Take Back the Kitchen Table: How to Organize Your Kids’ Papers

My kitchen is slowing disappearing under a sliding stack of papers. We’ve got calendars, school forms, immunization records, and piles of crafts on limited counter space. Really, who knew kids came with so much paperwork?

I regularly cull our art gallery, but what about the stuff I want to keep, like report cards, birthday party invitations and school photos?  I procrastinate too much to take up scrapbooking.

Over the summer, I read Gretchen Rubin’s book, The Happiness Project, where I found her simple, stellar idea for corralling kids’ paper piles. Rubin bought each of her children a file box, and filled it with a separate file folder for each school year. Each file holds the annual school photo, report cards, select artwork, and other file-able mementos. As papers come into the house, they go into the box. Easy.

Of course, crafty types have gone one better to make this system attractive, too. I Heart Organizing offers adorable free printable file labels and photo pages for download.

Dandee Designs offers another simple file label design for her own file system.

At my house, this system has cut down majorly on paper pandemonium. I’ve got a bin for each of the girls, and like Rubin, I’ve created a shared box for my husband and me. A place for everything. Who knew?

Looking for more organizing tips? Check out 11 Ways to Get Organized and our story on clutter busting, and more tips to Conquer Clutter in Every Room of the House.

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