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Organizing Tip :: Organizing your Kids’ Paperwork

Why is it so hard to manage our children’s paperwork? One reason is that there seems to be a constant stream of it coming into our homes every day! School calendars, lunch menus homework assignments and odd sized art projects create a mountain of paper to deal with. Then there’s that extra dose of parental guilt over which of our children’s artistic creations to keep.

Here are some tips to help you gain control over the influx of children’s papers.

  1. Do your best to keep school papers that are referenced daily off flat surfaces like the kitchen counter or dining room table. Attach those papers to the fridge or buy a bulletin board for the kitchen. Make sure the items that change frequently such as schedules are switched out as soon as a new one becomes available.

  2. Start an “Art Box” for each child. Make sure the container you use is moisture proof clear plastic and large enough to hold the various sizes of art papers your children bring home. Assign one to each child. Label the box with the child’s name and what grade they are in. If you can, store the box under your child’s bed during the school year and then move it to the basement or garage for permanent storage.

  3. Set up your paper flow system like an office. Everyone should have an inbox with their name on it. Keep the in boxes in an area everyone passes on their way in and out of the house. Check the in boxes every day. Papers to be reviewed or signed can be put into Mom’s inbox as soon as the children come home from school. Once the paper is reviewed and signed, it goes into “Bobby’s” inbox to be retrieved as he goes out the door in the morning. Once this process is practiced and adopted, you’ll have much less stress during the morning dash!

  4. Set up an area that is comfortable and promotes getting schoolwork done easily. Make sure whatever space is designated for homework stays clear of clutter. Keep supplies readily available and in containers. Ask the children to get those supplies when they need them and put them away when they have finished.

  5. It’s never too soon to start training children to be organized. These skills will serve them well as they grow older and leave for college and life beyond. The ability to make decisions is an extremely important skill to have. Ask your children to make their own decisions about papers and art projects they want to keep. Not only is it good for them, but it will definitely cut down on parental guilt about throwing away papers your child brings home.
     

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