This is my paper corner. This is where every permission slip, information sheet, and printed schedule goes to die. Every year, when school begins, I accumulate a pile of papers that just gets higher as the weeks go on. I know what’s there, but I might forget about it until I actually need it.
This is no way to live, folks. It’s time to get the paper clutter under control. A few years ago, I started using a new system to corral all my kids’ paperwork. I have to say, it’s been life-changing! Today, I’m sharing my magic system with you.
All you need to know is one little word:
While you’re buying school supplies, pick up a cheap 1 1/2 inch binder for each of your kids. You’ll also need the following:
- 3 hole punch
- Post-It Adhesive Divider Tabs
- Cardstock for printing
Set up Your Binder
Print out your dividers and attach a Post-It Divider Tab to each divider. I’ve made up a set of free printables that can work for boys or girls for you to use in your binders. Click here to download them. If you have a special request for one I didn’t make, feel free to email me at email@example.com and I can whip something right up!
I organized my binders into the following sections:
- Papers to Return to School – things like permission slips, order forms, or other communication that needs to go back within a week or two.
- Weekly Newsletter and Communications – each child gets a weekly class newsletter that includes upcoming dates, important information, and what they are working on in class. I also get monthly newsletters from the school and the PTO, as well as other occasional communications that I want to keep safe for future reference.
- Reading Lists and Book Reports – this is a great place to keep instructions for long-term assignments and other helpful reference materials for class.
- Classroom Policies and Procedures – at the beginning of the year, we get a sheet from each classroom teacher, each “special area” teacher, and a large handbook from the school. I like to keep these on hand for reference in case of any problems or questions.
- Best Work and Report Cards – If my child is really proud of a test or writes a great short story, I keep it here. I also add in progress reports, standardized test scores, and quarter report cards here.
At the end of each school year, I move the things I want to keep to a file box I have for each child. I also keep a favorite art project or two from each child. I throw out the things I won’t need, and I am ready to start fresh for the next school year!
Now, I just need something similar for my ever-growing pile of mail…
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