Wednesday, November 4, 2009


My kids are paper collectors. Every time they come in the door from church, or a friend's house, or from visiting a friend, they have a picture they colored or a craft they made. They are constantly coloring and drawing. Now that #1 has started Kindergarten, he brings home papers daily, and he gets a folder of weekly work every Monday! The memory keeper and teacher in me doesn't want to throw away a single paper or drawing, because when you look at them all as a whole, you can really see a progression of skills, and you can see the things the kids are "in to" at a specific period in their lives. The clutter-hater in me wants to shred it all and recycle it!!!! What to do?!? So I consulted my buddies..... One said she keeps them all in office file boxes, no order, she just dumps them in there, and just stacks them in her garage. Simple enough, but I think that my garage isn't big enough for that! Another friend said that she sits with her child once a week and they decide together which papers to keep and which to toss, and they put them in a file box. Then at the end of the year they go through the box again and try to whittle it in half, so hopefully they can fit 2 or 3 school years in one box. That seemed a little better to me, but the problem was, when I went through the papers each week with my #1, there were no papers he was willing to part with! They were all too important!! And I didn't really enjoy "negotiating" with him like that every week. So here's my solution. I bought an expandable file for each child.

Every time a child comes home with papers in hand, we look at them and talk about them. I'll trash ones that I know can be trashed (parent announcements & reminders- I transfer important info to my calendar then trash the paper), then I put everything into the file. I'm amazed at how much they hold! We're only halfway filled the file from everything from church and school this year. When we fill it, I plan to go thru it with #1 and ask him the things we can keep and trash, and tell him we've got to only have filled halfway. That way he can see his progression over time too. And having 1 file on my credenza is much neater than a stack of papers....

Now, if I can only convince my Husband of the same thing....that's his stack in the back!!

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