Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Intentional, Organized Listening for the Car: Our 14th Mini-Project for the 52 Weeks of Organizing Our Home(school) Challenge

We have a problem here.
One day just over a week ago, I went out to my car to find a loose CD on the passenger’s seat. My husband had used the car for something and, obviously, had not cared to listen to the children’s music that was in the CD player, so he’d ejected the CD and tossed it on the seat.

Now, you’d think that this small act would not phase me, since the rest of my car has been sorely in need of a clean up anyway. But, it did.

There was a place for CD’s in the car and floating CD’s can get sat on scratched, lost or ruined. That said, I cannot blame my husband for not putting the CD back where it belongs. As I looked at our CD box and bag in the car, I realized a greater problem: There are far too many CD’s in the car in the first place. I had never taken out the entire collection I’d put into the car in the spring for a long road trip we’d taken. So, we had two problems and one wish, it seemed, to deal with:

  • Problem One:  We needed a CD organization system in the car that would make accessing CD's and putting them away easy.
  • Problem Two:  We needed a limit on how many CD's we would store in the car.
  • Wish:  I wanted the selection of CD's in the car to reflect our mission, goals and homeschooling curricula.  In other words, to encourage a love for God, others, movement, working, playing, beauty and learning and to include fun enrichment for the kids. 
Thus, it was time for a bit of thoughtful reorganization, Organizing Junkie P.R.O.C.E.S.S style.

Plan your attack.
The box and bag in the car containerized the CD’s kept them accessible for grabbing, but the sheer number of CD’s in the car made it hard to find or put away any particular one, especially when driving. Since a friend recently handed an unwanted visor CD holder to us, I decided to use it. That way, this mini-project could be completed for FREE in one afternoon around the kids’ play and rest times.

Remove items from the space.
While the kids were engaged one morning, I ran out to the car and grabbed the box and bag which housed our in-car CD collection. Quick and easy.

Organize stuff into piles, sort & purge.
Not so quick;y, I took all CD’s and cases from the bag and box and sorted them, putting CD’s in their correct cases and making piles of CD’s or cases that somehow were without partners. Since we listen to and enjoy all of the CD’s still, I chose not to permanently purge any through donation, sale or trashing, but rather to simply limit the number that I would put back into the car to ten and to find a new home for the rest.

While doing this, I took the time to catalogue over half of the CD’s in a database by title, artist, subject, themes, concepts/skills, before I realized I was getting distracted by a secondary project – cataloguing our family’s music collection. That project is a time-consuming one, and one I am not sure is a good use of time. For while it may help me to better access our CD’s when planning specific lessons and activities, it will not do much to alleviate a more immediate problem in our home – clutter!  Truly, there are far more important tasks to tackle that I literally trip over some days.  So, I got myself away from the cerebral, computer task and back to the initial concrete task I had begun:  organizing CD’s for intentional listening in the car.

I selected ten CD’s to put back in the 12-CD holder based on when the kids and I usually find ourselves in the car, what our needs are at these times (calming, alerting, fun, learning, etc.) and what part of their curricula might be supported by certain CD’s (such as faith formation, reading/literacy, music appreciation, etc.)   In other words, I chose some Classical Music, Lullabies, Scripture Songs, Classic Children’s Songs, Nursery Rhymes, Movement/SPD Break Music and Special Interest CD’s (dinosaur ones). That way, we have a variety of music at hand that can easily be popped in to suit whatever part of our daily rhythm we are in the midst of.  Relaxation? Quiet time? Faith formation?  Learning? Fun? Sensory Diet? All there!

(NOTE: One of the CD’s I selected is 28 Instant Songames - an early learning and sensory-motor friendly CD we love.  If you buy this CD from Future Horizons, using the code HAPPY, instead of purchasing it elsewhere, you can get 15% off and free shipping within the continental U.S. Plus, we’ll get a percentage of the sale to help us defray homeschooling and at-home therapy costs. In fact, you an use the code HAPPY for any purchase at Future Horizons (including conferences) and to get the same deal.)

Evaluate your plan.
Our new in-car CD storage plan is straightforward and simple.  Moreover, it works! 

It has made selecting and putting away CD's in the car so easy for me this week, and - bonus - the kids have been enjoying the "power" of asking for me to put the visor down so they can make requests.  The true test, however, came this past weekend when Hubby was in the car.  Guess what?  No CD's on the car seat.  So, I think we've found one easy solution to two problems and one wish.

Solve and simplify.
So far, so good.  No need to do any further solving or simplifying at the moment.  We just swap out the less-requested CD's sometimes, which we have already done with a few between writing this post.

Smile, relax and enjoy your hard work.
Trust me, I am smiling!

We have a solution, too!
It may seem like this mini-project was too simple and easy to be a true accomplishment, but I still count it as one. I feel that any baby-step toward better organization is a HUGE stride in the right direction for our home and family.  Plus, this step was less "baby" than it may appear. Between pauses to attend to the children and my Type-A need to begin cataloguing our CD collection in a database, the project took longer than I expected.  Through completing it, I not only got a little closer to the total home(school) organization I seek, but also made progress in disciplining myself to stay on one task at a time until it is done.

Now, I am pleased to have a system in place has already been helping us enjoy music time in the car with more intention and organization, not to mention less CD’s floating around on my passenger seat! Better yet, it was a (relatively) fast and frugal fix!

How do you make something as mundane as getting from here to there more meaningful and fun for your family? Do you have particular CD’s your children love to listen to?  What CD-storage systems have you found work best for your family in home or car? Please share in a comment.


This post is being shared as a part of We Are THAT Family's Works for Me Wednesday and will be shared as part of the Organizing Junkie's 52 Weeks of Organizing Challenge.

Disclaimer:  If you click on the Amazon Widget and make a purchase after you click, we will get a very small percentage of the money you spend back, which helps defray our homeschooling costs.


Related Posts with Thumbnails