PInterest is a grand resource for the Sandwich Generation

An Artfully Organized Grandma!

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PInterest is a grand resource for the Sandwich GenerationHave you visited Pinterest yet? It's a fun site with so many great ideas and I'm enjoying adding to my "libraries" of ideas for such things as Sandwich Generation issues, grandparents and grandkids ideas, caring for aging parents, holiday fun, and more.

With school starting for our kids and grandkids, I've noticed a lot of great organizing ideas there, as well as at various homeschooling blogs I visited this past week. I'm especially enthralled with all the lovely, and very organized, work areas for kids and grandkids' school supplies, books, etc. In the lovely photos, you'll see a place for everything and everything in its place. Sadly, my brain rarely works that neatly. And even if it did, the Sandwich Generation issues I deal with on a daily basis don't really  "play nice" with those wonderful systems.

On any given day, you might find me working with grandkids at my house, their house, or at one of a couple of different homeschool coops. BUT I DO have a fairly organized system for our various art projects we are working on. It's been a big help for keeping me organized and on task AND it goes with me everywhere. Thus, I thought I'd share it with you in case you have similar needs.

This Sandwich Generation granny nanny LOVES these types of totes for organizing

I bought a nice medium-sized tote with handles on the side. I used Ziplok bags to bag up each type of item we are using such as:

  • glue
  • regular pencils
  • artist pencils and oil pastels
  • Crayola washable markers
  • paint pots
  • paint trays (VERY messy, I might add – I've buried those in the bottom, just for emergencies 🙂 )
  • colored tissue paper
  • Purell and baby wipes (aren't those the handiest things!)

I put them all in the tote, along with their drawing paper (too big for my bags), any books we are using, homework notes, etc. 

This artfully organized Sandwich Generation grandmother has paint brushes in one baggie and cleaning supplies - purell and baby wipes - in another

Crayola washable markers - colored pencils - scissors - this grandma has each in their own big bags

I bagged some specialty items - like these pastels and artist pencils - together

When we are working at one of our homes or a class coop, I just pull out the items I need, and I'm ready. Sometimes I have to dig a bit (I tried alphabetizing it all but decided it wasn't worth it). Having them all in the bags makes it much easier to sort and find items AND keeps everything tidier.

After each project or class, I just gather it all up, toss them into the tote willy nilly, and make sure I tidy and rebag it all later when there are fewer distractions and less supervision needed.  I just need to clean it BEFORE the next time I need it. 🙂

I do have to be sure I get all their work papers and books back into the tote immediately each time we work so I don't repeat my first week when I left their workpapers for a class at my home and didn't have them for their coop class!

This Sandwich Generation grandmother and caregiver does get lots of interruptions so I have to be sure to put things away ASAP before I forget

Overall, though, this has been a big help and I've enjoyed having everything ready and easy to find each time we have an opportunity to work, no matter where we are. I'm going to have to set some more of these up for some of our easy crafts projects we love! How about you? Do you have any great organizational tips for all of us in the Sandwich Generation? And/or are you on Pinterest? We'd love to hear!  And, if you'd like to find other grandparents online, check out GRAND Social and Grandparents Say It Saturday. Also…

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    • debra
    • September 10, 2012

    That’s alot to organize but it looks as if this system is working! 🙂

  1. I LOVE Pinterest (and just followed you over the weekend!). 😀 Such great stuff there. I don’t have any great organizational tips to share and don’t really pin many of those now that my kids are gone and have little reason to organize crafts for kids at home. Well, I guess I should amend that…and start pinning…for organizing all my freelance papers and files and such has become a nightmare, despite a couple filing cabinets and storage systems. Yep, I bet get pinning.

    Thank you for sharing this on the GRAND Social! You always have such great ideas, for organization and otherwise!

  2. I am afraid to do Pinterest! I know I would end up spending way to much time on it and I already spend to much time on this silly computer! But I love how organized you are!

  3. I like the fact that you are organized but not obsessively organized! (I know you tried to put it all in alphabetical order)It is easy to spend so much time organizing that it takes up more time than it saves! Your plan keeps it organized AND simple! Thanks for sharing!

  4. I’m a natural born slob, no kidding! but I love to be organized and I have to really work at it. So I have to hand it to you. That’s a great job you are doing there with all that going on! I start off trying to be neat and clean and organized, but soon it gets tossed out the window in favor of just getting it done! Sigh…..maybe when I’m olderer I’ll have that kind of parience? Thanks for linking with me!

  5. 🙂 I tried obsessive organization once for about two weeks – it almost gave me an ulcer. 🙂 I learned that my gifts just aren’t in that area, much tho I would sometimes like them to be. Especially when I watch a couple of friends who DO have that gift and they do it so easily and effortlessly. Ah well, God gives each of us special gifts and I love mine so I will not complain. 🙂 And as you wisely pointed out, it does work well. 🙂 Have a blessed week!

  6. I know what you mean, Grandma Kc. So far, though, I have done OK without overdoing it. I have the Pinterest App on my iPhone And I have Pinterest’s little button at the top of my computer so I can click things easily. I primarily save exploring it for when I’m standing in line or waiting for a grandchild or senior parent. That way I can enjoy it but not overdo it. If you ever change your mind and start and account there, do let me know so I can follow you.

  7. Thank you for such sweet words of encouragement, Lisa! And you are so right – there are a TON of great organizational ideas on on Pinterest. Now if I just had the time to apply even 1/4 of them. 🙂 🙂 🙂 And thanks for following. I am following you already and WHAT A CUTE IDEA of the teeth out of apples, marshmallows, and peanut butter – – bet that would work in the pumpkin idea if you were REALLY careful 🙂 Do you think? 🙂

  8. Too true about the “Lot” but so far it’s doing good. I just have to stay on top of it. That’s something I’m NOT usually great at but I’m really working on it this time. 🙂 Thanks for stopping by Debra!

  9. Hehehehe – Connie, that is so me for so many things 🙂 I can TOTALLY relate. BUT I have an extra incentive with this in that we’re getting together with several friends and I really needed to be more organized. Hence this set-up. 🙂 It’s one of my many ways of “Making” myself be more organized. The funny thing is that I think my two parts of my brain keep fighting each other – coz I definitely HAVE great organizational skills – but like you, when it gets crazy my not-so-organized self takes over 🙂 🙂 🙂 BUT we SHALL keep on keeping on, right? 🙂

  10. CUTE!!!!

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