5 Tips For Organizing At The End Of The School Year


Ahhh yes, it is finally May! The snow is well behind us, Memorial Day is approaching, and those BBQ’s are getting ready to grill some burgers to kick off the Summer season. Now is a great time to start thinking about how you’re going to get all of your kids’ school materials back in order – after all, it’s almost the end of the school year and the paperwork, artwork and projects are going to start shuttling their way out of the classroom and into your mudroom. Here are 5 tips to organize all of their work from the school year.

One: Sort & Purge

Start by figuring out what you’re dealing with. It might be artwork, projects, math homework, social studies posters and who knows what else. Divide the work into categories so you can see what there is.

Once you see how much is in front of you, purge anything you do not want or need to keep. Often times a child or parent might think that they will refer back to past homework during summer vacation to avoid any academic regression. Be honest with yourself and only keep as much as your kids will really use.

*If this process is new for you, take out your kids past work as well and complete the same process.

Two: Categorize & Containerize

Once you’ve figured out what you’re going to keep, decide how you’re going to categorize it. Perhaps there’s not too much work in front of you so you keep it all as: 2015-2016 School Year. Maybe your child is now a teenager with multiple subjects so you’d prefer to keep “Math 2015-2016 School Year” as it’s own category. Once you’ve figured out your categories, you’ll need to choose how to store all of the work; we like to use Bigso boxes from The Container Store. You can easily label what year the work is from and which child created it. If you want to divide up the school work from their artwork and also their memorabilia items from that year, just write each category on a piece of paper and place it in between each category in the box.

Three: Art Supplies

There is no need to keep years and years of broken crayons and dried up markers. Go through your collections and chuck the ones that are broken or the ink is worn out. Depending on the condition, schools are always happy to receive your old color pencils or other writing implements as a donation to their art programs and classrooms for the next year.

Four: Let it go!

Consider singing “let it go!” to the old Elsa & Anna backpack and lunchbox after a year of heavy use. It’s normal for a child to outgrow their favorite character backpack or lunchbox, which may have acquired some mold or extra TLC that can’t quite be recovered. Your child also might need a bigger backpack as they get older, so don’t hesitate to donate or toss their old backpack to avoid collecting a bulk of bags that rarely get used.

Five: Maintain

Most children tend to periodically bring work home throughout the school year rather than just at the end. Make sure you are maintaining your organizing system by regularly sorting and purging their school work so it doesn’t get out of hand. Likewise, as your child grows older, revisit the work from years past and decide what you’re going to hold onto and what can be purged.

There are plenty of other things you might be focused on – getting your kids signed up for camp or planning a family vacation, so don’t let their school work bog you down as well. Think of how you are going to manage your child’s school work now before it comes home so you have an action plan.

Written by Mia Salmo

Mia Salmo

Professional Organizer


Professional Organizer