Since there are more important issues to address with children, than their collection of papers, let’s use the K.I.S.S. (keep it simple silly) concept and make life easier for parent and child. Here are a few simple tips to get you started and to set up some good habits as the papers and the kids grow.
- The first step is to respect the child’s property. One parents’ trash is a child’s treasure, so before discarding anything, check with your child…it may be “irreplaceable”…at least for now.
- Next…get each child a file cabinet. If you buy the sturdiest one you can afford it will serve to keep their papers organized from preschool right through college. Provide hanging file holders, colored file folders, labels and color-coding stickers to help them set up a system of simple filing for easy retrieval. When the school year ends they can learn to purge their files to make room for next year’s paper collection. Simply change the categories as necessary when the new school year begins. If they are not willing to use the file category system, just have them add the papers to the cabinet to locate or purge later.
- Keep the fewer “really special” papers and projects in a storage box under the bed or at the top of a closet. This will be a more permanent home until it is decided it isn’t needed or will be saved…“forever.”
Use photo albums and turn them into photo-scrapbooks, to save special photos, invitations, commendations, etc. Hole punch the papers to fit the book. Be sure to provide an acid-free environment (no PVC) in these books so photos and papers will last a very long time. Or maybe they just want their photos, etc. saved into their computer.
- A bulletin board can display papers on a temporary basis. Be sure the items pinned there are rotated regularly so it doesn’t become a “graveyard” of old memories.
Start the paper organizing routine at any age to encourage children to keep their papers organized and archived. It will make life easier for you as a parent and, and one day when they are parents organizing their homes and their children’s paperwork.