Forum Q&A | Organization for Games/Props

Our last Forum Q&A topic was about end-of-the-year tasks for piano teachers.  I enjoyed reading your comments, as always!

Today, our new topic is all about organization.  I wanna know:

How do you keep your game materials and props organized?  Do you have a shelf, drawer, basket, folders, etc.?  Are you able to find what you need when you need it?  :)

Leave a comment below describing your system.  Maybe we can get a turn-out as good as the giveaway last week…100+ replies would be awesome!  :)  If you have your own blog, feel free to post a photo of your organizational system there and then leave a comment here with a link.

I’ll post my picture tomorrow.  Here’s my photo!  :)

PG
Joy Morin is a piano teacher in northwest Ohio (United States) who enjoys keeping her teaching fresh with new ideas and resources. ColorInMyPiano.com serves as a journal of her adventures in piano teaching as well as a place to exchange ideas and resources.

Joy has blogged 1132 posts here.

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14 Comments

  1. Posted 2 August 2012 at 10:32 am | Permalink

    I have my games in a couple different places. Most everything is located in a plastic file cabinet – I use dividers to keep the games separated and easy to get to. Since the cabinet is plastic, I “decorate” the front of it by keeping the most colorful and neat looking games in the very front of the drawer.

    The rest of my games are stashed away wherever they will fit in the studio! Larger items are stored under my wall-length desk, and some of the odd shaped items are tacked up onto my cork board.

    Most of all, I try to make it a goal to reuse containers and odds and ends. I’ll reuse items either for the games themselves, or for the containers that I store them in. It saves cost, looks just as nice if not better than things you might buy, AND it’s good for the environment!

  2. Leanne Lee
    Posted 2 August 2012 at 11:50 am | Permalink

    I currently have my games in drawers, organized according to type (note-reading, rhythm, early beginner, etc.). I keep all the cards for a game in a labelled Ziploc bag.

    I keep my seasonal games in labelled file folders, again using Ziploc bags to keep game components together.

    So far, this system is working for me!

  3. Posted 2 August 2012 at 12:46 pm | Permalink

    Oh the guilt is piling up again!
    Successfully cleaned out all music and theory/misc papers last week and repainted the studio – but the monster drawer with all that game stuff is still awaiting attention.
    Time is running out…
    Sorry – I haven’t actually answered your question – I’ll just wait to see others’ ideas, then scoop them (kind of like most of my blogging!)

  4. Kathy
    Posted 2 August 2012 at 1:47 pm | Permalink

    Sad to admit….I have very little organization when it comes to games. They are all shapes and sizes which makes it difficult. Some of the board games are in an expandable folder which is getting pretty full. So I’m all excited to hear what everyone is doing with their stuff!

  5. Posted 2 August 2012 at 2:06 pm | Permalink

    I actually work at two local studios, so I keep all of my games in one bag, and all of my teaching materials in another. I change things out every so often so we are not playing the same things over and over. I do have a cabinet in my office where I can store the “off season” games.

  6. Kat
    Posted 2 August 2012 at 3:45 pm | Permalink

    I love your site, all your hard work and ingenuity, by the way! I have my games organized by folders if they are card stock, and I use zip-loc bags to hold the small pieces, tokens, cards, etc. I have a basket next to my piano that holds my reward stickers, flashcards, book clips, and other small piano-teaching stuff that wants to float around. I keep all of this in a bookshelf placed very near the piano. I have to be very organized because I have very little room. I teach in my small living room and my daughter babysits a toddler so things have to be kept up out of reach. When I get the studio of my dreams, I will have some open shelves and and some bookcases hidden behind fabric that I can roll up and cinch as needed. I love the Martha Stewart look to organize my shelves.

  7. Laura
    Posted 2 August 2012 at 7:30 pm | Permalink

    I have a cubby system with six pull out baskets to store all my materials. I also have baskets under extra chairs for waiting parents and students. I like the ziplock idea and will try it this year. :-)

  8. Valerie
    Posted 3 August 2012 at 2:45 pm | Permalink

    About an hour ago, I found a tall cabinet with shelving inside that has DOORS! I am so excited to put in it my studio (well, the computer/piano room where I teach lessons!) and get better organized!

    I was getting frustrated because I have a filing cabinet, but some of the games I’ve made have pieces that are too long for ziploc bags, so I felt like I had some pieces for each game in bags and some in files…which does not make it easy to grab things quickly during lessons! I love those clear portfolios, though, and will keep an eye out for a sale on some.

  9. Posted 4 August 2012 at 6:44 pm | Permalink

    I have a small old tv cabinet near my piano where I keep my most often used piano teaching resources. I keep the gamecards inside a clear plastic box w/ smaller boxes inside for Rhythm, Notereading, Intervals & Misc. I keep the gameboards in 2 expandable tabbed file folders (1 for Early Elementary Concepts & 1 for Late Elem/Intermediate).

  10. Posted 4 August 2012 at 8:31 pm | Permalink

    I have file folder games in my file cabinet, Posterboard games stacked together, game cards are rubberbanded and in clear shoe boxes, and dice and game pieces in ziplocs in my baskets on my shelves. My biggest problem is quickly finding the game cards that go with the file folder or posterboard games. It just takes too much space to keep the cards in the files, or with the posters, and I frequently use the same cards (such as staff note cards) for more than one game.

  11. Posted 4 August 2012 at 8:51 pm | Permalink

    I just posted some pics on my blog of my game organization
    http://heidispianonotes.blogspot.com/2012/08/organizing-piano-games.html

  12. Aleta
    Posted 6 August 2012 at 1:45 pm | Permalink

    I have used see-through Ziploc freezer bags (3 sizes!) for storing individual games, and some plastic stackable milk cubes (about 13″) for storing those by category (rhythm; note identification and intervals; music history and more advanced materials). Beginner levels are in the front of each cube, more advanced in the rear. All my music camp supplies are stored in Rubbermaid containers by category (arts and crafts supplies, props for specific camps, outdoor game supplies, etc.) Each day or week I take out games for that week and put them near my teaching area. Otherwise, those cubes and containers of “supplies” are stored in another room so I don’t trip over them. I am hoping hubby will build me another nice cabinet for storage closer to my teaching area. All my books are in an open-front floor-to-ceiling cabinet 12″ deep and 36″ wide which we built years ago. It is also in my teaching area. I have a small open-shelved cabinet for miscellaneous supplies nearby.
    Since our daughter has just moved out and will be getting married in a couple of weeks, I’m looking forward to moving some things around throughout the house. (Things we do to occupy ourselves so we don’t miss the patter of “little feet.”)
    All pre-preped materials for individual camps with books and photocopies are in another container. So it was great to teach a camp this summer and not need lots of new prep (in light of the wedding). I had planned to teach a “new” music camp, but opted for a face-lift of one I’d taught last year!

  13. Fiona Mendes
    Posted 14 August 2012 at 9:24 am | Permalink

    For my 8.5 by 11 games, I store them in file folders. I found a coat hanger (that we never use ) with 3 extended arms . I used them to store games that are too big for file folders. I store the games concept-wise in a bigger ziploc bag and that goes over the arms of the coat hanger. It looks neat and organized and more important I can see everything at a glance.

  14. Jan
    Posted 14 August 2012 at 6:46 pm | Permalink

    I use a see- thru 9 drawer unit where I label each drawer in this order from top to bottom: Game Pieces, Alphabet & Keyboard, Rhythm, Note Names, Intervals, Key Signatures, Chords, Scales and Music Terminology. I can quickly find the games I want by category. Inside the drawer each game is stored in plastic storage bags and labeled. I used to get so frustrated when I wanted to teach a certain subject but couldn’t find the games fast enough which wasted alot of precious teaching time. The only organization I need right now is to have larger drawers for the addition of my new games. I would rather not have a lot of bins around. Wish I had some built in shelves. I like the Martha Stewart look too.

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