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Thursday, January 3, 2013

Office organization

"Office" is kindof a loose term at my house.  There are office supplies in just about every room in the house - binders above the TV, art supplies in the kitchen, workbooks on the microwave, filing cabinets in my daughter's room, and a printer in my husband's work area.  My main "office" and desk space is located in a corner of the living room, near the front door.

With the Christmas tree up, I was pushed to in front of the front door.

So that's where I've sat for the last month or so.  Kinda cramped.  The kids climbed over me to get to their books.  I have boxes of office supplies for one of my many endevors piled behind my chair.  There are Christmas decorations scattered throughout, trying to hide the desk.  The paper piles, however, are doing a better job than the decorations.

Set up: One trash can and a trunk organizer I found at TJMaxx for $9.99. It will eventually be used in the trunk, but it's too cold to organize my Suburban in January. So it's getting some indoor use before then.

Phase one: Declutter.
 
I use a four bin system: One for trash, one for sell, one for give away, and one for items to relocate.  I use my Reisenthel Carrybag for relocating stuff.
 
The first round of decluttering went well, but I didn't get into the boxes behind the chairs.  Still, it was nice to see the top of my desk!
 
 
And here's my office, all neat and tidy!


 
 
The Sterilite drawers were $25 from Big Lots.  ALL of the office supplies from behind my chair fit in them!

 
I also employed my new Brother P-Touch D200 label maker to print labels for each drawer.  If there was more than one kind of item, I just printed one label for each type.  I could have printed all of the items on one label, but I liked this better.  I can just read down the drawers and find what I need.

 
These bins are leftover from the old office on 3rd.  Two of them fit perfectly inside each of the drawers.
 
 
 
This bin was $11.99 from Hobby Lobby.  I used a 40% off coupon and got it for 7.20.  I wanted something with a handle that could hold all of the supplies I need for setting up booths or tables at events.  Nothing special, just sign up sheets, pens, and tape.  I plan to add brochures, buttons, and other material later.
 

Here's a shot from above the kids' bookshelf!  I have two clear letter sorters, one with work stuff and one with personal stuff. I also have my personal file box I got last season at Target.  I like the red accents, and plan to use them throughout the living room.


I used color-cordinating folders in the clear letter sorter.  These were pre-label maker, though I think I'll relabel them.  I also have a clip of library books, a few bookmarks, and a card from my husband on display.

 
This little desk was a small vanity.  The mirror arms were broken, and I got the piece plus a small bench and a small mirror for $5.  I junked the bench and the mirror, and gained a perfectly sized laptop desk.
 
I found the chair at Community Blessings, a small thrift shop in Mandan.  I believe it was a dining chair, just from the shape and the height.  I love it. If I had a whole room for my office, I would use the colors on the chair as my color scheme.
 
 
I needed something to test out my gold label maker tape on.


There is only one small drawer in the vanity/desk, so I took inspiration from pinterest and labeled some empty altoid tins for some basic supplies.  I also picked up a pack of pretty black pencils with Swarovski crystals on the ends at TJMaxx for $4.99.
 


 
This is were most of my paper stuff goes.  I use the magazine rack for my to-read items as well as clipboards for upcoming work.  I also keep a slim binder with page protectors to save inspiring magazine articles.  Most everything else gets tossed or shredded.  Rare exceptions are filed.  I try not to keep papers I don't need.  I also use Evernote to digitally file stuff I want to keep, especially kids artwork, letters, and receipts.  I just finished scanning my recipes into an Evernote notebook.  It's great for cutting clutter!
 

 

 

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

January Project: Declutter and Organize

I love the way the house looks after clearing out Christmas decorations, piles of new toys and new clothes, and clearing away bags and bags and bags of wrapping paper.  It looks a bit like a blank slate, ready for a new year.  I think that's why I always feel energized and ready to tackle major organizing challenges come January - Or maybe it's just the great sales on organizing supplies!
This year, I've decided to join a blog organizing party to help keep me motivated and on task.  Bonus: This one has some super great prizes!
Ask Anna

Over the next 4 weeks, I plan to organize my Office Space, Kitchen, Closet, and Family/Playroom.  Hopefully, I can get Neil excited to help as well, as that last one involves finishing putting up some sheetrock and doing some painting. *whew!*
You can do it too!  You can join the Organizing Challenge without a blog - you just need to set up a new Pinterest Board.  Here's a guide on how to set one up for this link party:
http://organizingmadefun.blogspot.com/2012/12/how-to-link-up-your-post-to-pinterest.html
I look forward to a fun challenge!

Monday, November 19, 2012

HST+: Using Library and Reading Log with Guided Reading

I've started to use HST to track the reading levels for the books in my collection. I use the Guided Reading scale, but you can do it with any scale you like. I like guided reading because the letters (A-Z) aren't easily confused with actual grade levels (except for K and maybe P).

Here's how I've been doing it:

First, I enter a new Library Record using the ISBN. I also lookup the level of the title, usually using Scholastic BookWizard. I enter the level in the "Grade Level" field. This way, that info shows up in both the Resource tab and the Reading Log tab. You could also put it in "Custom," but it won't display in the Resource or Reading Log tabs.

Next, I evaluate my student's reading level. You can figure out the level of books they read on their own, or use a tool like this one http://parents.pioneervalleybooks.com/assessments . I found this picks their "Instructional" level, not their "Independant" level, so keep that in mind. You could also do a benchmark assessment, or hire a reading specialist to do one for you.

Finally, I sort the Library tab by Grade Level and right click and "Create Reading Log item" to assign the book to a particular student.

Using this software, I can assign either independant reading or instructional (with me) reading for each student that's tailored to their reading level, and to my book collection.  I don't have to maintain sorted bins of leveled books, and I can continue to use the shelving system I already set up.