigger kid-created projects, we have space on the big wall-length bookshelves in our dining room for displaying such things. When the shelves get too full, I take a snapshot of some of the projects and put the snapshots in, you guessed it, the "to be filed" folder. There's also a hanging folder for each season with manila folders inside for each week of the year. These folders manage everything from seasonal activities and recipes to those little appointment cards that come in the mail and then disappear into some pile.


The next step in the paper tiger...the accordion file on the left is color coded for all three kids (we are big on color coding around here...more in another post). Each child has several pockets that are labeled with months of the year...all the months, as we school year round. Once a month I pull papers from each child's "to be filed" hanging folder and drop them into the appropriate file. Then, each child has a file box like the one on the right. The folders are labeled infant/toddler, PreK, Kinder, and so on with each grade level. At the end of the school year, I take all the stuff from the accordion file, which now contains every school paper from all year as well as various paper keepsakes, and I sort and pitch, choosing what to save and what to toss. I want a good selection showing what they've done that year, as well as anything of sentimental value. I *do not* keep every math worksheet and cursive practice page. My goal is to have all of their saved paperwork fit into their box by the time they are grown. I can't imagine wanting to reminisce through more than that, even when my kids have moved away and I am feeling the urge to do such things. Maria's box is already more than half full, so in a couple of years I will purge through the older folders again and thin it down some.

The next pictures are of our (drumroll please) new craft room!


This is my craft table, though it is heavily used by the kids. It's just an old dinette we used to have when we were a much smaller family of two. It is heavily stained and scarred, as a good craft table should be. My sewing machine and supplies are handy in the background. There's a rolling cart on the left that is for placing various projects to dry and that sort of thing....because mom's big rule is that you can leave NOTHING ON THE CRAFT TABLE! Then there's another rolling cart that you can't see to the right that has different kinds of craft/construction paper/cardstock, that kind of thing. Excuse the litter box under the table. Nice touch, eh? And not even clean! I have no pride...

This picture is to the left of my craft table. It shows our very old, very ugly, very indestructible kid-sized craft desk. Maria is too big for it now, but Jack is starting to use it. Then that's our easel next to it...chalkboard on one side, painting surface on the other.

And this one is the hoosier cabinet. It contains all kinds of goodies. The bins on the top contain play dough and cutters, glue guns and glue sticks, the middle contains a bajillion craft books and assorted coloring/activity books, the bottom shelves have lots of glue, paint stamps, markers, pencils, color wonder stuff, crayons,,,the top of the cabinet has a Lite Brite and a pottery wheel, and the left side of the cabinet has my sewing/knitting supplies. This is just the top half of the cabinet. The drawers/cabinet underneath contain scissors, paints, and myriad other supplies, as well as a place for "found materials" (i.e., oatmeal canisters, coffee cans, egg cartons). Maria is famous for hanging onto "useful things", things other families refer to as "trash",,,so now she has a space for it, and the rule is that if the cabinet gets too full to close properly mom gets to clean it out with a trashbag.

This last picture is of the back of the craft room door...this shoe hanger holds all kinds of things...craft sticks, pompoms, pipecleaners, glitter, stamps, all those things no self-respecting crafter would be without. And yeah, there's no door trim. There's no trim through most of our house. After we finally finish paining everything, I'll start nagging John to do all the trim.

Maria uses this room *every day*. If she's not in her bedroom, she's in here, making something.

This room is not just a craft room, by the way. On the other side of the hoosier cabinet is a freezer, and a bookcase containing baskets of outdoor toys. On the other side of the easel is the washer and drier, and the back door!

To follow...pictures of the new-but-still-unfinished school room.....

3 comments:

Entropy said...

Way cool!

I've got the bug too and some bliss...I hoping for the whole house to be blissfully organized. That's not too much to ask is it?

Catholic Wife and Mother said...

Oh, I have so much fun organizing and this blog entry was a joy to read. It's always fun to see how others do things.

That litter box is too funny!

Nice blog!

Anonymous said...

I love to see how other's do things too. It's amazing the things that are so simple that you've never thought of...like the door hanger idea, that was from a website I found recently!

--Mel