It starts the minute they come home on the first day. And from that moment on, parents are inundated with papers from school. Some of the papers are easy to deal with. You can recycle notices of events, transfer dates to calendars, and get rid of paperwork that has no sentimental value. But what do you do with all of their schoolwork, art projects, and papers that have meaning?
Time Required: 5 Minutes
- Purchase or find 1 box per child. I like to use clear plastic containers so that I know what is inside, but any box that will hold at least an 8 1/2 by 11 inch piece of paper flat will work.
- Each child gets their own box. Be sure to label each box with the child's name. Labeling will make later sorting easy to do, so don't be tempted to skip this step. Even masking tape with the name written in marker can be a totally usable label.
- Every day as you sort through paperwork, put all of the awards, schoolwork, and certificates into the box belonging to that child. Don't worry about what to keep and what to toss right now. Keep everything that they've worked on.
- For large projects like salt-dough maps, dioramas, and science fair projects, take pictures of the project and add the pictures to the box. Then you'll be free to toss the bulky projects.
- At the end of the school year, during the summer, go through the box with your child. You'll be able to marvel over their progress throughout the year and sort through which items that are special enough to be kept. Recycle any other items.
- Transfer all of the items that made the cut to another archived container that will contain multiple years of student work. The original container will be empty and ready for another year of masterpieces.
- Small inexpensive photo albums are a good investment to add to the box. They can hold the loose photos of larger projects and events from the school year. They'll also protect photos from other papers and inks.
- Glitter, crayons, and paint can sometimes transfer onto other papers. For projects that are flat but might be messy, slide them into sheet protectors before storing.
What You Need
- 1 box per child for current year
- 1 additional archive box per child for mulitiple years
- Small inexpensive photo album
- Sheet protectors