How to Store and Organize End of School Year Papers!

By Sarah Grant

Posted in Featured, Local, Parent Education Resources, Special Ed. Tutoring, Tips & Advice

How to Store and Organize End of School Year Papers!

It’s never an easy task managing the papers that students come home with. However, the end of a semester and school year are key times when the volume arriving home increases greatly with class projects, artwork, and of course…more papers! So how do we deal with this influx while keeping our sanity and kiddos happy (who of course want to keep everything)? Fortunately for us, we have answers and strategies for this, as Teachers on Call has a professional organization and design expert in our community. Sarah Grant from Be.Neat Studio taught us in her last guest blog how to organize a bookshelf to make space for reading. Now, she is helping us solve another spatial challenge with how to store and organize the stacks of papers that come home at the end of the school year. Be sure to read on to learn about Sarah’s organization system, advice and suggestions to take the stress out of end of school year clutter!

        A System for School Paper Organization

        School papers can pile-up quickly and although they don’t take up as much physical space as kids’ toys or clothes, establishing an organizational system can go a long way in helping us manage our responsibilities and schedules. As a Designer with a background in Professional Organization, my aim is to help streamline and simplify our lifestyles – not spend more time filing! I hope these ideas offer simple and actionable solutions to deal with all those incoming papers now and in the future.

        As the school year wraps up, and summer break approaches, you may be tempted to toss your paper piles for a quick reset. Before you do, use the chance to assess what’s piling up and establish or fine-tune your organizational approach for the year ahead.

        Ask yourself these 4 questions as you take stock of your paper piles:

        • What unimportant papers can be skimmed and recycled in seconds to minimize pile-ups?
        • What’s coming in that can be dealt with promptly in minutes? Consider keeping digital records in shared folders, and adding key dates to Google calendars immediately. Sign short forms and return to backpacks daily.
        • What forms and documents are piling up faster than you can action daily? Keep your to-dos together and block time in the calendar weekly to keep up with it. Be mindful of what’s worth your time to come back to.
        • What warrants a dedicated space for storage or on display before they clog up your pile of action items? See ideas below.

        Create space for kids’ school papers and creations with these 3 types of dedicated spaces:

        1) Individual Display Areas

        Give kids space in their rooms where they can display class photos, work samples, art creations and awards, using a combination of a magnet or bulletin board plus open shelves. Keep it curated and refreshed as new items come in.

        2) Personal Portfolios

        Create a keepsake storage area such as a large bin that fits under their bed or in their closet for items they no longer care to display but remain special keepsakes.  Review what’s been collected at the end of the year and edit the collection down to select highlights worth keeping. Leave yourself room in the bin to add next year.

        3) Family Command Centres

        Establish a dedicated area accessible to the family to help with streamlining and storing all the incoming papers, important info, and items to remember to bring. Where and how you do this will vary based on your space, preferences and lifestyle. Consider whether you want it by the entry or in a kitchen nook, and whether it should be visible or behind closed doors. Some people need to see reminders whereas others want it handy but out of sight.

        Integrate these 4 essential command centre elements:

        Wall organization: Any combination of magnet boards, bulletin boards, and clips/hooks can keep important info on display for easy reference. Some of our favourite products include heavy-duty magnetic clips like these or these, or simply pairing command hooks with fold-back clips.

        Calendar: While our family makes use of a shared digital calendar, many people find posting weekly or monthly calendars to be helpful for meal planning and special events/responsibilities.

        Paper filing: Whatever works best for you, group key categories of papers you need to action in trays, folders, clipped stacks or digital folders.

        Containers: Give each family member a place to keep personal belongings and accessories handy to grab as they go in and out - think bins, drawers or individual hooks.

        About Sarah Grant:

        If you are looking for more organization and decluttering tips, check out more of Sarah Grant’s guest blogs with us here. To learn more about home organization services in Kelowna, British Columbia and Toronto, Ontario, follow Sarah on Instagram @be.neatstudio

        Photo Credit: Janis Lempera

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