The first step is to admit that I have a problem. Seriously....how can having so many beautiful borders be a problem? It is definitely NOT a problem. The real problem here isn't my huge collection of borders, but how I'm storing them.
I am about to share something very personal with you. Something that I just don't show anyone. It's dark. It's messy. It might even make you think less of me. This is how I store my borders. Don't scroll down unless you really think you can handle it.
It was a really long box that some specialty paper I ordered came in. When it was barely full, this was a great and inexpensive solution. Well...it was great for about 2 weeks. I just kind of laid the borders in after I pulled them down and dug through them to find what I needed. It created a beautiful mess.
Look at that! Isn't it beautiful? Can you see the bright colors, the brilliant designs, the clever, realistic images, the wavy scrolls of happiness?
It was pretty and it was fun to dig through but it really took an enormous amount of time to find what I wanted. More importantly, it was quite a distraction. As I started digging for the border I was looking for I would find a couple of packs of border that I bought with a specific bulletin board in mind and would start dreaming of that instead of searching for whatever I was in there for. It is like going into Target for just one thing. *laughing* I can't even type that without laughing!
Recently I decided to organize my bulletin boards. I would love to say that I researched it for hours, but nope. I had a few great blog posts about this topic pinned. You might enjoy reading about David Row's tidy organization tips or this cute container idea from the Primary Peach. I didn't use those ideas. I knew what I wanted.
I wanted a way to organize my borders by theme. I considered a large under the bed plastic container, but the ones that I found wouldn't accommodate my longest borders and they did not have a flat bottom. This meant that if I used it, the borders would still be a little messy.
My local teacher had a solution that worked with how I wanted to organize them. I bought 4 long border boxes and one set of dividers for these boxes. Then the real work started. In the picture about you can see some of my sorting. I decided to put the borders in four different categories: Music (because I teach music), Rainbows/Patterns, Seasonal and Solids, Everything Else
This worked for my collection and worked with how I think about bulletin board displays. You may need to choose a different way to organize based on your classroom needs. For example your categories might be: Reading, Math, Nature, Solid and Patterns
I must admit. It is a little weird to see my wild, curly, colorful borders all lined up and standing at attention. It is also wonderful! I can flip through my categories and find what I need or just be inspired. Yep. That's right I let the borders inspire me!
Another confession: I threw away old, yucky borders. I threw away those little plastic sleeves that held one bulletin board border from ten years ago. I threw away pieces of borders that had been cut to size, because seriously...what size was that board? I'll never remember. I threw away my old, beloved box. I actually found fifty cents at the bottom of the box, so I bought myself a soda when I was finished. That was nice.
Look at the pretty home my borders live in now! Now that they are organized I have room to buy MORE borders. That makes me happy.
Now that my borders are organized I have to do something with all of my other bulletin board goodies. How do I store tablecloths, paper plates in lovely designs, notepads, recorders, posters...I think I've even got a pair of overalls in there. I think this will have to be a project for another school year.