Last week, you heard the tale of a young boy whose swimming talent yielded volumes of awards. You learned how The Boy’s professional organizer Mom created a DIY solution for swim medal clutter. Although the swim medal clutter was a challenge, those medals were no match for the volume of swim ribbons that came into their home each week during the swim season.
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When The Boy first began earning ribbons, they were prominently displayed on his bulletin board. But very quickly, the board was overtaken by ribbons, and the new ribbons that came in simply sat in a pile on The Boy’s desk. The Mom was not a fan of desktop clutter, so in an effort to free up her son’s desktop, she gathered the ribbons for each season together with standard binder clips and tucked them away in a bedroom drawer.
The Boy frequently looked through his ribbon collection. In doing so, he would remove the clips in order to view the information (event, time, place) contained on the stickers affixed to the back of each ribbon. This activity would lead to ribbon chaos, as loose ribbons from various seasons would become intermixed.
The Mom decided once again that this form of Swim Swag required an organizing intervention, so she took this project on as part of the Four Week Wait No More! Organizing Challenge.
The first step in the intervention was to use a hole punch to create a hole in the top center area of each ribbon (some ribbons come with a hole, while others do not). Next, The Mom used binder rings to gather a season’s worth of swim ribbons together (she used a variety of sizes, depending upon the number of ribbons within a given swim season).
Next, she designed a cute tag template using PicMonkey that would be used to identify the swim season associated with each set of awards ribbons.
She duplicated this tag template image several times within a Word document, using a text box within Word to insert the various swim seasons within the blank space in the center of the template. She printed this Word document, ran it through her trusty Scotch Thermal Laminator Machine, then cut out the individual tags and hole-punched each one.
She then used a series of Command Wire Hooks to create a wall display for the groups of ribbons.
The Boy was ecstatic that his awards were now prominently displayed in his room, instead of tucked in a drawer. Now, it was easy for him to flip through the contents of each binder ring while keeping the ribbons sorted in the way he liked (by Place).
Did I mention that The Boy has a sister who is also a fast swimmer? The Mom repeated the process with her ribbons, letting her sort her collection the way that she preferred (by Date).
By having their collection of swim ribbons displayed in an organized fashion, both children are regularly reminded of their awesome achievements. The life lesson of “hard work in the practice pool paying off in the competition pool” is reinforced each time they glance at their wall display.
The Mom was happy to have created a storage solution that honored her children’s achievements without creating clutter in their home.
What sport or activity is generating award ribbon clutter in YOUR household?
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