Teaching resources and musings from the voice behind JWL

Clearing out

pile
The great clear-out comes round occasionally to most churches, it’s frequency depends very much on the people in the team, but children’s work does accumulate stuff.

This week I once again sorted through one of my files, clearing out space, and I thought I’d share a my tips with you for what to store and what to say goodbye to.

Here are the 10 questions I ask of any item…. do add yours in the comments section below.
 

Why am I so keen to downsize,
sort and clear, well….


I used to work for a church that was blessed with space. It had a huge balcony that was rarely used and so the kids work had been given space for storage.

We had boxes and cardboard of all shapes and sizes, metal boxes, tiles and rolls of fabric ends, leaver arch files full of past templates… to the creative it was a sight of wonder, but after 3 years there I recognised that many of the items would probably never be used.

The problem wasn’t with the materials but that many just didn’t slip easily into the work we did week to week. Especially as things go digital the paperwork gathers more and more dust, it’s incompleteness meant only those who remember them first time round ever source from it’s wealth.

It’s heartbreaking in a way to see the wasted potential but it taught me that it’s better to store less and use it all.

Clearing out
What would we really use this for?

Teaching material, crafts, seasonal or a training item?

Clearing out
Would I choose to use this again?

Just because they could be used again doesn’t mean they will be.

Clearing out
Only store 1 as a memory.

Keeping templates or completed craft, chose just one and store it.

Clearing out
Tear it up

Stops you changing your mind or someone changing it for you.

Clearing out
Is this the best item for the job?

Would you really spend the time to find this again?

Clearing out
Is this complete?

Does it need special materials to accompany it?

Clearing out
Can I re-source this?

Is it just as easy to gather, buy or print again?

Clearing out
How will I know this is here?

Will I see this in the storage area or do I need to note it down?

Clearing out
Why did we stop using this

Old material is very rarely re-used, is this just too dated?

Clearing outClearing out
Will this dominate my lesson?

Bible lessons are put together round the bible not the craft, would this easily slot into a lesson or would you have to plan a lesson for it?
 

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