If you’re anything like me…you are always battling a war on paper…specifically school papers. We talked about those stacks of paper last week. Let’s continue to talk about how those stacks of paper enter your home. They don’t always enter your home as a stack…usually they come in the form of cute drawings and special stories written by your children. They come in the form of papers from the teacher and communication from school. There are all kinds of sources but for me, the biggest source is school.
On Mondays, the children bring home a “Monday folder” that I have to look at and usually sign. Sometimes there is paperwork in there that I need to DO something with (sign, add a check, add my insurance info). When they were little EVERY SINGLE DAY I would bring home some kind of art work they had done at school. Some were beautiful and worthy of permanent space in my home and some were not.
1. QUICK SORT: I do an initial quick sort of the papers and decide what can immediately go in the recycling bin. If you’re debating about whether or not it’s important…don’t recycle it yet. This step is for the no brainers…the things you are not interested in and never will be. This same step can be used for the mail. My recycling bin is right outside my door and before I even bring the mail inside I do my quick sort right there in the carport. Advertisments for trips to Italy…recycle. Flyers for drugstores I never go to….recycle. Flyers for sports we will not ever play….recycle. Bills I don’t want to pay…ok well those HAVE to come inside unfortunately.
2. KEEPSAKE PAPERS: I have some hanging files by the door. The top bin contains three folders…one for each child. If they have something I would like to keep long term I put that in their folder. I do not keep every drawing or homework paper. I’m a sucker for creative writing and original art though. This is just my temporary sort area. This would probably hold 1/2 a year or a year of my kids work…the older they get the less drawings they bring home. I did however find THIS TREASURE over the weekend while sorting through some paperwork. Keep that stuff folks! Throw away the posterboard with glued on buttons.
I also have a larger file bin that I have made for each child…with each year’s work. I will show you those another day.
3. ACTION PAPERS: These are the papers that require some response from you. These are the only ones that make it to my desk. If possible I try to attack these right away and get them signed and back in the Monday Folder. If it’s an invite, it gets taped to my fridge. No, that’s not the prettiest but it’s the most likely to not get lost in the shuffle of the family of five craziness. Since my desk stays relatively clean and free of all the other paper I am able to see the important papers on the desk and have space to work on them and get them back to the teacher or bill collector they need to go to.
A friend just showed me what she has set up for this school year. She has four children. Here she has four boxes for her four children…same concept as my files. I prefer to get things on the wall as much as possible. She keeps these in the bottom of her pantry. I think it’s a great idea and I’m pretty confident it will hold a full year’s worth of papers.
How are you staying on top of all those school papers?