As much as I love our house, that doesn’t mean I don’t also love to daydream about the changes I’d make if we ever won the lottery. A big one would be to add a mudroom. With my messy boys and lack of backyard grass, a mudroom is quite literal considering how our backyard turns into one giant mud pit every time it rains… but I digress.
So here is how I deal with backpacks, coats, papers, agendas, homework folders, etc.. that can take over my house in about 30 seconds from the kids getting home from school.
Because I don’t have a mudroom or dumping ground for the kids’ stuff, I installed this rail in my living room. I’d love to tell you that my kids come home and put their stuff up without my reminding them, but it usually only happens after I hold their after school snack ransom until everything gets hung up and put away.
Our school started this new thing this year where I have to sign their agenda daily. To deal with that, I installed a file in the stairway to the basement. It is conveniently close, but if I don’t want to look at it, I just shut the door to the basement!
This is also where the homework folders live and anything that needs to be returned to school goes.
Lastly, to deal with those Friday folders that come home with loads of schoolwork and papers to be signed and returned, here is my system for that.
I pick out two examples of their school work from that week and put it up on the clipboards above the coat rack.
The examples from the previous week get recycled with all the other schoolwork. (This is the trickiest part of my system because it requires strategically placing them in the recycling bins so that my children don’t see that I am throwing their papers out. I find sandwiching them between the pages of the newspaper works pretty well!)
And, only if their work was really exceptional, I might decide to keep it. If that is the case, I file it in their respective magazine files. This is also where I store their report cards, attendance certificates, etc. I store more than school stuff here, I might also have a file folder for their extra curricular activities, health care, etc…
These files are from IKEA, and they are super cheap…like $1.99 for 5 of them! I have these all over my house because I love them so much. This is my longer term storage for the kids’ stuff. It only gets cleaned out at the end of the school year when I collect all of their stuff from the year and make a simple book, but that is for a separate post.
I hope that some of these ideas may be useful for you!