Wednesday, June 09, 2010

Organize School and Papers in 4 Easy Steps

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Understandably, many parents want to treasure and capture their children's journey. However, good intentions can quickly create a great area of stress for many moms and dads. The key is to be selective in what we save and organize it so it can be enjoyed and treasured. Having a system in place with limits will help you and your child make decisions as the numerous papers and artwork enter your home.

The Simple Steps

Collect it.
Have a basket or spot for each child to put the finish school papers, permission slips, communications from school that you need to look at. Be sure to put it in a spot that they can reach. Make this part of their coming home routine.

Limit it.
If you kept everything, your home would quickly become a storage site. This is a good opportunity to teach your children that it is OK not to keep everything. Get your children involved in the process to help them to learn the skills they need to help themselves as they get older.

Depending on the age of your child, work together to figure out what papers and projects will be kept and/or displayed. Maybe the keepers go on display and the rest is recycled. Typically, younger kids will want to save everything. As always, use your discretion.

If you find it hard for you and your child to make a decision right away - that's okay! Some families may prefer to keep all the items from a school year and then go back to pick out the best representatives of the whole year. Others may want to limit the collection to whatever can fit inside a designated container.

I recommend, if at all possible, making decisions as you go and use my 3 T's to help you.

-Take Out: Toss, recycle, or give away the items that are not keepers.

-Take Action: Display it for a set time period.

-Take Back: If you are keeping it, take it to the designate storage container in a reasonable timeframe, perhaps weekly, every other week or monthly.

Share it.
Be sure to spend time letting your child tell you about their work. That's why they bring it home to you!

Store it.
However you decide to store the memorabilia, take time to label the containers with the child's name, the contents, and the age or school year of the child. That way when you do want to pull something out, you can locate the items without having to search and dig through one big container.

Do you already have years of school papers and artwork piled or stuffed in large totes? Don't worry! Start from this point forward and then go back later to thin out and organize past memorabilia small steps at a time. Set an appointment with yourself (write it on your calendar now). Get your system in shape before summer starts!

Do you want more ideas for organizing, displaying and maintaining your child's school papers and artwork?

When you order the Tickler File System by June 30, 2010, I'll also send you my popular e-book,
Maintaining Childhood Treasures: A Mom's Guide to Organizing School Papers and Artwork!


Aiming4Simple said...

These are helpful steps. I'm also planning to photograph some of this year's papers to preserve them efficiently.

Taylor at Household Management 101 said...

I like your 3Ts. I find I really need to keep on top of all the school papers, or they become overwhelming quickly.

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