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We are a small church and have a few volunteers to do kids' activities for preschoolers. Over 3 years we have accumulated a large amount of craft materials and ideally we would like to get more organized. Each volunteer chooses their own activity to reflect the topic of the service. But we currently do not have an inventory for the crafts and the volunteers usually end up buying something. How do growing churches usually solve the inventory problem? A designated person to do the inventory? Planning ahead? What are you tactics? Please share! 


When I worked in Children's Ministry, I had a volunteer who organized all this for me. We had a huge supply closet and she organized all the supplies on shelves in that room. Each whole shelving unit had a letter and then the individual shelves on that unit had a number. She placed the craft items in different baskets and used circle stickers to mark where the item was stored on the basket. She also wrote down where everything was stored. For example if glue sticks were on the second shelving unit in and on the third shelf of the unit she wrote down, "Glue sticks B3" and then also put the glue sticks in a basket and placed a "B3" sticker on that basket. I typed all the information she had written down into Excel and printed out master lists organized by item name and by shelving unit, which we placed into the room. That might be a bigger system than what you're looking for, but it was very helpful! If you needed something you could just look it up on the list and then it told you which shelf it was on. We did have to clean it out about once a year though, as we had a lot of trouble with people not putting things back in the right place or leaving things in the room that didn't have a place. The volunteer that set it all up usually cleaned it out every summer for me.

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