More " Control It" today at the "Organize It" Party
Thanks for stopping in again at the "Organize It" Party. We have more great "Control It" Ideas for you along with fun Party Favors and we are giving away the perfect MOM tool to organize our piles of kids papers. Enjoy your time at the "Organize It" Party.
FREEbie Party Favor
Valentines Day is right around the corner. You can get 6 FREE personalized with pictures Valentines day cards from Stories By Everyone.
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Hurry offer ends February 1, 2009
Getting Organized for School – Organizing Your Child’s Artwork and School Papers
By Beverly Coggins, www.1-2-3GetOrganized.Com
Along with school, comes all those papers! And art masterpieces. What to do with them? You want to preserve memories of your child’s school years, but you don’t want to train her to be a pack rat.
I’ll have to admit – I wasn’t very proactive in this area when my children were growing up. We’d sort through papers every once in a while, frame some, and store others, but we didn’t do it very consistently.
First, choose a receptacle for such papers. It could be a file folder, a hanging file, an art portfolio (or one made by taping two pieces of poster board together), a box, a binder with protector sheets - whatever works for you and your child.
Before storing your child’s artwork, you may want to display them. You could create a gallery in your child’s room or elsewhere by hanging a colorful piece of string or yarn across a wall and clip the artwork to the string. Voila – instant gallery.
Or use a picture frame to house artwork, swapping out the front picture when a new keeper comes along, storing the other pictures behind the most recent one. And there’s always the refrigerator or a bulletin board.
Another option is to turn the artwork into placemats (by laminating them), wrapping paper or greeting cards. A glass-covered coffee table can show off artwork under the glass. Or turn your child’s artwork into a calendar. Create a collage with several pieces of artwork. There are even companies that turn your child’s artwork into a book.
Artwork that doesn’t make it into the keeper file can be sent to grandma or to our troops, if it seems too cruel to toss them.
With your child, clean out her backpack at the end of the week. Some papers will not be sentimental and will go easily into the recycling bin. Try to encourage your child to choose only one item a week to keep. Label the back of the paper with the date and a description, especially if the picture may not be readily identifiable!
Some weeks may be more prolific than others, and it may be too traumatic to narrow it down to one item. If you don’t mind, and you have enough room, make exceptions here and there. There may be items you treasure, but your child doesn’t see the value in them at her age – keep those, too.
At the end of the month, as you are evaluating that week’s papers, look back over the previously stored papers to see if some of the sentimentality has decreased for the earlier keepers. Time has a way of diminishing the attachment. Repeat every month.
For large three-dimensional projects take a picture rather than storing the entire project. Large art pieces can be taken to a copy center and reduced to a manageable size. At the end of the school year, determine if your storage is adequate to house that year’s keepers. If not, purge until it is. Label the container with your child’s name and the year.
For family night one night, take out the keepers for the last few years and reminisce – what a fun memory!
Beverly Coggins is a professional organizer, speaker and author of the 1-2-3...Get Organized series. Her passions: to help people make home a refuge instead of a crisis center; and to help people live in peace rather than chaos, both at home and at work. Each of her books addresses only one subject of organizing one's home, office or time and is dedicated to those who are overwhelmed with the thought of organizing. They are available at http://www.1-2-3GetOrganized.com. Her blog containing organizing tips lives at http://www.1-2-3GetOrganized.blogspot.com. Contact info: bev@1-2-3GetOrganized.com.
Time to open another GIFT (giveaway).
Our next Gift comes from Fridge File.
Think of all the pieces of paper stuck to your fridge so you "won't lose them" -- receipts, phone numbers, sports schedules, take out menus. Then think of how easily they slide to the floor because the pile got too heavy for the magnet. Get your paper in order once and for all!
This lightweight, vertical 19"H x 12"W filing and message center is designed to hang magnetically on your refrigerator, file cabinet, or other metal structure. Label each of the 4 pockets and store important documents right at your fingers -- change your dry erase labels as needed. And the handy dry erase board makes it easy to keep track of all your important notes. And unlike those cute magnets you are using now, this organizer will stay put, even when filled!
And you aren't limited to just the fridge -- with a couple of push pins, you can hang it anywhere you need instant organization -- a home office, child's room, or your office at work. Includes:
# 4 large filing pockets with dry erase labels
# decorative dry erase board with pen and eraser
# 4 super magnets that will hold 70+ pieces of standard paper
Fridge File and 24/7 MOMS are giving away one Fridge File. To enter for your chance to win, enter your name and email address in the box below you will be signed up for today's giveaway as well as be added to the 24/7 MOMS E-list (if you are not already a 24/7 MOMS subscriber). Drawing to be held on February 1, 2009
School Papers! What do you do with all of them???
By: Organize with Sandy
Now we have a sorting system for mail and other papers coming into the house. But what about all those school papers that come in everyday?
You also need to work out a similar system to sort those papers.
I have the triplets come in each day (they are in 2nd grade) and take out their folders and put on the couch where I sit so I can go through them. They get their snack and then do any homework they have for the day. While they are getting their snack I am going through their folders.
I first of all see if there is any weekly papers to update us for the week from the teacher. They usually send something like that on Monday and Friday. Then I see if there are any homework papers for the kids to do. Once I have pulled those out to read in a few minutes...I go through the rest of the papers. Most of them are worksheets with a few pictures thrown in. If there is anything really special, like a story they made up with pictures then you can set it aside to keep it. I recommend only keeping at the most one paper per month. Yes...per month!! Think about it. That is still 12 papers per child per year. Multiply that times 12 years in school and that is still a lot of papers to store! It is enough to remember what level they were on and to see how they drew.
Our situation may and hopefully is different from yours in that since this is my 2nd marriage and these are my step kids. So I have to save all the papers so that their mom can see them when they go to her house at the end of the week. I have a folder that I keep all the papers in for the week from the kids. At the end of the week on Friday when they are going to go home with their mom I put all their papers in one of the kids book bags so that their mom gets to see everything. We let their mom keep those special papers for them. If there is something that we really like, we make a copy of it and give the original to their mom.
Then when they come back to our house again in a week, they will have a boat load of papers that their mom kept for us to see. We go through those to see what happened that week and read everything. After we have seen everything and have gone through it with the children (if necessary), then I throw them away. (recycle)
You don't have to feel guilty about throwing these away!! These are worksheets for the most part. If you keep everything....then nothing will seem special.
I have heard some mothers say that they want to keep everything to give their child when they grow up. Is this really a favor you are doing for them? You hand them over boxes and boxes of papers. Now they have to go through them and either throw them away or store them (more clutter)themselves. They may enjoy looking at a few of them, and if there was just a few from each year it would be fun. But if its all their stuff then it is cruel to do to them. You are basically giving them boxes of guilt so they can decide what to do with it and its off your chest now. I think that you would find that most kids wouldn't want you to keep everything they did.
You can have a bulletin board that you keep a special paper of the day or of the week on to showcase it if its a little special and they worked hard on it that week. This will make them feel proud. Then when you take it down, if its not that most special paper of the month...throw it away. The kids don't have to know you are throwing it away, chances are they will never miss them. I have done this for years with my kids and my step kids and I can not think of a single time that the kids have been upset or realized that their papers were gone.
Remember, it is not like you are saying your child isn't special or you don't like the work they do by throwing it away. But keeping everything is not feasible if you want to have a home that is comfortable and not cluttered.
Stop by tomorrow and we will " Simplify It" more at the "Organize It" Party