Back To School Series – Part 3

Good morning guys and welcome to my third and final installment to the back to school series.

I can’t believe how fast this month has gone! In just 3 short days I will be sending Master 5 off to his first day at Kindergarten. We are well and truly organized and my little man is totally excited…… me on the other hand…I’m extremely anxious. Deep breaths Hailey, deep breaths.

Before we jump into part 3 of the series, lets take a look back at what we have covered so far in terms of school organisation.

Back To School Part 1

  • Command Centre
  • Family Schedule
  • Cleaning Schedules
  • Routines
  • Calendars
  • Filing System

Back to School Part 2

  • School Uniforms
  • Shoes
  • Schoolbags
  • Lunchboxes
  • School Papers

Today I will be showing you how I organise and keep track of my kids school work. I have been using this system for about 2 years now since my son began pre school.

At the moment my children’s “school work” is any artwork that they bring home. I will continue using this system the same way as they progress through their school years and when they begin bringing home special school assignments and important exams in the future.

My system is very basic and right from the beginning I decided that I needed it to help me limit what I hold onto. You have to be very particular in what you keep or you will be drowning in school papers for the next 13 years. Once that file is full you need to either stop keeping artwork or take something else out in order too keep a new piece. That is the rule.

Supplies used in this project include

  • File box
  • Suspension files
  • Manilla folders
  • Free printables (you can find the links below)

 

I got my file box from kmart a few years back for around $15 but I found this from Officeworks which is very similar.

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I started with the pre school files, labeling them with the year that my son attended day care. Having worked in child care for 8 years before having my kiddo’s, I know how much artwork they can come home with. Funnily enough my son was never a big fan of doing craft once he started pre school – he was far too busy running around and playing outside to stop long enough for craft. So most of his art work was from when I used to do it with him as an infant. I am hoping I get a little more craft work from my daughter.

I then continued to label the remaining files kindergarten, year 1, year 2 and so on, all the way to year 12. (Yikes that is a scary thought…. my baby ….. in year 12)

The files come with little clear clip on label holders and white labels. Of course you can just write on them with a marker but I wanted to make mine pretty so I created my own labels.

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I printed them on a white cardstock then I cut them out and slid them into the clips.

Inside each of the suspension files I have placed one manila folder to hold the school work.

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For the front I created a fun little printable to fill out each year. It’s a place to record your child’s teachers name, their class, what they want to be when they grow up. My little guy  told me he wants to be a skateboarder #adorable. There is also a place for a school portrait for that particular year. It is such a cute little keepsake to look back at in years to come.

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And look how organised it is!

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When the kids come home from school, I search through their school bags and gather papers. Any notes are filled out, important dates are added to the calendars and artwork is put into the keepsakes section on my desk file in the kitchen.

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No name - in file

Once a week or when the file is full, all of the keepsakes are moved to their school file boxes that are stored in our garage.

I store these in the garage for an obvious reason – the boxes are big. I only have one hall closet in our house that serves many purposes. It houses craft supplies, beach towels, gift wrapping items, my household file, warranties and manuals binder and my printer. I honestly couldn’t fit another thing in that closet if I tried.

I love this system because once it is done, that’s it. It is a sealed box so everything inside is protected. It is so simple to just slide school work inside as needed. There are no folders, hole punches or plastic sleeves to worry about.

Having each year contained to one folder really makes you think about what pieces are truly important to you. Lets face it, your kids are not going to want box after box after box of every single piece of art and craft they have ever created, handed down to them when they head off to Uni. I know that for me personally, I keep the little works or art because they are special to me or represent something significant.

The hand and footprints remind me of how little they were at certain stages of their lives. The pictures remind me of how hard he worked to draw that ninja turtle or the page of writing reminds me of how long he sat in full concentration to write his entire name.  Those are the pieces I will keep. Just because you don’t keep every single piece of work, doesn’t mean you love them any less.

 

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I wanted one system that will last the next 13 years. Even with the extra pre school files in there, look how much space there is left!  This is a system that never needs to be updated. That was the goal and that is what I’ve created. Simple, easy, storage.

I hope that this inspires you to set up a school work system for you children and to make the process a little easier I am giving you my file labels and cover pages absolutely free!!

So head over to my shop and download them today.

Download your file labels here.

Download your school year cover pages here.

 

 

 

 

Back To School Series Part 2

part 2

Well hello everyone and welcome back to part two of my back to school series. We are less than 3 weeks away from the first day of school. How on earth is this going so quickly? I mentioned last week that my eldest it starting kindergarten this year and in all honesty I’m crying on the inside – I’m told this passes, quite quickly. Although I’m extremely anxious about the whole thing, I know that Master B is more than ready for school and is totally excited about it too. So I’m keeping myself busy by getting us all organised for when the craziness begins.

Today I will be sharing with you all how I plan to keep all the school clutter organsed once my little one starts school in just a few short weeks. You know what I’m talking about, all those nessecary items that your kiddo’s need – but totally cause chaos within the home. The school bags, shoes, hats, coats, uniforms, lunch boxes and school papers.

I have been working on an update in our entry to accommodate all these extra items as well as setting up a few systems to keep the clutter at bay.

School Uniforms

In order to teach my Son a little independence I have made “setting out uniform” part of his night time routine. I have placed this basket on the shelf in his bedroom where his entire uniform can be set out ready each night. The school uniform is easy wear polo shirts and there will be no ironing involved (#mumgoals) so I wont need it all on hangers. His school uniform will be neatly folded in the basket ready for the following morning.

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Lunch Boxes

Lunch boxes have been driving me absolutely batty for the last 12 months. My husband takes two separate lunch box / cooler bags to work and my Son has been using one for pre school as well. When they walk in the door they are brought into the kitchen to be emptied and cleaned and then they end up scattered all over the kitchen bench and then being picked up and moved around every time they get in the way. I have a very small Tupperware cupboard so they can’t be stored there so I decided that I would buy a basket to store them all in so I don’t have to look at them. Now they have a place to call home. The pretty basket has a spot on the kitchen bench tucked away in the corner and the lunchboxes will stop getting in my way once and for all.

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School Papers

I like the idea of keeping these school papers separate so I know I only have one place to look for permission slips, home readers and canteen order forms. When anything comes home from school it will go straight to my desk file. Any important dates are added to the calendars any permission slips are filled out and are put in the blue school pocket and any artwork is put into my keepsakes file.

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Shoes and Schoolbags

This would have to be my favourite part of my home organisation series. I have been thinking about how I can organise my entry to accommodate school clutter for about a year now- yes really, a full year. I will share the entire makeover process at a later date but this is what I have come up with that works with the space we had available.

In the past I had all of our shoes stored in a clear plastic tub under a hall table that we used to have and it always looked a mess. I recently purchased this shoe storage cabinet from Ikea that holds all of our shoes.  I love it because all of our shoes fit inside and all of the visual cutter is gone. The kid’s shoes are stored in the bottom as it is easier for them to access as well as stash their own at the end of each day.

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We have also recently installed board and batten in our entry that hold 6 double coat hooks. This will be the place to store school bags, hats, jumpers and jackets. These extra hooks will help keep things organised and off the floor.

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I feel like things are finally coming together and we are almost ready for school. By having all of these systems in place before the term begins, I am hoping that it will make the transition – for all of us – a little smoother.

Check back in next week for the last installment in the back to school series.