Paper Clutter no more!

Child's Mini Chalkboard - o2I can’t believe it’s September already. Where did the summer go?

For a lot of people September is a stressful month. The kids have to go back to school and with that a lot of paperwork will enter the home.

Here are some tips to stay on top of paper clutter:

  • Have a dedicated area in the house where your children can do their homework. If you need to help them with their homework, pick an area that’s close to where you usually are.
  • Have a basket or bin ready for each child so that they can put in it any newsletters, permission forms, artwork or other paperwork they bring home from school. This routine is very important and will keep you on top of things and your children reassured that nothing will get forgotten.
  • Look through their bins each night, sign the permission slips, put money in an envelope and put everything right back in their backpacks.
  • For your child’s report cards, and other important school information, have a folder labeled with your child’s name and make sure everything goes into it.
  • Put important dates for trips, picture taking dates, parent/teacher night etc. in a calendar right away. For little kids there should always be an actual calendar somewhere accessible to them so that they know what dates are coming up.
  • Have a recycling bin ready so that your kids can throw out any paper they don’t need or want.
  • Sit with them and open your mail. Recycle envelopes, flyers and any advertising material you come across. Make notes of what you need to follow up on. Be an example to your kids and show them that opening mail is a daily habit like brushing teeth. If they are curious, tell them what kind of mail you are getting and why you need to follow up on some things.
  • Collect artwork in a special folder labeled with your child’s name and go through it once a year. In order to keep volume to a certain limit take pictures of some of the artwork you want to discard. If your kids like to display their art and they draw a lot, propose to them that they display a different picture every week. This way the amount of artwork stays manageable.

Once you get into the habit of looking at your children’s paperwork every night, you’ll find it will take very little of your time, and everybody will be happier because of it!

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