If you have school-aged children, you know that means mountains of paper coming home daily. And most children don’t want to part with any of these masterpieces, even if they are nothing more than a single crayon mark on a piece of construction paper.
If you let this go, you will be buried under an avalanche of school papers within a couple of months. Here are a few strategies to handle this paper mountain:
Date Everything By Week
Make sure you know when something came in. The easiest way I know to do this is to keep a date stamper near the place where the backpacks get empties. Stamp everything as it comes in, and then it will be safe to let it accumulate for a week or so.
Pick One Item To Save
For your chosen week, allow the child to choose one item. This allows them to select a particular favorite (which might not be the one you would choose). Ask them to tell you why they chose it. You can record this reason on the back of the piece, if you wish. Choosing one item brings the bulk down from hundreds of papers over the course of a school year to about 40.
Store The One Item
If you wish to keep the item, store it properly. You can buy a special box to keep these items in, or a binder with plastic sleeves, or a scrapbook. I scan or photograph items and do an electronic scrapbook.
Get Rid of the Rest
Next, you need to get the rest of the papers out of your house. In my case, my daughter has hysterics if I suggest the recycling or trash, so I pack up papers and send them to alternate grandmothers. That way both of the grandmothers get to see the school work, and they have my explicit permission to recycle/trash when they are done with them.
Keeping up with papers without getting overwhelmed is doable and easy if you put limits in place, and have a system for processing what you have decided to keep.
Photo by lenchensmama.