If you have school-age children or children in day care, the artwork and paperwork that comes home at the end of the day can quickly pile up! momstown Kingston talked to local professional organizer Wendy Greenlaw (AIOP, CRTS, POC) from the Professional Organizers in Canada, who shares easy ways to help control the clutter and keep your family organized.
Q: What are your tips for managing the paperwork that comes home from school and daycare?
A: First, be sure to check your child’s schoolbag at 'the end of each school day' for any paperwork. Next, decide what needs to be done now or what can be done later:
For immediate activities or events (within the next 5 days): mark these events on the family calendar to determine if there is any conflict with other plans. Take steps to address the event or school requirement – for example, sign permission slip for a trip, send cookies for a party, or bring school supplies. Preparing for or completing the task(s) right away will rest your mind at ease and help avoid the last minute stressful rush or even forgetting to get it done. Retain the paperwork until the event is over, then recycle it.
For future activities and events: also put these on the family calendar to determine if there is any conflict with other plans. Take a minute to determine if there are preparations to be completed in advance of the activity or event – mark the calendar accordingly. Keep the flyer in a ’school’ labelled envelope/folder for reference until the activity is over.
Q: Kids create wonderful art projects at daycare and school. How can moms display and store it all?
A: School artwork, a delight for any parent and child, could be dated (for future reference) and put on display for everyone to enjoy. Posting them on the refrigerator is standard but, also having a special area with a framed cork or magnetic board placed in a prominent place in the kitchen, living room or hallway enables everyone to appreciate each child’s creative talents.
Replace with newer art and after a while, depending upon how much artwork is created, have a container or envelope to store it. In the event a large amount of art is collected have a plan, after about a month or so, to go through it with your child and select the best one or two to keep. Keep all you want providing you have or will have the space for it throughout the rest of the year and onward.
Q: Do you have favourite resources in Kingston for unique organization tools or supplies?
A. Both Ikea and Staples are very useful resources when trying to find organizational containers from small baskets to bins for off-season clothing for example. Of particular note though are the hardware stores that tend to sell unique containers or different sizes and shapes for other purposes but are ideal for organizing one’s space.