On the first day of school piles and piles of paperwork comes home in my children’s backpack. Or, so it seems.
I think the biggest nightmare for most moms when school starts are the piles of paper that show up daily. Homework, notes, flyers. All of it needs to be looked at and taken care of. Over the years, I’ve developed a 3-part system for handling this influx of papers. I’ve also trained my kids to be responsible for getting the papers into the system for me to review and process.
Each child is responsible for emptying their backpacks of papers and folders when they walk in the door after school. Our school has either a folder for the preschool and Kindergarten classes, or a memory binder for 1st through 8th. This makes it easy for the papers to be put in the stacking trays. Each tray has the child’s name on it, thanks to my handy dandy Brother PTouch.
While the kids are eating their snacks, I review the folders and binders in the stacking trays. Homework notes for the younger kids stay in the tray for the week. Anything related to future events is put into my Tickler Files. Anything that needs to be handled as soon as possible goes on my desk for me to take care of that evening after dinner.
In my office, I have a crate which holds 12 hanging files with folders in each. The folders are labeled by week. Monthly school calendars go at the front of the monthly hanging file before the weekly folders. I review the weekly files each Friday to see what’s coming up for the next week.
I enter all reminders into my Nozbe electronic planner(my affiliate link), even if there’s an associated flyer or dated invitation. For the preschooler and Kindergartener, I would enter reminders for the Letter of the Week. Each Thursday, the kids would need to bring in something that started with that week’s letter. I can access Nozbe on my laptop, iPhone, and iPad to help me stay organized.
Thanks to my new daily action planner, I will be checking Nozbe daily and weekly to write down what needs to be done each day. While this may seem like an extra step, the beauty of Nozbe for me is the long-term planning and repeated reminders. I can enter a reminder to send in my lunch volunteering schedule once a month, and forget about it until I need to write the note to the lunch volunteer organizer.
How Do You Handle Papers from School?