This is my first post here, so please bear with me!
Our principal has asked that I investigate ways to display our school's lost and found items without them being thrown in a big, bottomless pit of a box. No one wants to dig through all of the smelly clothes, and our lost and found is getting out of control! Does anyone have any great ideas for how to display/store lost and found items? I've tried doing a Yahoo search, but have come up empty-handed. Any ideas will be greatly appreciated.
At our elementary everything was first put in a big box in the office. Then anytime there was an event at the school(conferences, family events, etc.) the staff would put out folding tables near the front doors and lay everything out so parents could see it. Lastly, a couple of times a year, if things had been in the bins for a long time, they were donated to charity. Notification was given of this to students and through the newsletter to parents.
Our elementary school has a really sturdy chrome metal clothing rack installed on the back wall of the cafeteria. Maybe about 6 feel long. It has rack shelf on top and then a horizontal bar to hang clothes. (So a metal/chrome version of how you hang clothes in a closet, except this is just on the wall.) There's a big sign and teachers are asked to check with students at least once a week when they are at lunch.
Here's a link to a picture similar to ours. Note - I know nothing about that company, just using as an example.
Another good option is to buy rolling clothing rack like is used in the fitting room area of retail stores. The kind that is heavy duty and has the wire bin in the bottom for non hanging items. Then you can hang clothes on hangers and put the bulky items in the bin. I've seen those, but not sure of sources. With that kind you can move it around. You definitely want high quality for that. The inexepensive home versions won't last.
You know, I was just thinking how cool it would be to take pictures of the lost and found items, and put them up throughout the year maybe, on the school or PTO website. If this was done throughout the year it probably wouldn't take too much effort.
Then you could keep the items in a sort of storage container, or closet, so that the items could be located easily.
Send home a flyer letting parents know that they can view the clothing online and can then send an e-mail requesting a specific item (because it belongs to them), or come in to claim it.
They could come in and say, "lost and found item J-53 is my son's jacket."
Just a thought, but rather than have the parents, or the kids, digging through all of that stuff, they could just look at the pictures online and more easily find what belongs to them.
You know, I kind of like this idea and may recommend it to the Principal as the lost and found at my children's school is the same way right now. I think I may need to submit this idea to PTOtoday magazine!
We have a rolling clothes rack that we wheel into the hall anytime parents will be in the school. Like for assemblies, confrences, and PTO events. The stuff still seams to stick around. I believe we donate it to charity at the end of each year.
Since it gets hung up as soon as it is "found" it does not smell too bad.