As a new school year begins, so does the continuous flow of paper, projects and materials into your home. By taking a few simple steps now, you can win the battle against clutter while creating an organized system designed to preserve your child’s special assignments, art projects and essays to enjoy for years to come.
Purchase a three-ring binder. Before the start of each school year, purchase a three-ring binder for each of your school-aged children. Fill the binder with protective sleeves perfect for holding art work, certificates, special notes from the teacher, pictures and projects. The sleeve protectors make it easy to insert and remove materials The binder also serves as a wonderful way to keep items organized for future projects such as scrapbooking. Binders with a clear outer cover and spine are the best choice. You can customize the cover by designing a cover with your child’s name, grade and photos. Use your printer to print the cover and simply insert into the front plastic sleeve. If you plan to keep organized on a book case, you can also create a custom spine insert for the binder as well.
Purchase a plastic bin large enough to hold 8 1/ 2 x 11 pieces of paper. The bin serves as a perfect storage place for assignments, larger art projects and workbooks. Keep the bin in a convenient location such as a bookshelf in your child’s room or closet. When your child brings home completed assignments, simply place them in the bin. (I can’t tell you how many times, I’ve had to retrieve items from the bin because I filed them away thinking it was homework that had already been turned in. This convenient storage bin is a lot easier to find forgotten assignments than digging through the trash.) Over winter or spring break, go through the bin and recycle the paperwork you no longer need, so you have room for the rest of the year. Move items you really want to preserve into the three-ring binder for easy access and viewing. If you’re really good a purging, you can condense a couple years into one bin so you have one ready to go for the next school year.
Set aside a school zone. Designate an area in your home to serve as the official school work zone with easy access to pencils, erasers, crayons, markers, paper, and glue sticks, so your family is ready for any project that comes your way. Add a bulletin board if possible, to keep special notes, lunch menus and other school related activities.
By taking these few simple steps, you’ll be organized and ready to enjoy all the fun a new school year brings.