Saturday, May 4, 2013

Organizing Your Kids Paperwork When The School Year Ends

Organizing Kids Paperwork when the School Year Ends
With school coming to a close, here is a a how-to list for sorting through all the paperwork and artwork.

We as parents all love to see our children’s artwork and awards they get. We feel proud for our children and maybe even daydream a little about the future Picasso or President that may dwell within. What can be tough however is sorting through what we want to save and what we choose to throw away.

By the time a child hits middle school, you could potentially have boxes of old artwork, report cards and awards. What we as parents have to do is get with the digital age as there are so many tools now to do exactly what we have been doing the hard way. Here are a few steps and tools to help us sort through everything and make storage easier than we ever thought.

1. The first step is to sort everything by category. I would sort as follows: Most important artwork first. There may be artwork that you just have to keep physically either due to its quality or emotional attachment to you. What you should do is buy a portfolio case and store that artwork separately. This way they do not get damaged and store easily. You can find a quality portfolio case at most of your office supply stores or on sites such as Amazon. Average price of a quality case runs between 35-70 dollars.

2. Next comes the awards and certificates that could just as easily be scanned and stored digitally. You could scan and store them either on your computer, CD format, or even using cloud storage. Even better, you could have your child stand holding some of the more important ones while you take digital photos. You could then do this with future awards as they are won and make a timeline of your children’s progress. This keeps you from having to save every good citizen or attendance award your children will often earn and let you save only the most important ones physically. This method also works great for projects that your child completes but may be too big to store anywhere such as science fair or building projects.

3. Next comes the artworks that you may not want to keep but do not have as emotional of an attachment to. These could be simple drawings, small art projects, or handmade cards your children will often make for you. Why not simply scan the works and store them digitally. You could even scrapbook them if you want either physically or online on services such as Snapfish or Shutterfly. This way they are stored for life and your children and grandchildren can view them later. You and your child can also see how he or she grew over the years and how their artwork changed. It may be embarrassing to the child sometimes, but the nostalgia is well worth it.

4. Throw away all the boxes you may have been using to store all of the awards, artwork, term papers and other writings. Once you have properly stored all of these precious memories, you will find you have much more space. You can even store many of the school papers on PDF and use an online service like Dropbox or Microsoft cloud services. A parent starting this while children are still young will have far less work to do than a parent of three school age children. You will find that you no longer have to feel badly about throwing away something your children made or wrote and will have more space as a result.

I know that as parents we often feel bad about deciding what to keep and throw away when it comes to our children’s artwork, school awards and papers. Thanks to the many digital options we now have, this is no longer a heart-wrenching experience. Since we often store our vacation photos and even photos of our pets digitally, this should be a snap for many of us. Simply take the steps to categorize and properly store each item and you can ensure that you and your children’s memories will be available for each generation to follow. Who knows, maybe your child does turn out to be the next Picasso and you get to show the world what your artist was like as a child, and maybe the next President is hidden in those old term papers and report cards.

I hope you find some value in these tips and I invite you to learn more about my Home Organizing Services by visiting my website.

Robert Mizrahi
Chaos Commandos