Summer is almost here and school will be ending this week or next for most of us. Everyone knows what that means… Papers and book bags full of year-end stuff are about to invade our homes.
Most of us shuffle through the book bags at some point to make sure Johnny didn’t leave a chocolate cupcake in it. You know the one he brought home for you because he knows you love chocolate cupcakes! Otherwise, the book bag stays in the car until we make room for summer vacation luggage, sometimes it ends up on the floor in the kids room or gets moved to the hall closet not thought of again until it’s needed in the fall. If you have more than one child, you double or triple the extra things coming into you home at the end of the week.
This year I challenge you to take care of the year end book bag the day it’s brought home. Make it a special moment between you and each child. Have them dump the bag out on the kitchen table or on the floor in the den. As you sort things in piles: books, supplies, drawings, notebooks etc., talk to them about their year, tell them how proud you are of them and have them share their favorite moments.
Don’t forget to take a picture of them doing this for your scrapbook!
Once separated into piles, decide, with your child, what to keep. Some things will be special and can be kept in a keepsake storage box. Make sure you have a special place for these items and put them away ASAP.
Sometimes, especially with girls, keeping everything will be tempting. I suggest you encourage them to choose only favorites. You can allow them to keep these items in their room for a week or two – then it’s time to revisit those things to see if they’ve changed their minds. Most times you will find that these items quickly loose value after a short time.
I usually put favorites on the fridge for a week or two then take them down one at a time until they are all missing. I have boys so most of the time they don’t even notice they’re gone.
If you have a designated area for school supplies, have your child help put things away. This teaches them that things have a home and that its important put them away when we’re finished using them.
Quickly make decisions on everything brought home – if the book bag is broken or torn, I suggest you go ahead and let it go. Finish up by putting the empty book bag in its special place and throwing away any trash.
Once everything is put away, ENJOY YOUR CUPCAKE!
By Kelly Mott