Take Action in Keeping Those Countertops Clear!
Now that summer is over and your kids are back in the swing of their typical fall routines: school, after school activities and homework you are probably already seeing the stream of paperwork entering your home. Take control of it early by starting a system to manage it daily. Get the kids involved so they are learning the importance of staying on top of these responsibilities.
When you and your child see each other at the end of your busy days, sort through their book bag together and reflect on the day. Ask your child what needs to go back to school the next day and what items are important to keep for memory sake. Some papers won’t fit either category but you can take a moment to appreciate their work!
If you are sorting the contents of the book bag near the trashcan, it’s easy to purge what doesn’t need attention or isn’t a stand-out piece of work to be kept long term. It’s an important step to the process, that if skipped can easily result in piles of papers on your countertops or other flat surfaces.
Every home with kids should have an Action Center where important papers that require child or parent attention can have a temporary holding spot. Whether it’s homework assignments, permission slips, birthday party invitations or spirit gear orders, you can be sure not to misplace them and give them your attention in a timely manner if you are checking this file daily. Your Action Center can be a folder with multiple pockets, a wall-mounted sorter, a desk-top file sorter or whatever works best for your family. The most important detail is to have “Needs Attention” or “Requires Action” folders for everyone in the family.
For those stand out pieces of art or completed assignments that deserve admiring, consider a way to display them for your family to enjoy. Create an art gallery in your home, one for each kid or a group gallery! Beautifully framed corkboards grouped together, a curtain rod with clips or clothes line system, hanging on a wall allow for pieces to be easily changed out when new ones are ready for display.
As new pieces fill the gallery, older pieces can be contained until it’s time to sort through it at the end of the school year. Designate a box for each child and let them choose what they want to keep in their box. If it’s filled to the brim then they’ll have to purge some pieces in order to makes space for more. Reviewing these items monthly and doing some purging will make the end of the year review and selection process much easier!
Just because there may not be space to keep everything your child brings home doesn’t mean you can’t save it! Photograph or scan their work to keep digital copies. Use apps like Artkive, Art My Kid Made and Keepy to store and share your family’s masterpieces. Consider taking it a step further with creating and printing a photo book of those memories to have accessible in your home!
Teaching young children paper management systems helps set them up for academic success and leads to organized college students and, ultimately, adults. Not to mention, a de-cluttered home results in a more productive family!
Clarity Co. Organization & Productivity Services