Kids bring home so many papers and assignments that it can often be a daunting task to try to wrangle them in, especially if you have more than one or two attending school. Not only is important for you to keep their school work in order now and for the future, but it teaches your children a valuable lesson in organization in the process. Here are some tips for organizing kids ™ school work and knowing what to keep and what to get rid of.
6 Tips for Organizing Kids ™ School Work
Make a banner
If you have room on your wall, place a string or twine on it and hang your child's art from school on clothespins. When it's time to change it out, ask them which one out of the group they want to keep and file that away. This way, you get to display all of their art projects for a while, but aren't obligated to keep them all of them and your child has a sense of control over which ones you keep.
Use hanging organizers
Buy a hanging file for each child, hang it in a central location and label each one with the child's name. Place papers there throughout the week and at the end of each week, go through it and get rid of anything that doesn't need to be saved.
Have a 3-ring binder
Get a simple three-ring binder and some clear page protectors. Label each binder with your child's name. As papers and homework comes home to enjoy, add it to the binder. Your child will love having a binder full of his or her own projects and accomplishments. When it's time to add new things and you have run out of room, take old ones out and let your child know you are proud of the way they are getting better and learning new things. This book works for them to look at and show off to others as well.
Buy a used mail sorter
There are many of these at thrift stores and you can paint them and add names for your kids. When papers that come home need signing or acknowledgement, they get placed there. Every week or two, go through this and make sure that there is nothing that needs to still be there. Get rid of anything old after you have told your child how much you enjoy his or her good grades.
Share their special artwork and papers
If you have family that lives far away, wouldn't they love to get some of your child's special projects? Have your child pick out a project or two to send to loved ones and mail them off! This gets the overwhelming amount of paperwork out of your home and into someone else's that will really enjoy the gesture. Grandparents love this!
Use a camera
If your child has a lot of pictures and art projects they do at school piling up at home, get into the habit of taking a picture with them standing next to it or holding it up each time they bring home a new one. That way, when you go to get rid of some of them (after they have been displayed, of course) you still have a picture of each one to look at and share memories without the clutter.
If all else fails…
Keep a tote in your garage specifically for paperwork
Every time I try to throw something away to keep the clutter down, my kids get their feelings hurt. So, instead what I’ve done is just keep one storage tote for each child in my garage to keep all their stuff in there throughout the whole year. Once a year, we can easily go through it and have the kids pick out their BEST 10-20 items each.
This not only gives them a sense of control in what they keep, but the emotions tied to WHY they wanted so desperately to keep it, have died down and they are able to rationally throw things away. Likewise, it only takes about 30 minutes to go through a years’ worth of projects, papers, and report cards.
What are your favorite tips for organizing kids’ school work?
Sarah is a stay-at-home mom of two wonderful children on a mission to prove that you don’t have to have tons of money to live a quality life. From homeless to well-off, this single debt-free mom is most known for her ability to live well on $18k/year. Sarah blogs at Saving Money Never Goes Out of Style, where she loves encouraging others that dreams do come true if they are willing to consistently work for it. Find Sarah on Facebook, Pinterest, and Twitter.