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The Honolulu Advertiser
Posted on: Thursday, August 11, 2005

Organize paperwork from school

Gannett News Service


School backpacks hold homework, permission slips, fundraising forms and other papers that can get lost in clutter at home.

Developing a system for keeping track of backpacks and their contents, as well as other important documents, can help parents corral school chaos.

Professional organizers and moms say parents need three things when it comes to managing information between home and school: a central place for backpacks, a system for handling school papers, and a family calendar. Here's how to put these things to use:

1. Keep backpacks in a central location. This can be a hallway bench, shelves in a laundry room or hooks in the garage. Just see that backpacks go there.

2. Create a simple system for papers that parents need to see. Don't overwhelm a 6-year-old with an elaborate color-coded filing system. Use a plastic vertical file that hangs on a wall next to shelves for backpacks. One slot can hold all the papers a parent needs to see. Each child should have a file in his or her own slot to put signed papers that need to be returned to school.

3. Consider a color-coded master calendar for the whole family. That way, the kids can easily pick out their own activities, and parents can see conflicts at a glance.

4. A bulletin board can provide space for invitations and permission slips.

5. For copies of birth certificates, immunization records and other documents that need to be accessed periodically, a three-ring binder can be helpful.