24/7 MOMS

Monday, January 12, 2009

'Organize It" - Control kids stuff

Welcome to today’s “Organize It” Party. Our theme today is “Control It” Kids stuff from school papers to bedrooms.
Being the mom of 5 kids, I am constantly asking myself will the piles of school papers, the overfilled closets, overstuffed drawers, the mounds of toys or even the crazy schedules ever get under control? Do you ever ask yourself that same question?
Today we will begin to "Control It" with Paula Constables simple steps to organizing our Children's school papers and Artwork.

Organizing School Papers and Artw
ork - Simple Steps to Keep it Under Control
By Paula Constable Platinum Quality Author

Isn't it great how kids are so creative and always using their imaginations? From the first moment little ones pick up a pencil and scribble on a piece of paper, most parents start collecting and saving all those wonderful masterpieces. Understandably, many parents want to treasure and capture the journey.

But, good intentions can quickly create a great area of stress for many moms and dads. If we kept every piece of artwork and writings our children produced, our homes would quickly become storage spaces. The key is to be selective in what we save and organize it so it can be enjoyed and treasured.

Having a system with limits in place will help you and your child make decisions as the numerous papers and artwork enter your home. Already have years of school papers and artwork stuffed in large totes? Don't worry! Start from this point forward and then go back later to thin out and organize past memorabilia. Remember, no one system will fit everyone's needs or preferences. But there are great ideas to get you on your way to help you gain control.
Collect It and Limit It

The first step is to have a system in place to gather and collect the items you want to save - a system that does not include the kitchen counter top. Have a designated spot for your child to drop off completed school papers, artwork, and projects. It's important that this spot is convenient and easy for your child to use or the papers just won't get there. It could be a basket, box or folder with their name on it.

Depending on the age of your child, work together to figure out what papers and projects will be kept and/or displayed. Maybe the keepers go on display and the rest is recycled. Typically, younger kids will want to save everything. Consider including a transition time when the kids get home from school so that they can tell you about their work and you are able to give them your attention to look at their latest accomplishments. Or, maybe set up a time after dinner for show and tell.

If you find it hard for you and your child to make a decision right away; that's okay! Some families may prefer to keep all the items and then go back to pick out the best representatives of the whole year. While other may want to limit the collection to whatever can fit inside a designated container. Just keep in mind that memorabilia can't be enjoyed if it is just stored away for that day when "the kids might want to look at it some day." Are you going to be willing to pull out over-stuffed totes?
Organize It and Store It

There are many ways you can organize and store your Children's papers and artwork so it can be enjoyed and at the same time not take up a lot of space. A three ring binder is great for containing writings and worksheets. Add page protectors so artwork can be stored as well.

However you decide to organize the memorabilia, take time to label the containers with the child's name, the contents, and the age or school year of the child. That way when you do want to pull something out, you can locate the items without having to search and dig through one big container.

What about the over sized artwork and projects?

Here are some creative ideas to capture the projects without having to take up a lot of space.

•Take a picture of your child with an oversized art project. Keep the picture and toss the project after it has been displayed for set time period. Have your child write a brief description about the project to keep with the photo.

•Photo sharing Websites allow you to use digital picture files of the creations to create gifts such as calendars, magnets, photo books, mouse pads, blankets and cards.

•Scan artwork and reduce the size to manageable color prints to add to a portfolio.

•Use digital pictures for a screen saver on the family computer. That way the artwork can be continued to be displayed.

•Use large sized artwork on paper for gift wrapping.

Be picky about what you save. Do you really need every math and spelling test? And, some of those arts and craft projects just don't hold up over the years. This is a good opportunity to teach your children that it is OK not to keep everything. Getting your children involved in the process will help them to learn the skills they need to help themselves as they get older.

About the author: Paula Constable, professional organizer and speaker, works with families who want to make their daily lives easier and less stressful through organization. She is the owner of Stuff 2b Organized, LLC and she brings understanding, support and solutions to help calm the busy lives of the families she works with.

To receive her free report, 5 Must-Know Organizing Tips for Busy Moms, and to sign up for her free newsletter, visit http://www.stuff2borganized.com
Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=Paula_Constabl

Time for another GIFT (giveaway) at the "Organize It" Party

The Family Facts School Years Memento Keeper

The ultimate interactive keepsake for you and your child!

The all-too-quick sprint to adulthood makes it hard to keep track of a
child's ever-changing personality, but now you can capture everything while
it's happening-from pre-K through high school graduation-in this attractive
keepsake album that you and your child can fill out together.

Sections include:

Treasured Items-store report cards, photos, awards, and the like in handy

About Me-vital statistics from height and weight to allowance and career

Favorites-from book to band to TV show, everything your child loves

Drawings and Signature-see how your child's artwork and handwriting changes
over the years

School-teachers, friends, extra-curricular activities, awards, and more

Special Occasions-all the details about each year's birthday, holiday
celebrations, trips, and summer vacation

For Friends and Family-places for you, your other children, and extended
family or friends to share their reflections about your childPam Socolow

Real mom review:
September 20, 2008: The Family Facts School Years Memento Keeper is just
that--a keeper! Many similar products sit around, unused, in boxes because
there is a learning curve involved or lots of writing-in-the-blanks
required. Socolow's creation is user-friendly right out of the package. Best
of all, it feels sturdy! The pages are thick, high quality paper stock. The
back and front covers are board-like. The entire package is handsome and
appropriate for a boy or girl. The expandable pockets hold photos and
keepsakes from Pre-K thru 12th grade, plus there is a designated place for
noting height, weight and {the child's} signature each year. The Memento
Keeper would make a thoughtful gift for any parent or parent-to-be who wants
to get organized and stay organized.

Visit The family Facts website for more great Family Facts organization systems for families at http://store.family-facts.com/servlet/StoreFront

Family Facts and 24/7 MOMS are giving away one Family Facts School Years Memento Keeper . 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.

Ready for another FREEbie Party favor?

Scholastic is giving away a FREE little Scholastic book click here and sign-up to get your FREEbie book http://www.scholastic.com/littlescholastic/freebook/index.htm.

Let's go start to "Control It" and we will see you back here at the "Organize It" party for more " Control It" Kid ideas at 6:00 PM

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Anonymous Melanie Morales said...

I saw an idea on Oprah regarding kids' artwork. Scan it in or take a digital photograph of favorites of the year and then have a photobook printed of it. (I highly recommend Picaboo or Shutterfly for this.)

January 13, 2009 at 1:37 PM  

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