Saturday, August 11, 2012

Tip Number 10: Plan for Paperwork!

If you haven't seen tips they are.

Tip 1: Work Your Routines
Tip 2: School Supply Shop Like a Pro
Tip 3: Set up a Command Center
Tip 4: Plan One Last House Hoorah!
Tip 5: Make a Menu!
Tip 6: Go Through Clothes & Plan Weekly
Tip 7: Create a Work Station
Tip 8: Do a Trial Run
Tip 9: Plan for Fun!

Tip Number 10 is to Plan for Paperwork.

I don't know about you, but when papers come into my house, sometimes it seems like they multiply on the kitchen counter overnight when we're all sleeping.

It's like I put a few envelopes in the basket on the counter and when we wake up the next morning, there are fourteen envelopes.

I wish I were kidding.

My command center has definitely helped with the mail problem, but with Harlee starting school next week, I know there will be OTHER papers coming into the house in her backpack, not from the mailbox.

I have high hopes for myself to be a good parent that deals with the papers in her backpack when she gets home and actually sends things in on time.  This is a dream of mine.

Now...we'll see if it happens once the school year is into full swing.  :)

I do know that one way I'm going to be able to deal with papers is to have a plan from day 1.

So here's my plan.  It has three parts.

1. Follow our afternoon routine.

Part of our afternoon routine is to go through the backpack.  While I'm getting supper ready, I'm going to have Harlee take out her papers and we will deal with them first thing when we get home.  If it's homework, she'll do it.  If it's something to sign, I'll sign it.  If she needs money, we'll call my mom.  Oh, just kidding.  I'll write a check and put it back in her bag.

I can write that because SHE TOLD ME LAST NIGHT SHE HAS NEVER BEEN TO MY BLOG!  My own mother!

So Mom...if you're here...welcome!  :)

In dealing with the papers there will be three different options.  Things to send back to school, things to keep in our command center, and keepsakes.

After taking care of the things that need to go back to school, I'll move onto part 2 of my plan: put schedules, calendars, & invitations in the command center and add dates to the family calendar.

These items might be a note about the school Christmas concert.  I will add the date to the calendar, but will keep the paper to look back at later to make sure Harlee is wearing what she needs to wear.  Or maybe it is a note about a field trip for Claire.  I will write the date on the calendar, sign the permission sheet, and keep the paper with the details at the command center.

When all of these things are taken care of, I will move on to part 3.

Part 3 is to deal with keepsakes.

There was once a time in my life that I would have kept every single thing that Harlee ever made.  I would just box up all her little worksheets and coloring pages and keep them for future use.  However, a few years ago, when I met Flylady, I realized that there is no reason to keep every single tiny piece of paper that comes into our home.

And so instead of keeping every single thing, I'm going to be brutal.  I'm going to keep only things that I believe she will WANT to see later.  Maybe her first assignment.  Or an assignment that is extremely precious.  But not every single worksheet.

And when I do decide to keep things, I'm going to store them in this.

I am in love with it.

It is a really sturdy box that opens up to keep mementos inside.  It is 9.75x13 inches, so it will hold any standard papers, construction papers, even photo prints.  It is a few inches deep, as well, so will hold 3-dimensional objects too.

If you want to make your own, right now Paper Coterie has a great deal going on.  These boxes are usually $42 + tax & shipping (well worth the money, by the way!).  But if you order before August 26th, you can get one for $20!  That's over half off!  Just use the code BUCKETLIST when you're checking out!

Your challenge for today isn't necessarily to go out and buy yourself a Memory Keeper, although I would highly recommend it!  But instead, just really think about the types of paper that are going to come into your home during the school year.  And make a plan for them.  Think about keepsakes, day-to-day school news, and of course, items that need to go back to school.  Less than a week until the big day!

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