Founder of TodaysMama.com and co-founder of Evo Conference, a social media conference for women. Mom of 3 and wanna-be tech geek. Convert to gluten free living. TEDx: What?

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Organizing Kids School Work

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Every day I empty their backpacks and I’m blown away by how much paper comes out! It’s like a paper tornado. Organizing kids papers and fallout is overwhelming. With the new year my goal has been to cut the clutter and get things in order. Thus, I’ve instituted a little “regime” around my house to deal with all of the paper particulates floating around.

The process:

  • I immediately sort to the recycle bin
  • Flag stuff I want to save into a folder system that sits on my counter
  • Once or twice a year empty the sorting folders into the master storage folders (may I suggest winter break and when school gets out)

It can be tough to streamline because at the same time I’m such an emotional hoarder. I love their little doodles. I look back on their progress and their styles and I can pick out my 8yo’s “army period” and his “Harry Potter period” much like Van Gogh’s “blue period”. I can’t throw that stuff away. But I don’t want it cluttering up my house either.

Here are some ideas to organize your precious paper:

Folders
This is what I did. Cheap, easy to store, easily expandable, easy to label. Just plain EASY. (and in case you were wondering, EASY is the goal of all of the systems in my life)

P.S. These aren’t your average ordinary folders. They are the kinds with accordion like sides – kind of like big expandable envelopes. Don’t be fooled by my one dimensional image.

Binders
Binders are great and can also (with a little effort) look wonderful on the shelf.

Image from "Simplify 101" - creativeorganizing.typepad.com

Custom Solutions

School Folio
I DIG these (but don’t own them)

The All in One
I like the large size, I like the customizable photo. Dig the labels on the sides. It’s pricier, but in the long haul I’m a fan.

The Single
Very cute. I was looking for legal size folders that had funkier designs but couldn’t find much. These are exactly what I was looking for in Office Max.

For the time being the paper beast has been tamed at my house. My folders are tucked away neatly in the closet and sometimes I just stare at them with satisfaction. However, give me a couple more months of paper build up and we’ll see if I’ve maintained my regime of total paper organization.

How do you manage the paper chaos at your house?

More Organization Posts on TodaysMama:

Online Organization

Spring Cleaning Tough Love

Moving Your Child’s School to Greener and Safer

How to Display Children’s Artwork

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Comments (7)

  1. Elizabeth Rago 05/24/2012 at 6:31 am

    Can I just thank you for being an easy person?! Do not get me wrong, I love super creative and crafty people who fashion organizational systems similar to those out of a Real Simple magazine, but I am NOT that kind of woman! My kids are in Kindergarten and Preschool next year and I have noticed that the amount of paper already is crazy. Great suggestions!
    -elizabeth

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  4. Carina Wytiaz 01/31/2011 at 4:43 pm

    You mean getting pissed off that schools use so much paper isn’t a coping mechanism?

  5. Adrian 01/31/2011 at 10:47 am

    I’m so impressed with your organization and those folders are darling! I’m terrible about it, but on the other hand, I have BOYS and they just don’t CARE about their old schoolwork. However, now that they are all adults or nearly so, I’m kind of glad I didn’t save all those landfills full of paper they brought hom.

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