It’s really almost here … the First Day of School. Today is August 20th and many schools have started already. Are you ready? Or are you starting to feel overwhelmed by the routines, scheduled activities and the abundant of papers that will come into your home? Of course our children (and even parents) think all that paperwork is critically important to hold onto … especially the pieces of artwork. We feel like we need to hold onto everything our child does in school. Then they need to be displayed throughout the kitchen, playroom or their bedrooms. The home begins to feel like a classroom as opposed to a home.
What do you do with all that paper work? It’s really quite simple. But it will require some consistent dedication to the system. So here’s how it goes.
- Purchase a storage box (like the one in the picture) for each of your children. Be sure it is one that can use hanging folders. Get 14 hanging folders and inside each folder have one manila folder. Create 14 File Labels from Pre-School to 12th Grade (one for each year) and put on the manila folder. (Contact Me if you would like the templates)
- Label the outside of the box with your child’s name.
- When your children come home every day with important papers, decide which one will be displayed. Some people use refrigerators. I used to use my kitchen cabinets for the artwork. Wherever you decide that place will be, be sure to contain all papers to this designated area. If they come home the next day and have something they want displayed, then they need to remove the one they put the day before.
- All other paperwork will go into the File Box in the appropriate grade.
- At the end of the year, you sit down and go through the File Folder and decide what you will truly hold onto. You could decide on something like this:
- Keep their top 3 or 5 math papers.
- Their best penmanship paper.
- Report cards
- Top 3 stories they wrote and so on and so forth.
- High School could be the hardest test they took and got a fabulous grade.
- Of course each year will have their school picture for safekeeping.
- I have created a form that the school picture goes on and some fun information for the year that can be kept. Information like school attended, teacher’s name, etc. (Contact Me for the Template)
- When they go off to college, graduate and start a life of their own, you can hand them this box that will be full all the great accomplishments they made throughout their history of school.
(You get the idea. By the end of each year, everything for the year that you are keeping needs to fit in the Manila Folder that is in the Hanging Folder. Everything for 14 years needs to fit in this File.)
Understand it is completely unreasonable to think you can keep all or most papers for all the years of school for each child. Your home would over flow with boxes of papers. Then it’s becomes a major/stressful project to tackle all these boxes years down the road. Believe me I see it a lot. I don’t know if it’s the “parent guilt” syndrome that makes us save all these papers. But it truly is unreasonable. Half the time when the child gets older, they don’t even want their own work. They clearly don’t want to take all these boxes to their new home or apartment. It’s then you think, “Why did I do this?” Well make it more manageable now. Don’t wait until it pushes you over the edge and you have to pay for a Professional Organizer to come in and help you navigate the pairing down. Do it as they grow. Start this year.
I hope this helps you get started. If you would like help creating these boxes for your children, just let me know. I’ll be happy to help you begin being organized for the next school year!
Your Health, Wellness and Organizing Expert … believing in you!