Because I think that it's a shame to have so many good resources and not utilize them, I have learned to use my digital camera to keep these teaching items more "in sight" and thus in better use. Whether it be my actually "real" camera or the camera on my phone, I find that this can be an excellent tool to help a)organize my things, and b)utilize them the best way.
The primary way I use my camera is to help keep track of items that I have. For example, I have several large clear plastic containers of general-themed teaching items. One is filled with games and activities that deal with "Numbers and Counting", one is "Shapes and Colors", and one is "Alphabet". Since these are things that can not really be filed in the number filing system, they live in their own container in the garage, and sometimes are forgotten. Therefore, this summer I took pictures off all of these items. Here are a few examples:
I then file them in my planning notebook that I refer to when I am making lesson plans (more about that on another day).
If I have an item that I want to go with a specific unit or in a lesson plan, I can paste that picture directly into the lesson plan where it would be used, since I plan my lesson plans on my computer. I can also insert the pictures into a document that I call "Items Available for (insert theme here)." This is what I do most often with my big books. Although I have a list of them in database that I can search by theme or unit number, sometimes I don't remember the actual book until I see the cover. (This is especially true for preschool books, when you might have three or four books titled "Bugs", or "Apples".) Therefore, I will paste the pictures onto a page like this:
By using my camera in this way, it helps me keep my teaching objects close to mind and well-utilized.