Moms, we’ve made it to the end of the school year! As your child got off the school bus on that last day, we all felt free; free of homework, free of packing lunches and free of school stress! But you know your child gave you a huge bag full of their precious artwork, notebooks and other school projects that they worked so hard on during the school year.
Of course our first instinct is to grab a big garbage bag or throw it in the closet to deal with in September. But as we all know, that will never happen and we don’t want to throw out all of their prized work – just edit what we are saving.
So, here are some ways to get organized at the end of this school year so you can start the next one with a clean slate (and closet!).
1. Visit a craft store and buy memory boxes for each of your children.
With your child decide what you want to keep. The trick is that they can only keep the amount of artwork, essays and keepsakes that fit in that box. Or create an art portfolio with clear plastic sleeves to insert their artwork into. Every year you can add to their collection. Another idea is to get a filing cabinet and use labeled hanging files to organize artwork, essays and school projects. Each school year, you can have your child file away their own schoolwork since it is clearly labeled.
2. Organize all the school supplies.
If half-used notebooks, dried out pens and highlighters come home, toss those items! But if school supplies come home that your child can use in the upcoming school year, then put those items in a plastic bin labeled school supplies and remember these items before you do your back to school shopping. You may save some money not having to re-buy items that you already have from the previous year!
3. Create a safe place.
Ceramic art pieces – we love their creativity but what to do with all of those ceramic giraffes and bowls? Display some in your home and put up a shelf in your child’s room so they can admire their favorite pieces. Your kids will appreciate that YOU appreciate what they have made in art class or give them to extended family. We know an aunt and uncle who find them around their house after a family party and never give them back!
4. Check the closet.
Now is also the time to go through your children’s closets and take out all of their clothes that they have outgrown. Decide what you want to keep, donate or store until next season. Put everything in clear bins that are labeled so it’s easy to find what you are looking for when all of your bins are stacked in the attic or basement. Special items of clothing such as class t-shirts, team shirts and their favorite shirt can be stored in a special bin. When your child graduates high school, a great gift is to have all of their special shirts made into a quilt that they can take with them to college.
5. Get the rest out of the house!
Once you have decided what to keep, what to donate and what to store, then take a trip to Goodwill or a consignment shop and get these items out of your house. Being pro-active now with your organization will pay off big time in the fall.
Now it’s time to hit the beach and enjoy the summer with your kiddos!
What do you do with all the school stuff? We’d love to know your tips!
Jean Wergeles and Melissa DeVellis are co-owners of MJ Home Solutions, a professional organizing and home redesign business. They are two Easton moms with 3 children each and understand the need for an organized household. Their clients love that they provide organized solutions for their home or office.