Having an organized homeschool means knowing where you should put things away, it doesn’t mean you won’t ever have to put things away again. Sad, but true. Here are the little ways I’ve made putting things away easier at my home, and I hope they will inspire you to find unique solutions in your own home!
Keeping Lesson DVDs Handy
We use DVD instruction for math – Math-U-See – and Latin – Latin for Children. I know I’m incorrigibly lazy, but still I simply cannot consistently keep the DVDs in their cases and the cases in their right spot. Well, really, the trouble seems to be putting the DVD away, right away, into the correct case. I wish I could blame the children for this lapse, but the fault is pretty much completely my own. The first week of school in the summer and in January, I can make myself be good. I can hover by the lesson, eject the DVD, and put it back into its case, and put the case away. Then, one day I don’t get the DVD out right away. So, the next day, when a different DVD needs to go in, I now have a DVD in hand that I had forgotten about. I end up either just setting it down outside a case (I know! It’s terrible!) “for now” (i.e. until we need it again and I have to go find it by turning over all the randomly placed DVDs that are upside down around my desk area) or I put it into the case of the DVD I am now inserting. And then what happens to that DVD when it comes out? The same process, over and over, until, when I can’t find a DVD I must resort to both hunting for DVDs around my book piles (while berating myself that I am ruining them) and having to look in every DVD case we own, because it could be anywhere.
Drives me crazy.
So, now I suppose it’s clear why I like iPods and digital music, eh? Just thinking about using CDs gives me a tension headache.
Last year I tried a portable-sized basket for all the cases we’re using so that the right one is handy. That should have worked. But, no, turns out that opening a case, taking out a DVD from the drive, putting in the needed DVD, then opening up the right case and putting the previous DVD away, and keeping all the cases put back into the nice basket was simply too many steps, too much to track, too fastidious for me. It might have been pinnable (the basket was cute! It looked organized!), but it just didn’t work for me.
So, this year, I decided I was going to conquer this problem. After all, the number of DVDs in use are only on the increase at this point! 3 instead of 2 math books and 2 instead of 1 Latin levels. It was going to get insane. I figured my choices were 1) figure out something totally unconventional that did not require multiple openings and closings or 2) change my personality.
I opted for the first choice.
I cast about my house, my mind, and the office supply store. I tried out a few ideas. And, by George, I think I got it.
Nota Bene: I forgot to repaint my nails before taking any of the photos for both of my 31 Days series. Oops. Keepin’ it real.
In each crate (which I’ll get to next week) that needs DVDs, I simply put a CD-holder binder insert. I had a 3-ring binder with a bunch of conference CDs I’d bought a few years ago. Of course, I uploaded them all into iTunes and didn’t really need the CDs tidily organized anymore. So I took out one of those inserts, emptied it of the CDs, and stuck it in a hanging file in the appropriate crate. Now I can slip DVDs in and out quickly and easily.
It’s been 11 weeks, not 1, and this solution is still working smoothly. No more DVDs laying around who-knows-where, shiny-side-up, waiting to be ruined.
- Type of container: Hanging folder
- Organizing materials: DVD sleeves for a 3-ring binder
More on the crates coming soon.
I like this set up because
- The number of steps required to get out and put away the DVDs is greatly reduced.
- The DVDs are kept near their related lesson books. So, when I pull out the bin, I have everything I need.
- I didn’t even have to buy anything new. I used what I had.
Perhaps I’m reinforcing the negative side of my personality, but I am still pretty tickled about my Simplified DVD Storage solution!
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).
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