Getting Kids Involved With Sorting School Papers

Well it was that time of year again, the end-of-school papers needed sorted and put away but we decided to wait until after our family vacation to tackle it. Mostly because I wanted to wait until my daughter seemed ready to participate. If we had done it the week school let out, I'm not so sure my organizing partner in crime would have been up for the task.

In June 2014 I wrote about organizing kids papers which included tips for sorting and purging the excess papers from the school year with your child's participation. Although we do a pretty good job in our house throughout the school year keeping those countertops clear from paper clutter inevitably each May our kids end up with huge piles of papers, projects, binders, and notebooks that accumulated in their classroom throughout the school year. Pictured below are the piles we started with for this project, I can't imagine how much more there would have been if we hadn't managed it throughout the year. In the bottom right-hand corner of this photo there is a box of the "Keepers" my children held onto throughout the year but the stuff above is what came home at year end!

Without hesitation my seven-year-old jumped right into helping! Some might think it's because her mom is a professional organizer but honestly I think she really enjoys this one-on-one time showing off her accomplishments from the year. We took the time to discuss particular items and capture the memories by snapping photos of her prized possessions that wouldn't fit into our long-term storage box (pictured below).

With just a little bit of direction and signage she was able to sort them into KEEP, RECYCLE, and UPCYCLE piles. We chose to use recycle instead of trash because it felt better for both of us being that her hard work was definitely not trash! To my surprise she was willing to let go of so many things (see recycle pile is the largest of the three in the photo below).

For the papers she was uncertain about I would ask her to explain their significance to me. In doing so she consequently decided to let it go or found a new purpose for it. She has big plans for upcycling so many of her cool art pieces into birthday cards that she can give friends and family throughout the coming year!

There wasn't any hesitation for taking the recycle pile to the recycle bin in our garage, probably because she felt empowered to let it go instead of being forced to do so. However, she was most excited about putting her keep items in the file system that is devoted to her academic and artistic accomplishments. Because her amazing 1st grade teacher made her a memory book that summarized her work from the whole year, we didn't need to keep too many additional items!

The whole project from start to finish was completed in less than two hours! We sure did enjoy our quality time together while little sister was napping! I'd say she's got the swing of this process, and it won't be long until your little one does too!

Happy Organizing!

Clarity Co. Organization & Productivity Services

Lexington, KY

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