I’d like to give you some great tips on organizing your Children’s Ministry. But first, I feel like I should confess that this article has been written out of pure necessity, and not because I am a remarkably organized individual. In fact, I have a tendency to allow things to PILE before I finally block out some time and tackle the cleaning and organizing. I am realizing in this moment that I am not a shining example of the Proverbs 31 woman. So, please take comfort in the fact that you may naturally be more organized than me!
I will be sharing a few tips on how to get organized in your Children’s Ministry areas. Everything here is based on the assumption that your church is like most churches in that there is very little storage and absolutely NO EXTRA SPACE. If you have extra space, well good on ya! The rest of us don’t, so no bragging please.
1. Store only the necessities.
Each classroom is allowed a small amount of shared storage space, so we keep only the regularly used supplies stored in those rooms. Things like scissors, glue, pencils, pens, markers, and crayons. Then, we have a community closet that we keep additional, commonly used items such as pipe cleaners, fabric, yarn, beads, ribbon, etc.
When cleaning out the storage spaces I found some items that we used for special projects. These items are not going to be needed again anytime soon, so they will be donated, given to a crafty lady in the church, or thrown away. Yep, I said it: “Throw it away!” If you are anything like me and possess the “hoarder” gene, throwing things away is very difficult for you. I get it. I suspect that every single Children’s Pastor in the world struggles with this issue. After all, craft supplies are not cheap and we want to be good stewards! If you are holding onto THREE bags of moss from eight years ago in hopes that you will someday need to use it in Kids Church…get a grip! There are at least a handful of third-graders in your church that can use that moss for their diorama projects this coming year in their Science Classes! Just let it go!
I wasn’t kidding when I said that I was writing this out of pure necessity!
2. Label absolutely everything!
When it comes to labeling, there is no such thing as too much information. Ok, maybe there is, but there is no reason to be brief. Make sure to put items in clearly marked containers. I like clear containers so that if I’m not feeling up to reading, I can just see what is inside. But either way; clear container or not, just label it! And for goodness sakes, invest in the dollar store containers and make sure that each thing has its own container. There is nothing worse than having to store Popsicle sticks and pipe cleaners in the same box.
Looks like I need to take my own advice and label some things.
I would also recommend putting a date on your labels; particularly for things like glue and paint and for things like moss that you may not use in the next year or so. This way, when you come back to clean again in a year or so, (because let’s face it: you will be!) you can toss the items that are old, dried up, or haven’t been used.
3. Schedule (and hold to) regular cleaning dates.
This last tip has really just been written out of ambition. I really WANT to do this more than once a year, so that I don’t have to block out an entire day to accomplish it. Just imagine for a second how amazing it would be to periodically check in on your supplies, organize the items that are out of place, and tidy up. It’s so sweet to think about, isn’t it? If you and I could accomplish this, we could cut down on waste, duplicate supply purchases (oh yes, it happens), and clutter. People would walk by our supply storage and gawk in amazement at our organization. It’s possible. It could happen!
It seems reasonable to schedule a quarterly “tidy-up” date. Don’t forget to utilize the organizers in your church for this project. There are people in your congregation that LOVE to organize. Honestly! You could give them a bag of buttons and a little compartmentalized plastic container and they will organize the buttons by color, size, and the number of button holes and have it to you by the next day! Give them the opportunity to scratch that itch, they will love it! I’m going to give it a try.
Thanks so much for reading. I would love to hear your tips on organization! I could use all the help I can get!