I love my children dearly, but I don’t think there’s anything that can wreck havoc on a home’s organization more than kids! Young children especially. No sooner do you get one room under control only to turn around and set your eyes on the next tornado that swept right past you. If you were expecting me to have a solution to that, well, my apologies because you’re out of luck! But what I have been working on this year is tackling the organization of school work. With a first grader and a preschooler I know there’s much more to come in the years ahead, so I’m doing my best to get ourselves into a regular sorting, tossing and keeping routine. Let me quickly explain the few easy steps I’ve been following to keep our home from filling up and spiraling out of control.
This wall storage bin is strategically placed on a wall between our kitchen and mudroom. This is the first and main stop for all things school related. They hold a few things. First they contain information I need on a regular basis including lunch schedules, calendars and outstanding paperwork that needs immediate attention. Second, they store paperwork and art work that makes it past the initial ‘keep’ test. Let me take a quick step back, because this is crucial in our routine. I don’t know about your kids, but mine come home on a daily basis with a lot of ‘stuff’. Worksheets, projects, tests, artwork etc. Each day we unload their backpacks and we do a quick sort. I ask them to show me which pieces they’d like to keep and which are ok to toss. The ‘keep’ piles then go into their assigned bins.
Once the kitchen bins begin to get a little tight (usually every few weeks) we do yet another sort. I again ask the kids what pieces are the most important to them and more often than not, they are willing to let go of some of the things they had wanted to keep initially. This gives them a chance to choose what really means the most to them. I should also note that I have my say as well and throw in some things I think they may appreciate having in the future, like some of Jack’s very first spelling tests :) Once we have the piles from the kitchen narrowed down, I move them out to our family room where I keep a basket for each child.
When we reach the end of the school year, I plan on doing one final sort with the kids to narrow it all down to what’s most valued. I’m only half a year in with this process, but so far so good! We’ve also stored away much of the Christmas crafts they brought home with the rest of our Christmas decor. I’m pretty sure they’re going to need their own tree in a few years!
So how about you? What organization tips and tricks work for you? I’d love to know!