Part 1: Back To School Organizing

August is upon us and the school bells will be ringing way too soon! It just felt like summer arrived, but now is the time to get that paper monster in check! Here is just a brief description of some ideas to help you make that influx of papers more manageable.

 Paper Clutter:

  1. First realize that you can’t and they can’t keep everything, plus your children need to realize that you can’t keep every scrap of paper that they ever wrote on.
  2. Keep important testing scores and other papers in its own file.
  3. If a child has an IEP, place the testing papers in with their medical information
  4. Everything does not have the same value:

    1. A child’s first drawing does not have the same sentimental value of 100th or 200th drawing

    2. Use the test, “Does it bring a tear to my eye”? if not, get rid of it.

What to do with all of the paper:

  1. The amount of paper coming into the home decreases once a child hits middle school.
  2. Use a vertical file to keep the papers either monthly or yearly. Purge on a regular basis.
  3. Have a system in place for papers for mom/dad to look at and keep and ones to sign and return.
  4. Have a VIP (very important papers) area that gets looked at every day.
  5. Create an In/out system so kids know to look in the file as well.

 What to do with all that art work:

  1. Have an “art display”.
  2. Keep the art for a period of time.
  3. Have an “art show”.
  4. Scan in the art and make a slide show to send to family.
  5. Take a photo of the art.
  6. Mail to grandparents and call it a traveling art show.
  7. Laminate: turn it into a place mat at the table.
  8. Make those really special works of art into note cards for gifts.
  9. Make sure to date the art and why it is meaningful.
  10. Purchase an artists portfolio to keep all that over sized art in.


To Joyful, Simplified Living,

 MS. Simplicity

 MS. Simplicity, also known as Melissa Schmalenberger  operates her business as I Did it with MS. Simplicity.  She is a Professional Organizer based out of Fargo, ND and her website can be found at .


• Interested in starting your own Professional Organizing business, visit to learn about how Melissa can help you! Need to contact MS. Simplicity privately, you can email her at .

• MS. Simplicity offers monthly classes, click here to find out the latest offerings!

• For daily organizing tips find the MS. Simplicity fan page here.