It’s that time of year again when kids bring home armloads of schoolwork and artwork and dump them all over our dining table. It makes a mess and the temptation is to sweep everything into the recycling bin! But most of us have kiddos who won’t let us take such drastic measures, so what’s a parent to do? Here is how a professional organizer handles the end-of-year school work in her house.
1. My son Nathan brings it home and we set aside a half hour to sort through it. We focus on keeping original artwork and writing that really showcases his best effort that school year. This means we toss all worksheets. When he was younger and did more coloring, we also recycled all coloring pages and activity pages.
2. I purchase 11″ x 14″ bubble mailers from my local Fred Meyers. I used to use smaller mailers, but I found that the larger size accommodate notebooks and bigger pieces of artwork better, plus they can hold about a 2″-high stack of papers. I also used to use non-bubble mailers, but I found that the bubble mailers hold up better and don’t rip when you try to place a spiral-bound notebook inside.
3. Nathan places that year’s schoolwork inside the bubble mailer. We don’t seal them up. But I do stick a big label on it that says “Nathan — 6th grade.” I like the Avery sticker labels that come two to a sheet. We always stick the label on the same corner of the mailer so when the mailers are all lined up on their side, you can easily read the label.
4. We store the mailers all lined up on the top shelf of Nathan’s closet, along with his other treasures (nature finds, cards from loved ones, etc.)
This method works great for us! Looking for other ideas? I have always liked the My Art Place portfolios from Hearthsong because it holds larger sized artwork in 8 separate compartments. So while it might not be large enough to accommodate hundreds of pages of school work, it’s a great choice if you have a prolific artist at home.
I’ve also come up across this service called Artkive that scans your child’s artwork/schoolwork and turns it into a glossy coffee table book. It’s definitely the most expensive option (send them 50 pieces of artwork and your finished book will cost you $120). But it’s the option that saves you the most space.
How do you like to organize your kids’ schoolwork? Have you seen any great options out there?
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