Project Complete: Organize piano teaching supplies and music

This week I crossed off one project on my big list: Organize piano teaching supplies and music

I teach a few piano lessons each week as a little side job. I have found many great teaching aids online (worksheets, games, flashcards, etc) and I had previously stored them in a binder and a box. Well, that binder grew to three binders and a junky box, and things were out of control.

So I transferred everything to one file box. Games and worksheets can be quickly found now that they are organized by type (beginner finger numbers, rhythm, note naming, etc), and there is room at the front of the box to hold my flashcard sets and other game supplies.3-DSC_0045

This cute little box will now sit on the piano to keep pencils/pens, stickers, and dry erase markers in easy reach without rolling around the piano.4-DSC_0046

This basket sits next to the piano to corral my children current lesson materials. With three children taking lessons, their books need to be easy to reach and put away. 2-DSC_0044

In the fall I started work on organizing our music collection. The biggest issue was organizing sheet music, so I added a few labeled binders (our collection of Christmas music grows a lot every year since my husband I both end up accompanying various ensembles every season). I finished this up over the Christmas break. Now I have two shelves dedicated to music and it is all easy to find!1-DSC_0043Phew! It feels good to cross all of that off my list!

Jars and Boxes: Organizing my home

We love peanut butter at our house. I’m pretty sure that my husband has eaten a peanut butter sandwich every single day of his life. The Sweet Bee prefers to eat her peanut butter on a spoon. My favorite way to consume peanut butter is on a sandwich with homemade strawberry freezer jam and sliced bananas, or in these chocolate frosted peanut butter bars.

Needless to say, we end up with a lot of empty peanut butter jars. These jars are fabulous for storage, and I use them to organize all sorts of things, like this plastic animal set.

The jars are perfect for corralling small toys. Here you can see  how we use the jars to keep our animals, Polly pocket dolls, cars, and bottle caps all in their places.

I also like to use jars for craft supplies, like our pom poms, letter stamps, buttons, and googly eyes. Hmmm, all this talk of peanut butter jars is making me hungry for a peanut butter sandwich! You may notice that none of my jars are labelled. The beauty of these jars is that they are clear, so you can easily see what is inside. If you wanted to be all cute and crafty you could make some cutesy labels. The one time I tried that, my toddler ripped off the label in about three seconds flat, so my jars are staying label free for now.

My other favorite jars in my house are found in my kitchen. I use these to store my everyday dry goods: rice, flour, oats, brown, and white sugar. My favorite thing to eat for breakfast is bowl of oatmeal sprinkled with brown sugar and cinammon (hence the large jar for oats). I think the jars on the shelf add a little character to my kitchen.

Now, to the subject of boxes.

Once upon a time, a cute family of three moved into a nice two-bedroom town home in Florida. A few years later the family had grown to five people, and children’s items and toys were threatening to take over the space. After some thought, a solution was found: cubical storage and fabric boxes!This is our living room storage unit. It is comprised of three different shelving units we purchased from Target (like this one). This system has made a huge difference in our home.  Everything has its place, and it is much easier to clean up. Kid toys and books on the lower shelves, adult books and knick knacks on the upper shelves.

 The fabric drawers do their job well to conceal the toys. I printed, laminated, and tied on simple labels to make it easy at a glance to know which items belong in each box. I like the idea of including pictures for the non-reading children, but at the time I couldn’t find any clip-art that worked for me. My kids have still been able to figure out how to put things away. I don’t have a before photo to show you, but you’ll just have to believe me that this is much better!

We also picked up a 2-shelf unit to corral things in our entryway. We really have zero space by our front door, so this small unit is used to organize kid shoes and bike helmets. The bigger girls each have a box, while Little Boy Z gets a shelf (he only has small shoes!).

Move into my kitchen/dining room and you will see this cute green box (yes, I have a thing for green, even if this box looks more yellow-ish in the picture). This box serves as my “control the paper chaos” container.  It is a constant battle to keep my counter clear of of paper clutter, but this box is my best tool. I have an inbox file for incoming mail or things that I need to deal with asap. A file for school papers. Each family member has their own file (this is where I temporarily store my children’s artwork, until we decide to toss it or save for posterity). A file for menu planning (I keep my printable grocery shopping lists here).

I am still tweaking this system, but hooray for less paper cluttering my counter!

Lastly, we spend a lot of time at our house coloring and glueing and crafting. In August I saw a cute red caddy in the dollar aisle at Target, and I knew it was just the perfect tool to organize our basic art supplies.Colored pencils in one slot, markers in another.  Two peanut butter jars (of course!) keep the crayons and scissors and glue sticks sorted. Toss in a couple of bottles of glue, and we are all set. The caddy fits in my craft cupboard, and it is so easy to just pull out and use whenever anyone gets a creative urge. This caddy was inspired by a post I saw at IHeart Organizing.

Organizing a home is one of my favorite hobbies. Life runs so much smoother when everything has its place. I still consider myself a beginner in this area, but I love to browse online and see all of the great ideas for managing a home. My current favorite blog to read is IHeart Organizing. Jen has so many fantastic ideas I could devote an entire board on Pinterest to just the ideas I have loved on her site! If organizing a home his is a topic that interests you (with everything from kitchens to bathrooms to offices to kids school papers and toys and clothes and…), be sure to check out her blog here.

Thanks for coming along on my organizing journey today!