Because it can be a challenge to appreciate, display, and store schoolwork and memorabilia, here are five tips to help you solve this problem before it even starts. And for more tips to organize paper, including that awful pile on your kitchen counter, click HERE.
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- Go through the kids backpacks every night. I like to do it right when they come home from school. Keeping up on this prevents an intimidating buildup of paper to be gone through, and thus alleviates the inevitable guilt that follows when you miss something important in a time-sensitive note.
- Remember FIFO when it comes to displaying the kids’ work. This is an accounting term I borrow when it comes to organizing, and it stands for “First In, First Out.” Whether it’s the fridge or a magnet board, rotate the masterpieces that are on display. Removing one paper when it’s time to display another keeps your kitchen from looking like a backpack exploded and everything stuck to the fridge!
- Select a container for storing schoolwork. My container of choice is a 15-Quart Sterilite container. It’s the perfect size for holding a respectable amount of “important” test, reports, and art projects during the year. The rule is that we can only save what fits in the box. If it gets full before the end of the year, the kids have some throwing away to do. This is a win-win, as I am both teaching my children to avoid hording, and I am keeping my space clean and clear.
- The Best of the Best. In a few years, those papers that seemed so important will lose a lot of their appeal. In fact, that process has already begun by the end of the school year. When school gets out for the year, I condense the kids’ work into what will fit in to a 10×13 envelope, and then store those envelopes in their personal bin in the basement. Bottom line: you don’t need to save very much! Just the highlights.
- Big Art Project Dilemma. We’ve all had the same dilemma when it comes to mobiles, panoramas, and other 3-D projects. They are super cool, but they can quickly overtake any room. The solution? Snap a quick picture and hang it on the wall or fridge. This will honor the project and validate the child, and allow you to maintain an organized space.
I hope these tips can help you. And I’d love to hear your solutions. Please share them in the comment section below!
Image by Kristin Clove at cdotlove.blogspot.com