How to Handle Back-to-School Paper Clutter
A bad word in my house, mainly because I'm terrible at getting it (and keeping it) under control, but also because my husband cannot stand it...it drives him crazy. And let's face it, clutter doesn't relax anyone...it gives many of us (including me) a sense of unfinished business, unmade decisions and flashing reminders of habit of procrastination.
One of the most troublesome areas of clutter in our home is the kids' school and sports papers.
All the stuff which comes into the house but doesn't always have a place to go right away....
Sometimes we are waiting to make decisions on something, others are special events or dates which have not been recorded or occurred yet, and some papers (like school and lunch calendars) need to be kept all for longer periods of time.
Necessary, but once they start piling up become an eye sore and aren't really useful anymore because they're such a mess...
So, what do we do with it all?
Here are ways to deal with back-to-school paper clutter:
- T.I.O. (Touch it Once)- See it, read it, mark the calendar right now, make the decision, write out the check; deal with whatever needs to be done, then toss it in the trash.
- AFRAID TO THROW IT OUT OR WANT TO BE ABLE TO REFER BACK TO IT LATER???.....
- Use clipboards or binder clips-Stick a few nails in the wall where visitors can't see them (even on the inside of a cabinet or closet door) and organize papers with a clip or on a clipboard, sorted by child and hung on their own hook. Makes for easy reference.
- Use file folders- Sort each child's papers into folders for each of them. Need the teachers name, someones schedule or an email address? They will be safe in a file folder. Color coded makes them fun and at the end of the year just toss the papers and reuse the folder.
- Use Shoe or Craft Cubbies- At the end of each day ask each child to put their homework folders into their labeled cubbies and you will check it, sign papers, read teacher's notes and put the folder back into their cubby for pick up in the morning.
- Designate a drawer or Rubbermaid tub for artwork, report cards & awesome grades!-Only keep the most awesome pieces and if you truly cannot decide which ones to keep, just take a picture of a grouping, print it out, blow it up, frame it, or scrapbook it.
- Post Lunch Menus- on the fridge or write it on your everyday wall calendar for kids to see (list only main dish- keep it simple).
- Log those practice, game, performance, parent/teacher conference dates- into your phone's calendar and on your wall calendar the same day you get them- then file it or toss the paper out.
You get the picture.
Deal with it, Have a place for it, Then forget about it.
How do you cope with back-to-school clutter?