By Marissa Rothkopf Bates
Repeat after us: "This is going to be the school year in which piles and piles of papers won't take over my house. We will be able to find the permission slips easily and before the trip. My children's artwork will be lovingly preserved for future generations." Go on. Say it. Sounds nice, doesn't it? But you're laughing at us. You think it's impossible. After all, you tried. We did, too. And then we set up a Family and School Zone. It helps.1. Buy one bulletin board, push pins, and a hanging wall file for each kid.
2. Hang the board in a location near the entrance your child uses. Consider the kitchen, a mudroom or a space near the coat closet.
3. Decorate the zone to blend in with your décor (try covering the board in coordinating fabric). Let the kids decorate the board in a seasonal theme (i.e., a birthday or Halloween), or a subject that's dear to them (i.e., Harry Potter or soccer). This activity will keep them interested, and ensure that the bulletin board is regularly emptied of old papers.
4. Create headers and divide the board into different areas: "menus," "things that need signing," "reading lists," "team schedules," etc.
5. Let your kids decorate the magazine bins with markers or collages. Label each with a child's name and hang them in a place where your children can easily reach them. The bins will eventually store great works of art, book reports and all the other papers you can't find a home for. Go through them regularly, toss what you don't want and drop the keepers into a nearby expanding file for safe storage. When time permits, place those masterpieces in a scrapbook.
Back to School
• Get organized with these back-to-school checklists
• Use the ultimate tried-and-true back-to-school dorm list
Click here for your printable Week 1 checklist.