Today, I’m writing with 5 Back to School Organizing Projects you can do with your kids! There are only two weeks left until school starts for my boys. So, this week we’re enjoying some of those last sweet summer days sleeping in, playing Magnatiles in our bathrobes until noon, and working on:
- Sorting and Saving School Art Work
- Cleaning Out Kid Bins
- Sorting and Stocking Art Supplies
- Cleaning Out Closets
- Making a Back to School Shopping List
HOW TO SORT AND ORGANIZE KIDS ARTWORK
Would you judge me if I told you that I’m only now confronting the mountain of artwork from my boys’ last school year? Yikes! Both of their teachers sent home a bag full of school art work at the end of the year. It is so hard to toss those sweet little drawings, handprint leaves, and popsicle stick villages, but the time has come. Instead of tackling it myself, I decided to task my boys with this. They each got out their stacks and sorted the paper into “keep” and “toss”.
As you may guess, there were many things I questioned in the keep pile, but I did so silently. Because I left it up to them, they enjoyed the process, and even had fun re-visiting their work and discovering how much they’ve grown as artists. There are sites that will turn your kids’ artwork into a book such as Kids ArtKive, but my boys wanted to keep the originals. I put all of the keepers into a labeled bin. They may want to toss this in the future, but for now, they know their collection is safe.
HOW TO USE AND MANAGE A “KID BIN”
At our house, a Kid Bin, is a drawer in our art supply closet, where each kid can store their creations. I used a plastic drawer unit we weren’t using in our closets anymore, but you could also use cardboard boxes covered with a fun wrapping paper. Some of what goes into the Kid Bin are creations they bring home from school, but most are things they color and create at home. I love having a Kid Bin because it means I don’t have kids art work piling up all over the house. They post their favorites on their rotating clipboard gallery wall (see pic below), and store the rest in their Kid Bins.
This method also creates a chronological stack of their work, which makes it really fun to go through. The drawers are deep enough that they were able to store about 9 months worth of creations in them, so they are fairly low maintenance. The kids sorted these just as they did with their art work— with a “keep” pile, and a “toss” pile. I added the keepers to the labeled bin with the art work. I reminded them how fun it will be to fill these now empty bins with more creations! Between the Kid Bins and the Kids Artwork from school, we recycled more than two paper shopping bags full of paper!
SORT AND ORGANIZE ART SUPPLIES
As a treat to my kids, I told them I’d buy them some new supplies for their art closet. It has stayed very well sorted, so we went through each category and sorted them. Then we eliminated those broken crayons, and worn out markers. Amazingly, the only thing they really wanted to buy were more pencils! Done!
HOW TO CLEAN AND ORGANIZE YOUR KIDS’ CLOSET
My two boys share a closet, and it was a snarl of hangers and cast-off clothing. When we went through it we found size 2 pants (my youngest wears a size 4) and even something that was size 18-24 months! (In my defense, it was a lovely cardigan that was actually quite large.) You get the picture. It was time to clean it out!
They dressed up in snow pants that were much too small for them, and donned safety glasses, and I went to work sorting everything into categories, eliminating everything ripped, off size, or things I knew they didn’t like. They popped their faces back in and decisively chose what to keep and what to toss. I had to bite my tongue at all the collared shirts, jeans, and never worn Hannah Anderson pants that they both gave the heave-ho. They are more sweats-and-a-jersey type of guys, and I’ve got to hand it to them for having a clear sense of their style. There was no wavering! Letting them choose means I won’t have arguments each morning. It also means that I know what they need for school!
MAKE THE MOST OF YOUR BACK TO SCHOOL LIST
I went through my boys organized closet and made a list of everything they need to start school. It turns out, they don’t need much. If I had gone shopping without organizing first, I probably would have purchased way too much, which would mean more unworn items, an overstuffed closet, and wasted money.
So, I set a budget and wrote down exactly how many new items they need, as well as what size those items need to be. To treat them for their closet cleanout, I let them pick a few of these items online right away—one item happened to be a hoodie with a sequin skeleton doing the floss dance! Next stop, Starline Barbershop where they will get fresh cuts for their first day.
I hope this post inspires your own Back to School To-Do List! Enjoy these last sweet days of summer! If you want another back to school organizing project, you might enjoy these: A Plan for Paper: Back to School Edition, and How to Tackle Kids Clutter, here.