Organizing the Papers that Come Home
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What is it with papers that end up inside our homes?!
They seem to multiply every time you turn your back. With only half of our little kids going to school now, I can only imagine the paper mess when they all come of school age!
At our house we do have a paper system (either that or get lost in a sea of papers 🙂 )
I haven’t been able to jump the boat and commit to a paperless house. Click here if you want to check that option out!
We’ve found a happy medium in a dresser!
Yes, a dresser, right here in our kitchen!
With a news paper rack on top and a filing system beside.
It doesn’t take up much space. It’s a stand-alone-area that is not going to spread its papers across my kitchen counter. It’s separate spaced drawers are perfect for each of my school aged children to have a drawer of their own. They are able to sit in front of the dresser and unload their school papers into it as soon as they come home from school.
Going through it regularly (about 3 times a year) is a necessity. Because it’s “their” drawer, the kids go through their drawers and treasures that they have collected, when school is over for the summer. They each make a pile of papers that need “to go”.
I take a last look through what school paper they want to throw out and what they want to keep. I make a stack for myself at the end of their school year of pieces of school work that I’ll put into their childhood memory boxes. (I’ll save that for another post) Then kids will re-pack their drawers with the treasurers that they are not ready yet to part with and then… Then we have a paper bomb fire (sorry teachers)
There are a couple more times that we go through the kids drawers during the year. Mostly when they can’t close the drawers anymore. But the June clean up is the fun one for everyone. (roasting marshmellows! yum)
This paper station in our house is great for the kids too because it gives the school aged ones their own space that is THEIRS and no one else is too touch. So if they come home from a birthday party and had received a loot bag with candy’s and toy’s… guess where I ask them to put it.
It becomes a trust teaching tool.
The other children are not to sneak into the drawer that now has a loot bag, because — lo and behold — their drawer is right above the birthday loot bag drawer and some day they will be coming home with birthday treats of their own too. Each child needs to respect the other child’s drawer.
Another trust is that if a child come home with the loot bag, they can put it in their drawer and “control” their candy intake. We do have a rule to ask mommy first and THEN they can go help themselves. Of course this rule has been broken, but at that point I can teach about the broken trust I have for my kid. I take the candy away and control it, until I trust them with it again. (or the candy is all gone)
I love our drawers! It’s a great way to teach the kids their independence and it’s a pretty place that hides the paper junk in our house!
The top drawer of the dresser we save for our phone books, take out menus of local restaurants, family devotional books and pens (lots and lots of pens)!
As I mentioned earlier we do have a newspaper rack that sits on top of the dresser. Great for our accumulation of dairy magazines! Did I mention NO papers touch my kitchen counter!!! When the newspaper rack get full, the hubby goes through it and recycles. (I don’t say a word — he just hates piles of stuff, and that’s his pile!) I picked up my wire basket at Staples, but this is your chance to “pretty” up the dresser with a cute basket and color.
Right beside the newspaper rack we have a 5 shelf open file system I picked up at Ikea. I absolutely LOVE this system. It’s small enough, pretty enough, and slick enough to do the job and keep hubby and my mail all organized out in the open and looking good. It’s super easy to pull out a shelf and go through it quickly to get rid of extra unneeded papers.
That’s how we keep our papers organized in our house!
Next up — I’ve got my eye on a dresser upgrade to a handy looking 6 drawer unit from Canadian Tire! But we are not quite ready to make that jump yet.
What do you do in your house to keep your papers organized? Tell me in the comments below, I would love to hear the different ideas!
Happy paper sorting!
By: Sharon Schuler