If every parent in the world could just say a magic word and organize their kids school papers, there would be peace on earth. Wishful thinking right? Organizing your kids’ school papers doesn’t always seem as easy as you’d think. First of all, there are two levels of school papers. There are the papers your kids bring home from school on a weekly basis (dump truck anyone?). There are also papers that your child needs to be organized on a daily basis. Here’s how to organize your kids’ school papers on every level.
1. Start a picture gallery
If you’re like me, you cannot stand paper clutter. This is why a picture gallery is such a good idea. Most people have smartphones and they can easily snap a picture. Using a Facebook Album or even a DropBox album, take pictures of the paperwork you want to save (but don’t want to physically keep). If you have the time and every, you can even scan the paperwork onto a folder on your computer.
2. Toss some of the school papers
Man, this is so hard to do, but it must be done. Your kids do not need every single piece of paper from their childhood. I’m not sure how much they’d appreciate being handed 12-13 boxes of paperwork to sort through when they get older. One of the best things you can do is make an executive decision as soon as those papers come home. TOSS some of the school papers. Mama, this is hard but SO worth it! Sometimes I do the school paper toss for one round and then go back for a second. One thing, though: don’t let your kid see you through anything away. They will NEVER let you live it down.
3. Create a fun display for creative papers
With all of the junk papers that come home from school, there are little items that I like to call gems. These gems deserve to be displayed in the home somewhere. There are some pieces of artwork or drawings that I just cannot get over (they are so cute). Part of organizing school papers for me includes displaying those papers that I love. The kids love seeing their artwork hung up too!
4. Upcycle the kids school papers
We have a reuse, recycle, and upcycle mentality in our home. If we can reuse it, we try! I know I said I toss school papers, but I really do try to reuse them when I can. If there is paperwork with an empty back on it, we reuse it for practice writing. Sometimes we also use it for crafts. Sometimes we even create cards or something fun out of the artwork they bring home. Hey, sometimes school papers even make awesome pieces of scratch paper.
5. Create a cute little organizational center for school papers
If I remember correctly, school papers can get out of control with just one week of not organizing. Something I have done in my home is create a cute little corner for school papers. Whether you create a little clothesline for hanging up projects or you have little cubbies, it’s so much fun to organize (when you like your organizational area). This is something that I’d let the kids be a part of. It’s amazing how much kids love organization, when we let them organize.
6. Get a box together
Something that also works wonders when it comes to organizing kids school papers is a box. A simple box that you can keep plain or decorate however you want. With this box, you simply place the papers you want to keep. You can have file folders to help keep these school papers organized. You can buy a box or just use a cardboard box (upcycle it to look cute). So many options for such a simple little tip!
7. Go digital
Many schools are starting to do more online curriculum which is nice. One way to organize your kid’s school papers is to encourage digital whenever possible. If you are the one organizing a field trip, try to do things online. It’s amazing how much less cluttered life can feel when your child isn’t bringing home a million papers. Encourage email reminders instead of a million paper reminders. Go volunteer and help your child’s teacher come up with ways that folders can be less cluttered with paper.
8. Take the emotions out of it
I think something you need to remember about your kids’ school papers is that they are just paper. Like most kids, yours will go onto create more artwork and do more math worksheets. While I encourage you to save some papers, don’t save every last one. I’ve gone through the stages of saving papers after papers and they just end up in the garage somewhere. You can really help yourself stay organized and have momentous for later by staying organized now. Easier said than done? Maybe! But you can do this!
The bottom line, when it comes to school papers, is you have to stay on top of it. One week of letting the paperwork go and you may never be able to find your kitchen table again.
I would love to hear your tips for organizing school papers. Do you get overwhelmed every year? I think since I’ve simplified the process and made it easier on myself, I have a great system for organizing papers. Don’t forget to share your tips!