Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Paperwork Chaos Undone.

My kids started back to school earlier this month. They are loving it. My 4 year old, Bacon, seems to love everything about Pre-K but she especially loves the bus. I never let my 8 year old, B, ride the bus before, but since his sister wanted to this year we decided to try letting them ride it home. My anxiety level was through the roof for the first week but I've gotten over it now. They enjoy it and honestly it saves us some time and hassle. It comes by much too early in the morning for them to ride it to school. Thankfully B is liking the 3rd grade. He changed schools this year to a MUCH better district and it seems to have done him well. A huge difference is this school actually sends home paperwork. Looots of paperwork. Mix that with the mail that has been coming in and I've got a mess. Staying at the MILs is helpful money wise but we don't have a lot of space. One bedroom for us, one for the kids to share.
The kids have a good setup and have done surprisingly well in the same room.
Our pit bull, Roscoe, LOVES to photobomb. You'll probably see a lot of him.
Here he is again. At least he takes some of the attention off the mess.
I can't seem to break the hubby's habit of dropping everything right beside the bed, including his horde of Girl Scout cookies. (He's a Thin Mint junkie.)
Our YorkiePoo, Baylor. She does not sleep with us. Our dogs are inside but aren't allowed on the furniture. As you can see, she got an opportunity and sneaked right into Dad's spot.
As you can see we've done well with the space provided. Other than the t-shirts my husband refuses to throw anywhere but everywhere and the desk. Oh, the desk. It has been the bane of my existence for the past month and I have been ignoring hoping it would just clean itself. Didn't happen. So I took all the papers off and got them in a pile.
This is just part of them. They're everywhere.
That is what I got. That doesn't include all the papers I've been storing at work and in my purse. Papers everywhere. I also have refund checks from every bill we had. This is good news for us. My system of paying every 4 weeks instead of once a month has paid off. Woohoo! Maybe a post on budgeting sometime... Anyway, then I went shopping for supplies. Let me tell you, I'm a cheap shopper. If I can find a deal, that's what I'm doing. 

My steps were this: 
1. I got 2 plastic milk crates (1green, 1pink)! from Walmart for $3.97 each. I also "borrowed" some recycled file folders and tabs from my office. (My boss is great.) 
2. Decided to make one file for each grade per kid. 
3. I make binder covers every year, so I printed off an extra copy to put in the front of each file in case the tab pops off.
Bacon's binder cover this year. She loves
purple and stars.
B's binder cover this year. He loves
green and skulls.
4. I made tabs for the folders.
5. I put a couple of folders in each crate with tabs on them labeled with their current grade.
6. I put an extra folder in one crate so that we can put our paperwork in it while we're at the MILs. I'll move it to my normal filing spot when we get settled. 
My baby's first tag from school ever. *tear* We picked them up every day for the 1st week. 
The crates look empty but at the moment  they both only have one month of one grade in them. I figure that by 12th grade they'll be full.I thought about getting a box with a lid but for now it's more convenient to just drop stuff in. I may change later on. If so, I'm sure I'll still be able to find a use for these crates. I'm much happier with this than the method of "throw it on the desk and hope you can find it later".
Look at these little almost empty crates. B's will be half full by the time I put his paperwork from the past 4 years in it.
One big HUGE upcoming project for me is to create a homework command center. The kids aren't big enough yet to worry with a family command center. I know where they are at all times no matter what and I keep track of all appointments on my phone. But the homework command center will be a big help I think. Bacon brings home a monthly homework calendar and B has a weekly one in conjunction with the daily assignments he has to write down in his planner. They also have different lunch menus and memos from their schools, so I think one place to keep all of it central will be great. We'll see I guess.

**Afterthought: Isn't it CRAZY how much homework kids have these days? He has as much in 3rd grade as I did when I was in high school. Sometimes I just feel like they don't get to be kids anymore.**


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