Thursday, December 30, 2010

Organizing all of our "stuff"...Part I...

The past week off has given me some much needed rest and relaxation, time to recover from a cold, time to begin work on an upcoming IEP and time to do a bit of organizing.  My husband says I am very organized...I just laughed and told him to take a look at the stack of "stuff" next to me! 

A while back, I became convinced that I MUST organize every book I have!  So, I pulled out all the children's books that belonged to me and took them home to my very small home office.  I bought a new bookshelf and started organizing.
Yes, I know, the books are falling over...I need to replace quite a few I took out!
I decided to organize the books according to several broad categories.  Others may not agree with how I organized these books, but it is easy for me to find what I need.  Therefore, I'm sticking with it!  I kept it simple so I could quickly go through categories and find the books I wanted while planning for the upcoming week. 
A view of the dividers I made for each section.
So, basically, I sat down and created more piles of "stuff" in my very small home office...which, of course, did NOT help the organization for a while...and made me a bit claustrophobic in my very small home office!  In the end, it was worth it! 

I stacked the books according to the category I felt they fit into best and then alphabetized the books within each category. After I had each in the category I felt they belonged, and alphabetized; I typed up a master list and filed this in my teacher binder.

This way, when I am planning I can simply go to my master lists (I have one for home, one for school) go to the category I want and find the books I want to use in the classroom. 

The categories I decided to use are:
  1. "All About Me/Health/Community and Community Helpers",
  2. "Animals and Insects",
  3. "Colors/Shapes/Numbers/A,B,C's/Early Concepts",
  4. "Classics",
  5. "Cooking",
  6. "David Books",
  7. "Fall (Halloween, Thanksgiving)",
  8. "Garden/Planting",
  9. "Music",
  10. "Nursery Rhymes",
  11. "Rhyming Books/Concept Books",
  12. "School/Life Events",
  13. "Social Studies/Science Concepts",
  14. "Spring/Summer",
  15. "Winter/Winter Holidays"
My teacher binder with the first page of my "home master list" of books
Of course, you could divide the books up much differently.  I just wanted to keep things broad and easy to organize and, of course, easy to find when I needed a book quickly!  I kept to very similar broad categories when I made my master list for school books, so I could look up and find books in the same category both at home and school. 

After I categorized and alphabetized all the books, organized them on the shelf and typed up the master list, I made small dividers for each category. I simply printed off a label for each category, attached this to a large index card and slid it in between the books to divide the categories.  Now I have an easy way to find the children's book I want quickly while planning!

Now I'm off to replace those books on the book shelf...can't have that pile of "stuff" next to me when my husband comes home.  I'd hate to have him think HE'S the organized one!

Grab the "How Long is this Hall" Button!

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