Organizing Kids’ Papers

Oh, the rushing tide of papers that comes in with your child every afternoon as they come home from school! From permission slips to homework to worksheets, how do I keep it all organized? You need a system, quick, for the incoming and outgoing, but you also need a way to store the papers you want to keep. Here you go!

I’ve written about organizing Kids’ Artwork so if you’re looking for those tips, click here.

For the papers that come in but need to go out, set up an inbox for each child. This can be a cardboard box or basket but it needs to be large enough to hold the paper without them folding over or falling out. I like to use an inbox from an office supply store that is designed for the work environment. Select one in your child’s favorite color and put their name on it.

You also need a system for storing the paperwork that you want actually want to keep. Some examples are:

      • report cards
      • progress reports
      • samples of school work (emphasis on the word “sample“)
      • certificates of activity participation
      • school play, dance, or concert programs
      • important letters and cards from confirmation or kindergarten graduation
      • class photos
      • team photos
      • mentions in newspapers

For all of this I recommend getting a plastic file box with a lid (the one pictured here is from the Container Store or you can get it off of Amazon by clicking here) for each child. Get a different color of hanging files for each child’s box. Create labels for each school year/ grade and put them in the box. As these papers come in and you want to keep them, file them in the appropriate year. As your child grows you’ll be able to give them this responsiblity and eventually the whole box.

Click the photos below to see what I’ve used.

organized kids paper childs paperwork

THE PERFECT FILE BIN FOR EACH CHILD’S PAPERS

THESE HANGING FILES ARE GREAT QUALITY & COME IN LOTS OF COLORS

Just so you know….

          • there is no set rule for what you should keep
          • you’re not a bad parent if you throw some things away
          • not everything is a treasure worth keeping

Happy organizing!

Post Christmas Organizing

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Merry Christmas to everyone and I hope you are all enjoying this time with your family and friends. I know there are some super ambitious people out there who are ready to take the tree and all other decorations down NOW and while I appreciate their enthusiasm, I’d like to offer a couple of suggestions to ease the process. First, there are 12 days of Christmas so you actually have until January 6th to complete this. If waiting the 12 days isn’t your style, dismantle at will but be (neat) smart about it.

Are there decorations sitting in boxes that you haven’t used in a few years and really don’t want to ever use again? Could somebody else in your family use them or is there a friend that would enjoy them? Pass them on to someone else who would like them or donate to a shelter, church, Salvation Army, or Goodwill organization. Just because you see them once a year doesn’t mean they don’t take up space in your home the other 11 months. Let go of any decorations that don’t fill you with the Christmas spirit.

Do you have broken decorations or lights? Get them fixed or get rid of them. You can recycle lights and other electronics or plastics by contacting Earth911to find out where to take them.

Did you put up a real tree this year and need to dispose of it? Here is a link to learn how to recycle it. Kudos to you for buying a biodegradable tree!

How are your ornaments stored? I’m crazy about these options for lights, ornaments, and stockings. Although I usually recommend  clear boxes for clients’ putting things in storage, red or green are fine for Christmas because the colors symbolize the contents. You can never go wrong with clear, though.

You can also check out my entire Pinterest Board on Christmas Organization for other suggestions. Who doesn’t love Pinterest?

But my best advice to you for getting organized after Christmas is to take your time to enjoy the season and what it truly means. Take time to savor being with your family and friends without rushing to get, buy, or do something. Read, play games, cook, eat, take walks, and create some fun memories to look back on in the future. People will remember your hospitality but not the wreath on your door or the decorated mantle. There is no prize for the person who decorates best or puts them away quickly.

Happy organizing!