It’s been quite a while since I’ve put out a new decluttering post. I wish that I could say it is because my house is completely decluttered. That would be a lie. I have put out several boxes of clutter for the Easter Seals to take each month. I had no idea how much junk I could cram into my little house. I’ve cleared out quite a bit, but I’ve now come to realize that decluttering is an ongoing process. If you aren’t careful, clutter comes into the house just as quickly as it leaves. One of my biggest areas of concern right now is all of the clutter the kids bring home as a result of school. Papers, notebooks, and class projects can quickly fill up boxes and boxes in our house. The end of the school year is a great time to work on decluttering some of the school clutter out of the house. I’ve got some great end of the school year decluttering tips today to help.
End of the School Year Decluttering Tips
[bctt tweet=”Help your kids clear their end of the year school clutter with these tips.” username=”jugglngrealfood”]
It’s time to clean out the school backpacks and get ready for a summer filled with fun! If your kids are like most, they probably ended the school year with all sorts of stuff. You may not even know what they brought home, unless you get into those backpacks and find out. Don’t let last school year’s mess become your summer clutter. Take a few minutes with your children and start the summer out with a tidy and clutter-free room.
1. Papers/Awards: The first thing you need to do is to realize you can’t keep everything. Pick a few of your favorite pieces of artwork/assignments/awards and toss the rest.
2. Report cards: If you are a collector or scrapbooker, only keep the year end report card. There is no need to keep each and every report card that came home during the school year.
3. Old notebooks: This is a tough one. I hate to waste paper, but I’ve found that the best way to keep the clutter down is to toss the old notebooks. The kids will need new notebooks in the fall anyway. If you prefer, keep one or two in a place where you can easily access the paper.
4. Binders: Only keep the binders that are in good condition. Our binders usually come home pretty ratty and can be tossed right away.
5. Pencils, Crayons, Erasers, Colored Pencils, etc. : Only keep supplies that are in good condition and that have a home. If the markers are mostly dried up, there really is no reason to hang on to them. Most people purchase new school supplies at the start of each school year. If you like to hold on to things like scissors from year to year, make sure you put them in a place where they can be easily located. If you are the type of person who will simply forget where you put things for the following year (pointing finger back at me) then donate the items to your local daycare or church and be done with it.
6. Lunchboxes: My kids pack lunches for their summer day camps. I hold on to lunchboxes until the start of the next school year. If your kids eat at home all summer, decided if the lunchbox is in good shape and return it to its home. Don’t let the uneaten lunch from the end of the school year become the first science project of the next school year.
7. Clothing: Check the backpack for clothing. Make sure the sweatshirts, jackets, etc still fit and are in good repair. If they are, simply launder and return to the closet. Otherwise, go ahead and donate it for someone else to wear. Make sure to account for growth spurts. Sure that heavy sweatshirt fits right now, but will it still fit when it turns colder again in the fall?? If it is borderline, you will be better off donating it.
8. Workbooks: Kids will often bring home math or science workbooks that are mostly complete. If they want to play school for a little while maybe hold on to them. Other than that…………I really can’t think of a reason to hold on to them. Toss them and free up space in your child’s bedroom.
9. Misc classroom materials: Children love to help their teachers clean up their classrooms by bringing home extra classroom materials. I have inherited posters that we have no room for and all sorts of other “interesting” items. Most of it can just be tossed…….when the little eyes are not looking of course.
10. Backpack: Once you clear out the backpack, take a look at the backpack itself. Is it in good shape? Can it be reused? Is it perhaps stained and nasty and should never see the light of day again?? If it can be reused, but you always buy your kids new backpacks for the school year, then donate it. If it is no good to anyone, make sure it doesn’t become clutter. Toss it!
Final Tip: It is better for the environment and your budget to use things from year to year. Make a judgment based on the condition of the item and how much you honestly believe you will use it again. Make sure you make decisions based on your real life……….not the life you wish you were living. I wish I was a person who had a place for everything and could go to a drawer and pull out supplies when I need them. My real life is that I don’t have a place to store school supplies so they just float around the house until I lose them.
What is your biggest decluttering frustration? Is there a room or a project that you find particularly difficult? Leave me a comment and let’s see if we can figure out these things together.
Interested in an easy real food meal plan for summer? Check out one of my favorite meal plans by clicking the image below.
And for more decluttering tips: Make sure you check out the Freedom From Clutter in 40 Days Series.
Gaye @CalmHealthySexy says
This is such a practical post, Christina. I really love this – “Make sure you make decisions based on your real life……….not the life you wish you were living.” That applies to so many areas of life!
Gaye @CalmHealthySexy recently posted…Grilled Vegetable Sandwiches – The Taste of Summer
Thanks Gaye! These are words that I’m trying to live by right now. I want to be happy in the here and now rather than always wishing for something different. Working towards goals is important, but happiness in the here and now is even more important to me.