25 Aug School Year Organization: No more paper piles!

It’s that time of year again!  School is back in session here and while I’m glad for the routine and the change that always feels good this time of year… I am a little sad to say goodbye to summer and all the fun I’ve had these last couple of months with my kids at home.  Since registration though the paper piles have started.  Papers that I need but don’t really have a place to go and are just sitting in a pile on my counter making me crazy.

I went to a class on organizing a few years ago put on by the fabulous Vicki Winterton (click here to find out more about her) and there were some great tips!  The one that really stuck with me had to do with all those paper piles that you inevitably have on your counter with children in school.  She suggested a wall pocket organizer from The Container Store.  Here’s what mine looks like:
This is in my mudroom at home.  I had every intention, years ago when I got this, of doing something more permanent for the pocket labels but this method has held up okay, surprisingly.  I’ll probably laminate our names and put some velcro on the back, then sew some on the pockets soon.   I think that’s a good way to do it so once I don’t need it for this sort of thing, I can use it in another way later by just switching out the labels.


Click here to get the same one wall pocket.

I use this one so each one of us in the family has a pocket.  The kids put all their homework and school papers in it when they arrive home.  Then I can go through it when I have a moment.  After they do their homework at night, they stick their finished homework back in their bags so we never forget it. I also love to have my kids keep their library books in their pocket.  We’ve haven’t misplaced one yet so I think it’s working!  I have a pocket of my own because it’s a great place for me to put magazines and things from the mail that I haven’t had a chance to look through.  It’s also a perfect place to put the mail for my husband to go through when he comes home as well as anything else that I come across during the day that I need to give him or show him.

There are always papers that you have to keep all year whether it’s a schedule for a sport or a packet from the kids’ teachers about classroom policies and other info, etc.  So instead of those sitting in the pockets, I put them in my household binder.  I have a binder that holds all sorts of things that don’t really belong in a wall pocket because I don’t need it in the next few days, but I need to keep it.

Here’s my binder:

The first tab is labeled School/Sports and this is where all that other stuff gets placed.  I 3 hole punch it and put it in that way I am never looking for those papers.


I’ll even stick in their report cards throughout the year and at the end I have them to tuck away with all their other special papers I want to keep. I also have many other tabs in my binder including Finances, Food, Addresses, Home Maintenance (cleaning), etc.  I’ll be sharing some of those in more detail in the future, but it really helps to have it all organized.

So, if there is a school paper we are looking for, then there is only 3 places it could be… in their backpack, in their wall pocket, or in my household binder.  Most importantly though… it’s not on my counter!

I don’t profess to be an expert on organizing, but these are two things that really help me out!  What is your favorite way to keep yourself organized?




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