Its time to get organized for summer! I love this time of year ~ so much excitement for the freedom that only summer can bring and a welcome change in our schedules that includes sleeping in a bit later, staying up well past dark, and doing what we want to do instead of what our schedule requires we do. However, I can’t stand the backpacks that come home at the end of the year. A mountain of paper that if left unchecked will just sit either inside the backpack itself or in a pile waiting to be tended to. Let’s face it, there’s a pretty good chance you may have had a year or two where you left it all in the backpack until August when they go back to school for the next year. Don’t worry…your secret is safe with me. But this year, its just not gonna happen! Check out my tips to help you get organized for summer and manage that paperwork today!
If you want to get organized for summer and deal with paperwork you need a clean slate to work with. Make sure your desk is as clean as can be. Make sure your kids inboxes, which I hope you’ve been using, are empty and ready for them to on the last day of school offload everything out of that backpack into their personal inbox.
You are going to got through that in box with your kids and put a time frame on it no later than 48 hours. I’m really not joking. Within the first 48 hours of your kids coming home, even with everything else that is going on, together you are going to tackle this. And I hear you saying “But wait a minute…what am I going to do with all of this?” I’ve got you covered.
Sit down with your child and that big huge stack and help your child decide what you are going to pitch and what you are going to save. Focus on items that are display worthy and create a fresh summer bulletin board to enjoy each one. For anything you want to save, put it in an artwork storage file, either accordion style or a snap top bin. But lets say you’ve got too much…what’s a Mom to do? You are going to scan it. Put it on a disk and put in with the artwork, pictures, and keepsakes labeled by year with your child’s name and there it won’t take up much space. The only thing that will be out are those things that are worthy of display.
When you get organized for summer by minimizing paperwork, you give yourself a gift that last for years. Limit yourself to one folder, one hanging file, or one similar sized storage tool where your child’s papers will go for the school year just completed. This one file will hold all the important papers that you might need for future reference, things like report cards, tests results, awards, and activities. Think things you might need for education meetings, both gifted and perhaps support, things needed for an application or special program, and once you get to high school, anything you might need for a future college application. Bottom line, you need to get it down to one file. Even if you use a binder all year long, I promise it will be big enough to help tell your child’s story in an academic or application scenario.
Together with your child, create a scrapbook while their memories and the details are fresh. You can spend the entire summer on execution. It can be a couple pages for each year or it can be an entire book whatever works for you. I’m always happy to just grab a few pages but the key is to grab those details now no matter when you make the final product. Planning for this activity now as you get organized for summer will also help you know what to save and what to throw away as you sort through the paperwork at hand. We like to spend time working on photos all summer long with the kids helping to sort photos and its a great creative project for those really hot summer days.
Planning ahead for affordable fun to get organized for summer is a gift for yourself as much as your kids. Create a special coupon book just for the car to fill with all sorts of great coupons and gift cards to different places where you and your children might want to go. Think a surprise lunch out, a special treat for ice cream, and coupons for activities like indoor soccer, a roller rink, bowling and more. Keep this in your car so its with you wherever you go, making for a great surprise you knew you had on hand all along.
Truth be told, I look forward to summers home with my children all year long. I fight to protect this blessing with all my might knowing I can never get it back. But I’d be lying if I didn’t say it requires additional organization to make it as fun for me as it surely will be for them. I’m beyond grateful I can be here to help them weave the stories of their lives, one backpack at at time. I hope these tips help you plan for that paper and make sure you aren’t buried in it but rather out enjoying an amazing summer. Tell me…
How do you get organized for summer when it comes paperwork?
This 4 part series is all about helping busy Moms get ready for their kids to come home for summer break before…or just after it begins. From paperwork to schedules, outdoor fun and learning, we’ve got you covered with what you need to do now. And if you love Pinterest, check out our Family Organization Board for all kinds of clever tips. Thanks so much for stopping by ~ see you next time!