During October, I’ll be showing you ways I’ve used what I had to organize what I use. “Organized” doesn’t necessarily mean it’s all matchy-matchy and cute, complete with chalkboard labels. It means that what you use is where you can find it when you need it. So here is how I’m doing that at my house. I hope it will give you ideas for being resourceful at yours.
My Coloring Book Collection
I absolutely love the Dover coloring books. The line drawings are artistic and beautiful, and they have coloring books for every school subject, every time period, and almost every interest. The paper is heavy and the quality is excellent.
Ok, yes, I’m cheap. But even at $3-5 each I don’t want to hand over the book to my 5-year-old and say, “Consume away!” I copy (with my printer/copier/duplex laser printer I love) the pages I wanted to use for school or for coloring time. Besides, then I can continue to collect new books rather than replacing consumed books. However, the copyright permissions in each book was not quite clear if this was permitted. The permissions granted were generous, but it didn’t clearly state that making continuous copies (for our own family use only) was ok. I read article after article online about copyright permissions, especially as pertained to homeschool education use and found the novel idea of simply asking for permission. I did so, via Dover’s website, and within an hour received an email back granting me permission “of course” to make copies for my family.
Organizing Coloring Books
So, with a growing collection of coloring books, clearly I need an organized set up so I can actually find what I want when I need it. Here’s what I’ve done:
We have an ugly, tall filing cabinet in our office right next to the printer/copier. Perfect place! One drawer in this cabinet is for our coloring books. For each coloring book, I have a green hanging file folder, with the name of the book written on the tab. I put all the tabs in the far left place, so they’re all in a row and adding a new one in the middle doesn’t mess up a staggered system. I file them in modified alphabetical order.
On the tab, before the title of the book, I write an initial that categorizes the book:
- A – art (including literature, like Famous Scenes from Shakespeare)
- D – designs (we all like the Geometric Designs to Color books)
- G – geography
- H – history
- N – nature
- T – technology (this is where the “historic sailing ships” and “history of flight” and “trucks” books go)
Then, to make copying easier, I also undo the staples on the coloring book and cut the edges of the pages so they lay flat. This way I can grab a sheet or two, lay them on the printer feeder, push “4,” and have 4 double-sided coloring pages quickly and efficiently.
This set up makes it easy to get relevant coloring pages. If it weren’t so easy, I probably wouldn’t do it nearly so often.
Also, check out my eBook Paperless Home Organization, which lays out step-by-step instructions for creating a home management organizer & planner digitally. Make that smartphone, tablet, or iPod touch a useful tool of your trade!
During the month of October, you can use the discount code organizing for $1.50 off the $3.99 retail price (pdf only).
Moms have a lot of details to keep track of. Here’s how to make your technology work for you, using only your mail program and 2 free apps.