Tag Archive for: back to school

Colorful child's drawing of flowers

What To Do With Children’s Art Work

Helpful Organizer BlogOne thing many parents have a difficult time getting rid of is the things their children have made. Some items are cherished treasures, like a drawing that showcases their personality, their first hand-made Mother’s Day card, or a precious clay bowl. Other items are less meaningful, but are equally important to the giver. That causes problems, right? These things have a high sentimental value. I understand that, but we can’t keep everything. You know we can’t. So, what goes and what gets kept?

Setting limits is a great way to minimize what is kept. A good limit is to have one ‘keep bin’ per child. This one bin will hold all the art treasures that are being kept from that one child. Label this bin and use it to store the creations each child makes. Set some guidelines on what is kept. For example keep only those items that significantly highlight your child’s personality and talents. Go through the bin yearly to reevaluate and weed out items.

Another way to minimize what is kept is to re-purpose and reuse. Below are some creative ways to do this.

  1. Scan or photograph art work and use several images to create family calendars. Let the originals go after the calendar is created.
  2. Have a gallery wall were you display art work for one month then let it go.
  3. Use scanned images of the art work as a screen saver on your desktop computer. Share who made the piece, when they made it, and what they have to say about their creation.
  4. Separate art work by season and save a few special pieces to put up with other seasonal decorations.
  5. Take photos of the art work with the artist and scrapbook the images with details.
  6. Add the art work to a digital frame or tablet and showcase at their birthday parties and holiday gatherings.
  7. Frame a few of the artist’s favorite pieces in a shadow box for one year. Then add another piece right over the previous year until the shadow box is full. Then store in a keep bin (listed above) or let it go.

It may be difficult to make decisions on what creations to keep, but your child will thank you for only holding onto one ‘keep bin’.

©September 2016  Janine Cavanaugh, Certified Professional Organizer  All Rights Reserved

Back to School Organizing Tips

Back to school
It’s back to school time.  Did you promise yourself that this year would be different?  Did you say you were going to come up with a plan to manage all the school papers and homework?  Did you have a great idea for organizing school lunches and backpacks?  What about homework?

It can be difficult to stay organized with school things when so much happens all at once.  However, it is possible with a bit of planning and some family guidelines.  Below are 10 back to school organizing tips to help you plan and establish family guidelines that will help you stay organized.  Allow yourself time (3 weeks) to transition into these guidelines, but stick to it, and you’ll see results.

Here are 10 back to school organizing tips:

1.  Create a defined drop zone for backpacks just inside the back door, and label a location for each pack.
2. Create a vertical inbox for all incoming school papers, and assign time on your daily calendar to look at these papers.
3. Label the vertical inbox with categories that make sense to you.  For example:  school handbook; schedules; menus; contacts; events.
4. Create a clearly defined homework area for each child, and assign time on your daily calendar to review homework.
5. Create a healthy snack box where kids can grab something good to munch on, to hold them over until dinnertime.
6. Establish one family calendar to post everyone’s schedule.
7. Plan school lunches for the week on Sunday, and assign time on your daily calendar to make them the night before.
8. Pick out school clothes the night before and have them ready to go.
9. Plan breakfast for the week on Sunday and have all menu items on hand .
10. Have each child contribute as much as they can to the family guidelines.  Organizing should be a group effort.

Please share any school related family guidelines that have been successful for your family.

©September 2014  Janine Cavanaugh, CPO®  All rights reserved


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