Hey friends, for years and years I have used an awesome product on my fridge to organize all those school papers my kids bring home. I’m not talking about the file and forget papers that you want to keep forever. Those are more for long term storage and I’ve already blogged my solution for organizing all the special things that you want to hang on to more permanently.
But what about all the temporary papers that come home that you need to refer to on a more regular basis like class schedules, school calendars, lunch menus, sports schedules, parent notes, invitations, fundraising papers, graduation checklists, etc. You can’t file them away because that would be a hassle to access them and you know how I feel about hassles. Yuck. Instead it’s a good idea to have a system that allows you to organize these temporary papers so you can quickly find what you need when you need it and that is also easy to maintain. A system that requires too many steps is a system that is rarely used.
The product I used to use was called the Magnetic Fridge File with 4 pockets and I used it so much that it sadly fell apart on me. It was ripped up and beyond repair and unfortunately it’s no longer on the market making it a wee bit difficult to go out and purchase another one. I use to keep it on the side of my fridge and you’d see it as soon as you walked into the kitchen.
This picture of it above is after I’d already emptied it out. In fact this side of my fridge had gotten pretty messy over time and I was tired of all the clutter. I forgot to take a picture of all that mess though, sorry.
I decided I wanted to keep the side of my fridge cleared off and instead just use the front of the fridge as my makeshift command center. I already keep my favorite Mom’s Ultimate Calendar on the front and now I just had to find a new solution for all the temporary paper that needs to be contained on a daily basis.
One thing I recommend for whatever system you use is to have a separate file for each child. This makes not only filing easier but finding what you need so much quicker. You’ll thank me later for this little tip I promise.
OrganizHer Fridge File:
Replacing the Fridge File was no easy task friends but I think I found it. The product I’m now using is from Mead OrganizHer Magnetic 3 Pocket Fridge Filer (affiliate link). I actually picked mine up at Target last year before it closed down here in Canada but I had it tucked away not sure how I was going to use it until now.
It has three clear tabbed sections that you can file papers into. I like it because it takes up less of a space footprint on my fridge. I use one tab for each of my boys and the top one for school and activity calendars that I refer to the most. Works like a charm! When a new paper comes in, I (or the kids) mark any necessary dates on the family calendar and then file the paper away under the specific child’s tab. Once the activity is over and the paper is no longer needed for reference I can throw it away.
I also wanted to offer you some other ideas for temporary paper filing just to give you a variety of options. Every family has different needs so here are a few other solutions to consider.
Over the Door Coupon Pockets:
If you’d rather not have your papers out on display but still want them accessible, you might like this option from Jokari (affiliate link) that fits over the inside of your cabinet doors. I actually also use this product in my home as well, I purchased mine at Winners.
I use one pocket for take out flyers, one pocket for my husbands papers and the bottom one for town notices and schedules like when the dump and recycling center are open. The pockets aren’t that deep though so you wouldn’t be able to keep 8.5×11 papers inside without folding them in half. Something to keep in mind.
Another option would be to use file folders. Also at Winners, I found this nice set of removable peel and stick file folders that you could easily attach to your fridge, cabinet or wall.
If you can’t find these you could make your own using regular file folders (tape off the sides) and Command picture strips (affiliate link).
Finally if you are looking for a solution for your kitchen space there are many different desktop paper holders that would work nicely for any space. My favorite is this three tiered acrylic one (affiliate link) that you can add any file folders too.
So let me end with a few words about storing all these types of papers digitally and using a digital calendar as well. Yes that is definitely an option for you but please keep this in mind. Unless your entire family has access to these calendars and apps that you use, you are not doing them any favors. The entire onus will be on YOU to organize and manage all the appropriate information. When you use a family system, you teach your children how to manage and be responsible for the system alongside you.
The first thing my 10 year old does when he wakes up in the morning is check the calendar. If he sees that his class is going swimming that day, he knows to go put his swimming stuff by the door. If he sees that it’s pizza day at school he knows not to pack his lunch. He’s done this since he was old enough to read and even before then we used this calendar from 2 Fish Kids to help him know what the day ahead held. Now he is old enough to take his school notes and transfer the information to the calendar himself.
Training from a young age is essential if we want to raise kids who know how to manage their own time. Us moms (and dads) should be working ourselves out of a job.
I’m not saying to not use digital (that would be crazy talk!), just don’t leave out the kiddos in the process. You might still need a combination of the two at least until your kids are old enough for smart phones :) If you are curious which organizing apps I use be sure to check out the post I did on it.
Also one other thing, even if you do use a digital solution you will still need a place to put the papers until you get a chance to record the information. Just something to consider so you don’t end up with little piles of paper everywhere.
Always aim to condense and contain the clutter chaos!!!
I hope you are feeling motivated to set up a daily school paper management system for yourself. I also have a Command Center Pinterest Board with a ton of great ideas and one of those may be just right for you.
Let me know if you have any questions especially if you are having trouble setting something up in your home to keep the daily papers under control. I’ve love to help. Mwah!
- This post contains affiliate links and I will be compensated, at no extra cost to you, if you make a purchase after clicking on my links. However, I only ever mention products I love and would recommend whether I was being compensated or not. Thank you so much for your support of my site!