Back to School Tips: Tips on Organizing Kids’ School Papers

The school year is about to start and that means a massive influx of papers! Here are some ideas that moms are using to keep up with the paper flow.

  • I keep a basket by the door and the kiddos drop all their work in there daily. I look through for 5 minutes to see what needs to be returned and get it back in their backpacks right away. The rest stays in the basket about a month and then we review it together.  My kids love to send papers off to their grandparents in other states and I write a small note on them that they dictate before I send them.
  • I love having a small box on my desk for each child’s work. This way I have them drop their papers into the box. Once a week I go through it with them, just to review their work. I have found that sometimes I need to refer back to it, so I keep a larger box in their closets to keep the papers for a while.  At the end of the year I go through and use boxes from IKEA to keep them in a manageable amount.  It saves time to see the papers all together to know what to keep.
  • Ellen encouraged me to have a command center with a hanging file for each child.  This way I can drop papers in when they come home from school and not lose them.  I have them ready to sign when I need to also.   My kids are high schoolers so they have their papers together in their notebooks and we just check grades weekly and print these out.
  • The way that I’m able to control the huge amounts of school papers that come home is to deal with it swiftly!  Often a week’s worth of school work comes home all at once and my daughter’s backpack is jammed full – some are treasures and some are just plain old worksheets that no one will miss.  We go through the stack with Daddy because she loves to show off her work to him and he enjoys keeping up with what she’s learning.  As we look through her work, I set aside anything that seems extra special.  Everything else gets tossed*.  The keepers go in a large portfolio case in her closet and are alligator clipped by grade.  * It’s best to get rid of the excess schoolwork when kiddos aren’t watching!  Out of sight, out of mind – but if they happen to see it get thrown away, sometimes they get sad, especially my toddler!
  • Still have last year’s papers?  Take time now to knock this out!

What’s your best paper strategy?

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