Play: Ideas for Organizing for the School Year
It’s almost time for the daily avalanche of papers. Coloring pages, art projects, spelling tests, book reports. Depending on how many kids you have, there’s a possibility for a ton of paperwork. If you are like me, one temptation is to toss it (I really dislike paper clutter). But, while I was at my parent’s house awhile back, my mom brought out this HUGE tub full of great memories from my past, including some art projects and school work. I had a blast going through them, and was really thankful she had done that for me. So, now I am motivated to have a system in place by the time our first starts school to organize papers my kids bring home.
Right now, for these preschool years, I just have a plastic tote for each kid, and I stick in things every now and then that I think are particularly interesting or show a jump in their developmental stage (i.e. first time they draw a “person” with a head and legs and arms instead of just scribbling). But, I’m going to need something much more robust if I am going to keep up with all these kids’ next 13 years of school!).
Here are a few things that I have found particularly interesting.
1. The FileBox from IheartOrganizing.
This one is a great idea, especially if you are starting at the beginning of a school experience. For each year you have one file, and in it you keep the most memorable items. It’s kinda like making a portfolio for your kids. She has a few downloadable templates for the front page (where we can attach a school photo), as well as cute file tabs.
2. Organizing via the tub (from Real Simple)
This method realizes that you may not know exactly what you want to save “forever” as it comes in. So, instead of only choosing the best of the best right away, you keep all the good stuff (including taking pictures of oversized items that may not fit in a tub), and then going through it at the end of the year to decide what to save for that school year. I could see this being used in tandem with the previous idea.
3. Organizing Electronically
At the end of each week, scan or take a photo of the papers/artwork that you want to remember. Keep an electronic file for each kid, and you can add lots of different kinds of things- pictures from plays, videos, sound bytes, etc. This helps those of us who either a.) have a lot of kids b.) don’t have a lot of storage space, c.) move around a lot and can’t imagine lugging bins of items all the time, or d.) have a hard time “purging” paperwork.
4. Make a book (from Zig and Zag).
After you’ve scanned everything electronically, make a hard cover book out of it! How fun would this be to give to your kid at the end of each school year? I love the thought of looking over past years’ stuff with my littles as they grow and mature. We do that already with scrapbooks, and I think this would add another fun dimension.