It’s Friday, which means that the end of the school and work week is nearly here. It’s also the day that my children, their eyes bright and searching for praise, empty their school bags out in my living room the minute they get home. Before I know it, the floor will be covered with artwork, drawings, homework and countless other items.
I love looking through their work, but dread adding them to the pile of other treasures that sit in my home office waiting to be filed — either in the “circular” file that only I know about, or to be placed among the many piles of my children’s artwork, homework and writings that wait to be filed or to find a new home. On average, each of my children bring home at least 10-15 pieces of schoolwork and artwork home with them weekly, so those papers add up!
The problem is that much of those papers never leave those piles of things to be filed. I once had a system of what to do with my children’s school papers — when my daughters entered school, I bought large, pretty storage boxes for the both of them, and filed their papers there. But when those boxes filled up, I neglected to come up with a new system, so thus my stacks of papers began to grow.
Now that my “office” has nearly become a sea of papers, I now look to conquer the clutter and let organization reign once again. I’ve managed to find a few paper-clutter-control tips that may help, and thought I’d share them for those of you out there who also need help dealing with kids’ paper school clutter.
I am hoping these tactics will rid our home of at least some of the clutter that threatens to take over. This is what I hope to do:
1. Create inboxes for each child. I will teach my children to file their papers in their respective boxes or bins upon coming home. I can go through these boxes later and determined what needs to be saved, and what doesn’t.
2. Designate a large storage bin for each child. To that bin, I will transfer papers from each child’s inbox that I have determined should be kept. Perhaps at the end of the school year, my children can further help me whittle down the pile of papers in those bins by letting me know which papers they feel should be kept, and which do not need to be retained. (I figure by the end of the school year, these papers will have lost at least some of their sentimental value.)
3. Scrapbook truly special artwork. I can create a scrapbook for those of my children’s drawings that I feel deserve special recognition. I can either place this artwork in sleeves in a traditional scrapbook, or I can scan them into the computer and upload them to create and print scrapbooks from a service like Snapfish.com. Each year (for holiday gifts) I create scrapbooks of photos of my children using Snapfish, and the books come out beautifully.
4. Respect recycling day. Those items that don’t make it into a scrapbook or a bin for saving can be quietly taken out with other paper clutter that no longer needs to be in our house.
Have tips for tactics that work for dealing with kid paper clutter? Please share them in the comments — I could use some help!