Schools have begun letting out for the summer. As children come home for the long summer holiday, with them come a year’s worth of school work. Reports, works of art, ribbons, and awards all stuffed into the bottom of a back pack waiting to be discovered by an adoring mom.
I’m going to venture off topic (well kind of off topic) for a moment. I was recently cleaning out the garage when I came across Max’s old back pack. It had been in the garage and unused for at least 2 years. As I pulled it off the shelf, dusty and trailing cobwebs I could tell that he had put it in the garage without emptying the contents. I had a moment of “Mom Joy”, thinking I might find something sentimental and cool. I began pulling things out of the pockets; a completed but never turned in math assignment, several broken pencils, 2 AA batteries, a LIBRARY BOOK, and 1 still-in-the-wrapper McDonald’s Hamburger. This is not a joke. Other than the fact that it was hard as a rock, it looked brand new. The bun was still shiny. There was not one sign of insect infestation. It was the same size and shape as it had been when it was acquired. Max has always eaten his burgers plain – meat and bun. I’m sure this contributed to success of the preservation – no rotting veggies, or acid filled ketchup. Amazing nonetheless.
Okay, sorry about the side trip down memory lane, let’s get back to all of that wonderful stuff your children have carted home from school this year.
I regularly get asked about kids’ school work/art work:
How to store it?
Where to store it?
How much to keep?
These are the most common questions. If you’re participating in our current Get Organized Challenge, we’ll be talking about this very topic in about a week.
Unfortunately, there is no one-size-fits-all answer, so I’ll give you a couple of suggestions that may help guide you through the process. Here are the steps I recommend:
Gather all of you child’s school work together in one place.
Chose a container. This will help you limit the amount of stuff you keep – forcing you to choose only the truly important pieces. This container should be large enough to accommodate a 12″x 18″ sheet of construction paper if your child is still in grade school. Older children will most likely only need something that is 8.5″ x 11″ – or large enough to hold a school yearbook. I would recommend our Jumbo Fab File for grade school children.
Or our Large Fab File for older children.
Set aside a time with your child to go through the pile. Make this a “special” event by including some type of treat like a milkshake, rootbeer float, or purchasing a new album/song to listen to together while you sort.
Grab some sticky notes, a pencil, and paper before you sit down to sort. There’s a good chance your child, regardless of his/her age, will give you some good information about 1 or more of these pieces of work. You’ll certainly want to capture the story.
Working through the pile with your child accomplishes 4 things;
- The pile is no longer a “pile,” it’s a thoughtful plan.
- The things that are important to your child have been preserved.
- Everything is safely stored away.
- Quality time has been shared and the value of saving memories has been instilled.
Now you can easily access the items you need for scrapbooking and you’re ready to pass on the remaining items when your child moves into his/her own home.
Thanks for stopping by.