Getting Organized: Music Game Folders


© 2016

Today’s post is about organizing music games. (Some of you might have guessed that from the blog title, but just in case you needed further clarification… now you know for sure.)

But Sara, aren’t you organized already? I’ll be honest here. My studio does look pretty neat and clean on any given day. This might lead you to believe that I’m very organized.

… if you opened most of the drawers or cabinets in my studio,  you would be in for a bit of a surprise. Let’s just say this: they’re a tad unstructured.

Chaos happens.

I’ve been in my current studio space for a little over 2 years now, and as the studio continues to grow and change, the organization within has slowly but surely unraveled before my eyes.

Sure, I know where (most) things are, but they are faaaaaaar from being organized! I would show you pictures, but that would just be embarrassing.

Last week I decided to take some small steps towards reigning in the chaos.

Before I get into the whats and how-tos, let me tell you where I got this wonderful idea: The inspiration for this post comes from fellow teacher, Amber Danielson, and several other teachers in the fantastic Piano Teacher FunMaker forum on Facebook.

(This is one of my very favorite FB groups, and if you haven’t checked it out… you really should!)

… and now, a little story about how I’m starting to get organized:

Every journey starts with a First Step…


Late-night Laminating Party

The first step was to assemble all my materials. So I printed out a handful of games that I wanted to use this fall, got all my tools together,  and then brought them home for an exciting evening of laminating and assembling.

My life is really interesting, I tell ya.

What I Used:

… yes, I have TWO Crofton laminators from ALDIs. At about $20 a pop, they’re well-worth the investment. Unfortunately ALDI only carries them once or twice a year. Keep an eye out for them if you have an ALDI nearby! They will be listed in the “Specials” paper.

(Otherwise, there are lots of laminators on Amazon that are pretty cheap. One of my laminators is now 5 years old, and haven’t had any issues with it yet. Don’t be afraid of $20-30 models.)

About the Games: 

The games you see in this post come from the Teach Piano Today game of the month club. My students enjoy the cool graphics and fun titles, and I love the convenience and price. For $8, you get 4 new games emailed to you every month. Worth. Every. Cent.

Once I started the process, it was pretty easy…


Laminating by the light of Netflix…

I will readily admit that I love to laminate things. There’s something very therapeutic about covering things in hot plastic. I’m not sure what that says about me, but… there it is. I love to laminate. 

Please don’t judge.

What I Did:

  1. Laminated all game materials.
  2. Cut out cards/pieces and stormed them inside the folder pockets.
  3. Glued the laminated cover page to the front of the folder.
  4. Pressed firmly to make sure there weren’t any bubbles.
  5. Wiped glue off of my hands, shirt, and carpet.

These steps were intermingled with Netflix, a bit of wine, and hanging out with my cat. Typical Thursday night.

Here are some close-ups of the end results:

When I saw my games the next morning (once the glue had dried), I was really pleased. They were organized AND they looked really cool. I have quite a few more games that need to go through this process… but thankfully Thursday night is just around the corner.

… SO, there’s my first step in organizing my studio games.

My next step will be to reorganize the game drawers and figure out exactly how to store these folders. They’re so “pretty” that I kind of want to find a way that both organizes and displays these games.

Edit: I’ve decided to use magazine holders to keep them organized! 🙂

I hope you enjoyed this little post, and I wish you all the best of luck with keeping your music games organized! Remember:

Organization isn’t a one-time act. It’s a constant battle. Stay strong. You can do this.

How do YOU keep your games organized? Share your ideas in the comments below!

Looking for more ideas about games and materials to use in your studio?

Check out these posts:


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  • by Bridey @ Pianosaurus Rex Posted September 15, 2016 6:49 am

    I have to agree, there’s something quite soothing about laminating and collating music resources!

    Maybe we should start a support group for Laminator Addicts 🙂

    • by Sara @ Sara’s Music Studio Posted September 16, 2016 1:10 pm

      Haha! We could all have laminating parties together 😉

  • by Jan Posted September 16, 2016 12:15 pm

    If you are looking for free cardboard display shelves, check out your local bookstore. I used to work at a bookstore and we always had oodles of them.

    • by Sara @ Sara’s Music Studio Posted September 16, 2016 1:09 pm

      Great point, Jan. There’s a small bookstore in our mall – maybe I’ll check it out next time I’m there!

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  • by prenotpianoTammy Posted October 21, 2016 9:18 am

    When I bought pocket folders at Office Depot, I bought so many that I just took the sturdy cardboard holder they were standing in (each one probably holds 50 empty folders) to the checkout register. Since I bought so many folders, I wasn’t charged for the holders and this is what I’ve been stacking my finished game folders in (laminated like yours, of course – so fun!). But now those holders are so overstuffed, folders are bursting out of the holders’ sides, and I need a better solution – even more so than the display shelf in the post or these holders from the store I have. I’m looking forward to hearing how others store and organize their games if they’ve been at this for awhile.

    • by Sara @ Sara’s Music Studio Posted October 21, 2016 10:09 am

      Wow! Sounds like you have a ton of games, Tammy! That’s awesome.

  • by Dana McCabe Posted April 10, 2017 3:19 pm

    I do the same thing with my games, but I store them in a file cabinet drawer. I have a color-coded system that organizes by topic and use the dot-stickers that my mom calls “Garage Sale Stickers” on the edge of the folder. That way if I’m looking for a game on Note Names, I can see all the folders with a red sticker.

    • by Amy Watt Posted August 3, 2017 5:00 pm

      DanA, love that idea of using garage colored stickers for the different categories. would you mind sharing The names of your categories?

      • by Sara Campbell Posted August 8, 2017 2:11 pm

        Lots of good ideas here! 🙂

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