Thursday, August 30, 2007




I'm drowning in the sea of papers sent home by the school. I can't seem to organize them. I'm too paralyzed with fear to throw anything away. I can barely see my counter top. I think I've been blinded by all the fluorescent colors. And my fingertips are bloody from the paper cuts.

There's the artwork, letters from the teacher, reminders, letters from the library, info about the bus (Richie doesn't even ride the bus), scholastic book orders, nametags, lunch menus...the list goes on.

, though, there is no letter with a magical formula for maneuvering "The Loop" (now that would be a good use of tree pulp). And yes, there is a story behind that last little comment, but it will have to be for another day. The wound is still too fresh. I did try to share my "loop" story with Rich (try being the operative word), but he was too busy watching Star Wars over my shoulder. Atleast he didn't burst into song this time.

Whew! I feel a little better, but I still have the pesky paperwork problem. Do any of you veteran Moms have a good system for all of this? Please share before...





Save the trees!


dgardenhour said...

The paperwork will get better. It's just the beginning of the year JUNK that has to be signed. We send home so many papers the first week of school that the kids have their own little personalized clasp envelope. The signatures get less legible with each paper I collect! ha ha

As for the loop, you are making me laugh because Corey has the same problem at his school. The parents were furious for the new "system" he designed, but he's trying to make it safer for the kids. He'll appreciate the legend of the Loop! :)

The Small Scribbler said...

A calendar, a couple of three ring binders and a trash can would be my suggestion. Just keep Richie's really good stuff or you'll be buried.

Too bad there isn't a HOV lane in the loop. You could pack up a half-dozen neighbors for pick up and drop off.


Janelle said...

OK...papers. Keep ONLY what you need and what you want to remember in 30 years. A worksheet with apples on it gets dumped. I am pretty brutal about this. You will be swamped if you keep them. Find a place in your house to show off good work (writing, painting, really fun stuff). Then get a big manilla envelope for all the letters from Mrs. R, certificates, special papers, etc. Label it Kidergarten. Keep one of those for every year.

Also, get a "School Days" book that goes from K-12 for special momentos, awards, pictures. This is a place that you can write about his friends and favorite stuff every school year. Very easy format even for the craft challenged. I ordered mine from Lillian Vernon. I love it.

And for Pete's sake, throw the bus note away!

Melissa @ Breath of Life said...

Great suggestions! I also emailed you one (before I read the I could've saved myself the trouble, because I think Kate & Janelle had better suggestions)

Short Stop said...

Oh, no! I wish I had some suggestions, but I haven't encountered this yet! :) (no little ones in school yet!) BUT, I'm here just to say it would be just as hard for me. I think I'd be paralyzed, too!

Hang in there...and I agree...throw out the bus note! I don't think you'll be regretting that one! :)

JP's MOM said...

I had a very good system for the crazy amounts of paper...

2 wicker baskets are on the bottom of my wine rack(although it doesn't hold any wine?) in the breakfast nook. In that basket I put all the art work and done worksheets in the other basket i put all the attention something is coming up basket. Once you have plugged the date for something into your planner and you don't need the reminder you can throw it out.

I chose a few special artworks each month to put up with magnets on the back of the door to our garage.

As for the class schedule, the lunch menu, and the school calendar I taped those up on the door into my pantry. I also taped up a class list once those names and phone numbers were emailed to me. They were on the inside of the door for quick reference, but not visible to our guests.

The reason I did the basket thing was because sometimes even if we don't think a paper is special the little one does. So the basket gave them a 'cooling off' time and then much later I could dispose of the insignificant ones without a fight.

Heather said...

Let me know what you learn ... we aren't far behind :)

Xandra said...

Well, the paperwork associated with the beginning of school is just something that has to be muddled through, but I do have a suggestion for all of the stuff he will bring home throughout the year.

I keep everything in a neat stack in our craft closet. About once every 2 months, I pull it all out and go through it (it's more or less in chronological order) and separate the stuff that is busy work, from the cool artwork or samples of handwriting. Once I've done that, I either scan the items into the computer (if they are small enough) or I take a digital picture of it.

Then I THROW AWAY all the paper. Now, I have kept one or two real treasures, but for the most part I get rid of the whole stack. I can then use the files on my computer to create a collage, background picture, or just burn the folder to a disk along with my regular pictures of the kids. Both of my kids have their own "artwork" folder on the computer.

My plan is to do a scrapbook page with a collage of artwork/handwriting for each year of school....we'll see if that ever happens!

Hope this helps!

shelley said...

I love the "taking a pic of it" idea! We have 2 bulliten boards hanging above our washer/dryer (where I see them at least once a day!) I tack up things that need frequent reference (lunch menu, kindergarten calendar, upcoming events). I write down any dates in my planner immeadiately. The rest of the paperwork (room newsletter, etc...) I just stash in a folder, and slide it in the "phonebook" drawer. As for the artwork, I'm like janelle, I'm brutal. I do have a "on its way out" pile like jen, that I keep for a little while, and then every month or so, throw away the bottom half of the stack. But for the most part, I only keep things that really show originality, or that mark a big step up in progress. Count your blessings though, we've recieved very little paper, and I'm feeling rather lost with no info! I'm sorry about the Loop, you know I hate it!

Darlene R. said...

I am SO with you on this sister! I don't have time right now, but I am going to read your comments from these other great ladies! I have papers times 3. I did figure out that you ask your child "do we need to keep this", because they always say "yes"...always! I feel bad throwing away artwork, even if it's not, should I say it, good.
I do know that it gets easier to get it all organized.

michelle said...

I bought an under the bed storage box for special art work and papers. I go through the lunch menu with Olivia and mark if she is taking her lunch that day or eating school's so I can plan on sending the correct lunch money. I then hang it on the fridge to remind me. I put notes with reminders and up coming events in a folder and go through it from time to time to throw things away. It will get easier!

Jean 1 said...

Just came to your blog via Small Scribbles and started cracking up immediately. Have to say that I'm with you on the school papers....I have four children that required a my signing and filling out 58 pages of addresses, names, medical history, permission to pick up children, emergency contacts, computer usage forms,etc. Seeing how I am part of a business called (the missouri one) I do have some tips. I am actually writing a post about it myself over at my blog if you want to read it in detail, but the main tips are these: When darling child comes home go through his/her papers and sort them into "return to school" "save" and "file 13". Proceed immediately to the trash can/recycling bin and toss whatever meets that label. Once you have done this it makes things more manageable. Second, once you have gone through the papers and deleted all the file 13 (trash) items then you can decide what needs to be done immediately and what can wait until you are in the loop waiting for you little Einstein to emerge...might as well have something productive to do. Lastly, photocopy anything you fill out in case you get a call home saying "We didn't get "such and such" form, could you please fill this one out?" (Trust me on this one...I've been down this road too many times.)
Great blog, keep up the good work. :)

Rochelle said...

Keilani's school does mostly email. It is quite lovely. :)