Drowning in a Sea of Paper? Tips for Organizing Back to School Clutter


One thing that surprised me about sending my son to Kindergarten last year was the amount of paperwork.  Not just the stuff we had to fill out and give back to the school, the stuff that was given to us by his teacher that I needed to find a way to keep track of: Ways to implement math in everyday activities at home, school menus, the school calendar, and more.

We’ll talk about organizing school projects and artwork too!

The lesson I learned the hard way: Don’t just put it in a pile.

I dislike clutter.  I have a basket in a cabinet for mail that needs to be tended to so that I don’t have to look at it.  When I found myself with piles of school paper I put it in a neat stack and set it on the dining room table {because obviously we never use our dining room table}.  Last year, I missed my Kindergartner’s first ‘Sharing Day’.  I don’t want to repeat this mistake this year.  Sometimes out of sight isn’t the best.  

The New Plan: Use my calendar.

This is not Earth-shattering advice, I know.  Everything is on the calendar that I use every day.  Sharing days, late starts, reminders to put money in the lunch account.  I know I’m going to look at the calendar every day to plan my own schedule and now I won’t miss his stuff either!  Phew.  

Now, let’s talk about ‘projects’ that come home.

They are adorable, right?  The sweet way they write their names and the little cotton balls glued down with care.  We only have so much real estate on our refrigerator.  I knew I needed to get a handle on this before it got out of control.  {Confession: I’m a keeper.  I can’t just throw them away when he’s not looking.  Unless there’s food glued on it.  I’ll throw those creations away all day long}.   With a little help from Pinterest and a tip from our friends at Scottsdale Moms Blog I gathered my supplies and got to work.

This project literally requires 2 things. A piece of poster board and a roll of duct tape or masking tape.

So, you have your poster board and your tape. {We should let you know if you’re a big crafter this project may be a bit of a let down because it’s VERY simple}.  Now, fold it in half, creating a portfolio or giant folder.  Slap some tape on either side and you’re ready to stow away all those darling arts and crafts!  {Bonus Mom points if you let your littles decorate their own portfolio!}

It’s so simple, I’m sad I didn’t think of it myself!

A few other great ideas for storing kids’ artwork and projects:

  • Clean, unused pizza boxes
  • This adorable frame from Amazon 
  • Take a photograph of the Artwork then upload it to your favorite photo-sharing site and make a photo book at the end of the year.

How do you manage all the school papers?