If you have young kids in school, you know that schoolwork clutter is a real problem! Every day after school, your kids unload art projects, spelling tests, worksheets, and so on. If your kids are anything like my kids, they aren’t going to want to send everything directly into the recycle bin, and that is okay!
Young kids learn so much every day, and I believe it is essential to let them know that learning is fundamental and exciting. However, it is unrealistic and unnecessary to keep everything, so to keep the schoolwork clutter to a minimum, we have a cycle that schoolwork follows in our home. Check it out, and maybe you can apply something similar that works for your family.
The Schoolwork Cycle
Take 5 Minutes
As soon as my kids bring something home from school or the library, we take time (this never takes more than 5 minutes) to assess. During this time, we have a quick exchange to see if the item/items are something that they want to keep. Anything that isn’t important to either of us goes directly into the recycle bin.
Provide Space to Showcase Work
If my kids decide they want to showcase their work, I immediately put a piece of tape on the back of it and send them off to hang it on their door. If they have run out of room on their door, they pick something to take down to make room.
Designate a Storage Spot
Sometimes kids want to keep things but don’t want to or can’t display them. This type of schoolwork needs a storage space. The storage space needs to be accessible and controlled by your child. At my house, all three of my kids have a desk in their room, and they use their bottom drawer to keep this type of schoolwork.
Keep in Mind
- Once the space fills up (showcase spot or storage spot), something has to go.
- You can guide your child to pick whether to recycle, showcase, or store their items but leaving it up to them will help them build decision-making skills.
- Your child might not make the same decision that you would make. Avoid attempting to talk them out of their decision.
Tips to Consider
- Take pictures of anything you love right away. Once their schoolwork ends up in their showcase spot or storage spot, anything can happen to it.
6 thoughts on “One Way to Address Children’s Schoolwork Clutter”
This is a great system. I kept a few select pieces of my girls’ schoolwork in their school scrapbooks. They each have a small tote box with some additional school items like awards. Everything else, we got rid of.
Thanks! It’s fun to see what the kids are most proud of. It sounds like you had a good system as well.
Brilliant tips, Suzanne. Also, I like the new profile pic! 🌞
Here from Michelle’s blog (Boomer Eco Crusader), these are great tips! I have an almost 4-year-old who is starting kindergarten in the fall. So far, I have saved every single piece of “art” work from her daycare lol but I know I need to start being selective with what I save! I am thinking of taking digital copies of some and then saving the really key pieces and buying a big Rubber-maid filing box and using one hanging file folder for each grade level!
Thanks again for sharing! 🙂
Hi Jen! Thank you for hopping over from Michelle’s blog. Your child’s artwork can be difficult to part with at first, but as they get older, it gets easier. Taking pictures is a great idea, and it saves a ton of space. Just be sure to keep those digital files labeled and stored together. If you don’t have a good system for the photos, they will end up as digital clutter! I think it is great that you already have a storage idea for all of the schoolwork; that will help you out tremendously. Enjoy your daughter’s first year of school!