Thursday, March 3, 2011

Tips for Taming Your Middle Schooler's Paper Clutter!

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School-age kids have clutter, too, and much of it in the form of paper! Remember, you are creating habits now, and you want your child to be in the habit of keeping up with his stuff. Introduce your kids to this easy filing system.
Have a VIP file for very important papers such as warranties for toys and gift receipts. Do you keep these papers? Every time I don't, something happens and I wish I had! I think it's important for middle schoolers, especially as they begin making some important purchases of their own, that they have a place to keep these.

Top drawer. If a file doesn't suit your child's personality, how about the "top drawer" method? My son keeps his top dresser drawer empty of clothes and uses it as a place for papers that are important to him, such as letters, pictures, and his sports' team memorabilia. When he bought an expensive calculator for school recently, the receipt went straight into his top drawer.

Notebooks. You may already use a large three-ring notebook to help your child organize his school papers according to each class, along with a place to keep graded papers and tests. But what about a notebook for extracurricular activities? We have used notebooks through the years as a place for storing the myriad of papers we are given at the beginning of every team's season. It holds the papers for team phone numbers, team schedules, and directions/maps to the different places we go for games. (btw--it is always a good idea to print reverse directions, too!)

Introduce your middle schooler to File 13. An important part of organizing is knowing when to throw papers away.

When you encourage your middle schooler to learn how to create and use organizing tools for herself, she no longer has to rely on you to do it for her. That frees you up, and in the long run, it frees your middler up, too! After all, isn't it nice when you know where everything is?

Want more help organizing? Read Three Steps That Will Take You from Wanting to Be Organized to Actually Being Organized

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