One of the things I have noticed as my children get older is the amount of paperwork that comes home has increased. I used to keep the odd swimming certificate, plunket book and kindy photo in a small plastic file in the top drawer under the TV. But as they have grown older and their achievements have also grown I found I was running out of space.
Naturally I started looking for a super organised, efficient system that I could use.
It needed to be something that was personalised for each of my children, that had different categories for things like medical papers, and that was sectioned into different ages so I could file away the school reports easily per school year. I also needed something that would store well, something that was sturdy, and something that would last as I won’t be keeping these papers stored at my house forever. The minute my kids move into their first homes their things will be neatly packaged and delivered to their door so they can use their space up to store them!
We discovered document file boxes from a couple of Mummy bloggers that we follow in the States. We knew that with a few tweaks and a little research we could customise the box to suit my children and the NZ schooling levels.
Then came the decision making of what to keep and what to recycle. Papers can be a hard and emotional category to tackle when decluttering and organising.
Gather all the paperwork you have for each child and make a pile. You may need to get in to the back of drawers and wardrobes to gather it all together.
Declutter by starting with what you know you have to keep like passports, plunket book. Then move on to certificates, school reports and other papers. Often it’s easy to see right away what you want.
Make a pile of things that you are unsure on, you can revisit those once you have sorted through the whole pile.
When it came to the really tricky things (like all the gymnastic’s participation certificates my daughter received) I asked myself a couple of questions
Does it signify a momentous occasion in their life?
Is it important- birth certificate etc?
Will my children want this when they move into their first home?
Will my child want to show their children this?
File This part is like the reward for doing all the hard work.
The Sort My House Personalised Document File Box has 20 labelled suspension files from pregnancy to year thirteen and includes a file specifically for medical paperwork, and an important document folder where we keep my son’s certificate of naturalisation as he was born in the UK. All the paperwork that had been gathered up and sorted was then slotted neatly into it’s relevant folder. The learning story record books from ECE care fit nicely into the preschool folder, the swimming certificates went into the toddler folder.
The boxes are labelled on the front with each of my children’s names, which not only helps me know where to put stuff but also helps them when they want to check out and reminisce over their things.
As the boxes stack well they are stored with super easy access in our garage. The idea being that as my little ones bring home something that I want to keep like an end of year school report, it gets filed away under the correct tab right then and there and it’s easy to find it later on. I’m lucky that my children are only 7yrs and 4yrs old so I didn’t have lots of organising to catch up on.
These boxes are a great idea for gifts too. My sister has just had twins and we gave her the boxes as welcome to the world gifts for the babies. Being a busy twin mama she needs efficient and effective systems in her home to help simplify her life. With these boxes she can start filing away their paperwork from day one.
We hope these tips and tricks helped you organise your little ones paperwork. You can find more information about our document file boxes in our shop.
Angela and The Sort My House Team xx