Sunday, January 24, 2010

Organize My Space

I have been reading a lot about office space for the Family Daycare Provider. This usually happens around Tax time since we need to get everyones invoice together and out to the appropriate people... and usually we have to look for it under a huge pile of "stuff" that has accumulated throughout the year.

Having our business in our home we have to carve out a space for the paper part of it. Important Files, Applications, Extra Applications, Supplies, Printers, Computers, etc... you get it!! Yet, when your in your home you don't want to give over every piece of it to your business, especially since you need it for the kids. I am finding that I don't want to take anything away from anyone else (the kids, the family, the household) so what to do. I have been watching Bev, at A Part of Our Day, working in her home office and making it use able again. I just wish I had a big enough space like that.

Yup, like Bev I can't believe I am showing my mess... but I need some ideas. I haven't even showed you the actual computer/printer area upstairs since I am not allowed to go on the second level of the house while daycare is in session. I hate that because during nap I would like to get some of my printing done while the kids sleep I just don't know where to put it so it doesn't take up kitchen space and the kids can't get at it.

I have all my supplies for the kids in the garage on large shelves my husband built for me. It is great until we have to clean out the playroom and I put it all in the garage with the intention to sort through it immediately (yeah right). I have stuffed my papers in a cupboard near the stove and than anything I kinda use on a daily basis or don't want to put away yet because I MIGHT use it is located in a jumbled pile on a kitchen counter next to the fridge. ARGH!!! I need to get organized.

(yes, my parents see this pile... I try to organize it every weekend... but it lasts a few days)
OK, Friends who stop by... what do you do?? Do you have a small space for yourself that you keep relatively neat and organized?? I want to make the business end of my Childcare Home easy so I can just spend time with the kids, I won't need to worry that when my Consultant comes, "Do I have everything she needs??"
I know I am not alone... I belong to a forum of Childcare Providers and I read the threads about organization. There are a lot of us in this situation, I am going to begin today sorting through that jumbled pile of mess on the counter... and maybe repurpose that area?? I'll keep you updated.


  1. This my dear is my largest weakness. Well, the first one.. is an addiction to teaching materials and the second is no time to put them away properly. As we speak one of my moms is in my resource room organizing some for me. Yesterday on my way home from a conference I stopped at one of my favorite " getting places" and got more. BUT I NEEDED THEM FOR THE CHILDRENS CELEBRATION OF THE CHINESE NEW YEAR. I DID JUST LEAVE A CONFERENCE THAT PUMPED ME UP ABOUT SHARING OTHER CULTURES IN MY CLASSROOM... JUSTIFIED RIGHT? probably not... I cant offer solutions.. only say. I understand.

  2. Oh, should see the storage room I emptied this weekend! My camera batteries died on Friday so I didn't get pictures. Your "mess" pales in comparison. My office mess pales in comparison. I'm praying for that the blizzard will hit tonight so that we don't have to open tomorrow because there is no way I'm going to get the mess in the family room and playroom cleaned up by tomorrow.
    But here's what I'm doing: you saw pics of my monthly drawers. Those are books that fit the theme, and whatever other materials I can fit in there. I'm also working on sorting out things to have totes for the different centers. That way I can just grab whichever tote I want to take to the playroom when I need to rotate. I don't rotate enough because it's a pain in the butt. I wish I had your garage shelves in my storage room...but stacking totes works too. I also have shelves that came from a department store that I'm sorting games and extra stuff on.
    Do you have room for a small amoire for your computer stuff? That would have doors to keep fingers out. It may take a bit of precious space, but sometimes convenience is worth that.
    Also, I have discovered that the best way to get started is to completely clear out an area and then start refilling it. However, in your garage, it may work better to sort as you remove it from the shelves, then get containers to fit everything in. I'm a huge fan of totes and label makers.
    Oh, by the way, for the kitchen counter paperwork...Walmart has these clear dividers that hold paperwork and stuff. I have two with three dividers that I have on the wall in the entryway and one in the playroom. I also have a magnetic with little cubbies that I stuck to the fridge.

  3. Oh my! This was exactly my house and how my office looks like now. Super! Because I have a very busy schedule, I don't have enough time to clean every mess I make, everyday. But I do want to have a clutter-free environment so I do the very best that I could to make it work.

  4. I am glad I am not alone!!!! It is always a work in progress.