Problem: The endless balagan of papers, projects, art, things to sign and what to do with them.
Solution: Create a system to manage incoming papers.
- see-through drawers
- handled carrying cases generally used for art projects
- extra large ziplock bags
- hanging folders and storage box
LABEL THE DRAWER, BOX, OR BAG WITH YOUR CHILD’S NAME
PUT THE PAPERS YOU ARE KEEPING INTO THIS STORAGE PLACE AS SOON AS YOUR RECEIVE THEM
DECLUTTER PERIODICALLY WHEN THE STORAGE CONTAINER GETS TOO FULL
It is not necessary to keep ever single paper that is brought home. Every coloring page, handwriting page, math sheet, does not need to be saved for posterity.
Display artwork or special items on a wall or other prominent place. Rotate often.
Alternatively, a separate area can be created to display artwork, craft projects, Lego creations, etc.
Take photos of projects so they don’t take over your home. Keep the memory not the clutter.
Have a designated place for geniza/shaimos such as a reusable bag or basket. When it gets full bring to the proper depository.
What works for my family at this stage are see through drawers. I have one drawer per child and I find it quite effective.
I have one container I keep as a memory box. If I were to show and tell my DS18’s box you would find his first aleph-bais book, hand print project, his Lech Lecha project, Bereshit project, report cards, some special craft projects, some photos, and my favorite drawings. The box is no bigger than 32 liters.
Create a Command Center
What is a command center? According to Wikipedia “A command center (often called a war room) is any place that is used to provide centralized command for some purpose. While frequently considered to be a military facility, these can be used in many other cases by governments or businesses.”
In the world of home organizers a command center is a place in the home where you have the organizational tools such as a
- dry erase boards and markers
- daf kesher
- phone list of important numbers
- chore lists
- grocery lists
- medication prescriptions to be refilled
- school schedules
- magnetized pad of paper
Pinterest is chock full of images of command centers.
Where should you locate your command center?
Possibilities include your refrigerator, metal doors, walls, near the front door, bulletin boards, in the home office area. There is no right or wrong, but only what is best for your family.
The command center in my house is the front and side of my refrigerator and a wall in the kitchen. I use strong magnets for the refrigerator and tape on the walls. My calendar is hung on the wall by a hook.
A section can be created for each person in the family. In their section hang up permission slips, homework to be signed, letters from school, etc. Some people prefer other systems like binders or trays. I am very visual and need to see these papers or otherwise they will become ‘out of sight, out of mind’.
ALL APPOINTMENTS, ACTIVITIES, AND SIMCHAS ARE WRITTEN ON THE CALENDAR. IF YOU WANT TO COLOR CODE FAMILY MEMBERS IT MAKES FOR EASY VIEWING.
IF YOU ARE THE COMMANDER IN CHIEF OF YOUR HOME, TEACH EVERYONE HOW THESE SYSTEMS ARE TO WORK. PLAN TO REPEAT YOURSELF. PLAN TO REPEAT YOURSELF. PLAN TO REPEAT YOURSELF. A SYSTEM MAY NEED TWEAKING, BUT DON’T GIVE UP ON IT AFTER A FEW DAYS. IT TAKES PRACTICE AND REPETITION TO TEACH EVERYONE AND STAY ON TOP OF THE IN-FLOW OF PAPERS.
By using both a command center and a paper management system, you will be in control of the paper entering your home.
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September 3, 2017