If you have kids in school, you most likely already know that organizing school papers is a must! Last year was the first year the girls were in school. They went to Pre-K half a day in the afternoons. I had NO IDEA how much paper would come home with them! It was a ridiculous amount! We constantly had a mess of papers at the end of our kitchen island and it drove me crazy.
Finally, I got my act together and came up with a simple system
I found a file basket at Hobby Lobby and thought it would be perfect to set on the counter to organize all the school papers. Now I’m somewhat of a minimalist as far as my kitchen counters are concerned but having this one little basket on the counter was WAY better than having the stacks of papers everywhere.
Next I picked up some dollar spot file folders and some washi tape at Target and I was all set!
Ok, now to the organization
Organizing School Papers
Now, I know the rule of thumb in keeping a clean and organized space is to only touch something once. HOWEVER, I have two little hoarders that fight me tooth and nail when I even try to throw scrap paper away. So, this is a two step process but it’s really quick and easy.
Step 1: Go through school bag and pull out all school papers.
Often times, the girls are so excited to show me their papers that I don’t have to do this but I try to make sure it’s done as soon as we walk in the door before their backs go on their hooks in the mud room.
Step 2: Sort and file school papers.
I go through the papers and sort them into arts/crafts, school work (such as worksheets, writing practice, etc), and important info for parents (this would be permission slips, requests for goodies, money for projects, etc.). Then I file them away in the dedicated folders.
Step 3: Clean out files and move to permanent storage
Ok, here’s the 2nd time you touch the papers. At the end of the week, once the tiny hoarders have forgotten about all of their precious papers, I go through them and decide what to keep and what to trash. The papers I keep go into a binder (permanent storage) that they can look through any time they want.
Now for papers I like to keep…..
- Anything that will show progress – for example, I kept their letter writing practice sheets and shape drawing practice sheets.
- Questionnaire worksheets – this is anything where they had to come up with their own answer either in picture form or writing. For example, the girls had papers where they were asked to draw their house or draw what they want to be when they grow up.
- Arts & Crafts – I didn’t keep all of these, only the ones that fell under the two categories above plus anything with fingerprints or hand prints.
You might have noticed there is a binder in the file basket. I keep things such as their school calendar, lunch menu, school directory, PTA info, etc in this binder for easy and quick access.
So that’s how I organize our school papers. What do you think? Do you do something similar or completely different? Let me know in the comments.