Guest Author - Denese Tyler
If you are a leader like me, you have Girl Scout stuff in all areas of your house. A few lifetime leaders I know have dedicated one spare bedroom or a basement area of their home just for Girl Scout materials. Here are a few ways some of those veteran leaders have shared for organizing all that stuff so that it does not take over your home.
Use hardware bins used for nuts and bolts for organizing badges, patches, beads, and small craft items. The bins are like a mini chest-of-drawers with 25 drawers for sorting small items into. Most bins come with a handle on top, so it could be carried to meetings.
Use baseball card sleeves placed in a notebook to find badges easily.
Use Snapware products. One Snap 'N Stack box snaps to the box below it. The top box has a lid with a handle. The rectangular ones have an inner tray with three small compartments that are good for holding merit badges. Use different boxes for different categories.
Store badges in a canceled check or coupon organizer. They usually expand pretty well and they can be found at the dollar store.
Store badges in a plastic file box in baggies organized by type.
Store badges in Ziploc bags. Put each patch in its own bag. For example, put all Thinking Day patches in one Ziploc bag. Then file them in a shoe box or Rubbermaid box in a way that makes sense to you - alphabetical order or all petals, then all event, then all fun, etc. You can also use a permanent marker to color-code the tops of the bags by type.
If several troops in your area have left over supplies from activities that probably wont be repeated, host a silent auction at a service unit meeting. Leaders bring in everything from party leftovers (crafts, decorations), yarn, clay, left-over patches from events, extra patches that weren't earned, patch program books, extra paper (we love papier mache), magazines and anything and everything else that is cluttering our houses. The service unit could use the silent auction money earned for a girl event.