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Organizing School Papers
Sometimes I feel like I am absolutely swimming in school papers! My daughter brings things home every day from school. There are tests and art projects and notes and graded homework and special projects that have been completed. If you’re like me, this all feels overwhelming at times! At first, I just ended up with a messy and ever growing pile on my kitchen counter, marked in my head as my “to sort” pile. This was not a good strategy! To get a handle on the pile of school papers, I came up with this recommended strategy:
1. Sort Immediately
Go through backpacks and take-home folders daily. Sort through the papers and take three actions:
- Trash – throw out things you only needed to see once and that’s it. I do this with the completed daily spelling words test sheet that comes home. My daughter never needs to see this again, I only needed to see how she is doing with the quizzes, and this is not a special memory item… so into the trash it goes!
- “To-Do” Box – Keep a box or paper tray for items that need your attention. Place things that come home from school in this box for when you have a moment to handle the sign up sheets, fundraisers, newsletters, and other info. Make sure you set a time to go through this box at least once a week.
- Memory Binders – Set aside your “to keep” items that can go in your school memory binder (more on this below).
2. Short-Term Storage
Set up a short-term storage method for the “to keep” items. I do this with a bag hung on the coat rack next to my daughter’s backpack and coats. I add the things we want to keep, special art projects, notes from her teacher, the occasional graded test with amazing scores, and other school mementos. Go through your short-term storage weekly to add things to your school memory binder (details below).
3. Long-Term Solution
Create a long-term storage solution for school papers and special memories. I do this with a school memory binder. I’ll give you instructions to make your own below along with free printable covers to make the binders look cute. But first…
It’s back-to-school time, so be sure you have a great printer! You really need a good printer to complete this school memory binder project, so I recommend the HP DeskJet 2636 All-in-One Printer. I love this printer! I picked mine up at Walmart in Atlantic Blue: You’ll also want to get the HP Original Ink Combo Pack (Ink) to be ready to print: The HP DeskJet 2636 All-in-One Printer is a NEW Limited Edition Walmart Exclusive printer. You can buy the printer in Walmart stores, or order online right now by clicking the links in this picture:
I love that it allows you to print from your mobile device. It’s so easy to print from a variety of smartphones and tablets! This is such an important feature to me. Very often, I’ll receive an emailed document from my daughter’s school and I can just open it on my phone and print it. Easy peasy! The printer handles printing, copies, and scanning wirelessly. It is a compact printer that won’t take up too much space, holds 25 sheets of paper at a time, reduces paper jams, and has an easy to use control panel. I really like the HP Original Ink Combo Pack (Ink) because it has plenty of ink to keep me printing for quite a while. More ink means more savings! You can print twice as many pages with the Original HP high-yield ink cartridges.
Making School Memory Binders
As a solution to the piles of my daughter’s school papers, I made school memory binders! I only add items to the binder that are special and we want to keep. This is less than 10% of all the papers sent home from school. Everything else is either trashed immediately, or kept in my “to do” bin for up to a few days until it get’s handled (like permission forms, fundraiser info, newsletters, etc.). I really love the binder storage method because it keeps most things stored in a way that allows for us to flip through the pages and enjoy the memories, like a scrapbook. But it’s also easy to set up in the beginning and add items to weekly. To make your binders, you’ll need to stop at Walmart for the following materials:
- 3-ring clear view binder, at least 3 inch wide spine
- Printer paper for your HP DeskJet 2636 All-in-One Printer
- HP Original Ink Combo Pack (Ink) for printing
- Clear page protectors
- A pen or marker
Select your desired free printable cover (below) and print them on your HP DeskJet. Trim off the white edges if desired.
Use a pen or marker to write your child’s name and the school year in the white space on the printed binder cover. Insert the paper into the clear view pocket on the front of your 3-ring binder.
Fill the binder with page protectors. Add all of your child’s school memory papers to the binder by slipping them into the page protectors. Store your school memory binders on a shelf where you can easily access them to continue to add mementos and papers throughout the year. Later, you’ll be able to sit down with your child, flip through the binders, and remember all of the great memories and conquered school projects!
Free Printable Binder Covers
I have created a simple and cute binder cover that you can easily download and then print on your HP DeskJet. Just click on the link to open and print:
I hope you enjoy your school memory binders for years to come! I know for sure you’ll be loving the HP DeskJet 2636 All-in-One Printer from Walmart too! Be sure to click here to learn more about the printer. Click here (insert link after post goes live) to see this article pinned on Pinterest and add your own picture of your school memory binders after you make them. I would love to see your creations!