Make a Back to School Binder

The stores are thronged with moms frantically ticking off items on their back-to-school checklist. MomSpeaker Hillary Chybinski's calm about her August school prep, as she's perfected her favorite organizationsl tool: a school year binder for each of her kids. Here's how she makes them and why she loves them.

The first day of school is quickly approaching . . . are you ready? To help get you ready, I am sharing one of my all-time BEST organization tips (I've been using it for eight years!): Creating a School Year Binder for each child. Keeping school papers organized should not be a difficult or time-consuming task!

This is life-changing — are you ready?

While you're out buying school supplies, get a binder to represent each of your kids, for yourself. You may also want to pick up dividers or Post-it tabs to separate the sections. Each member of our family has long been assigned a calendar color. This calendar color translates into other areas of household and schedule organization, such as the School Year Binder colors.

What is a School Year Binder?

A School Year Binder is an easy and accessible place to house all those papers that come home from school at the beginning of the year, that you will need to refer to again: such as the classroom schedule, lunch account log-In information, student handbook, pick-up procedures, etc.

How do you set up a School Year Binder?

The first step is to think about the information you're going to have. I have used this system for a child in pre-school/daycare through middle school (so far) and it works with minimal adaptation. I have found that having the following tabs, gives me a place for everything:

  • School
  • Classroom (Elementary)/Grade Level (Middle School)
  • Account Information
  • Activities
  • Parent Group

Once you have your tabs set up, simply three-hole punch any papers that you will need or may need to refer to again and place them behind the appropriate tab. Sometimes I don't use any of them, and I recycle them at the end of the year. Some of them, I may need and don't want to throw away, like a welcome letter from a teacher. At the end of the year, that goes into my School of Memories file box.

Tips for maintaining the School Year Binder

  • In a hurry? Slide the paper into the binder without punching holes. It's STILL in one place, so you know where to find it.
  • Keep a sheet with your child's important numbers and contact information for all those forms you need to fill out the first week of school. Easy reference for each child.
  • At the end of the school year, clean out your binders and get them set up for the next year. As papers or emails arrive over the summer, you have a home to put them away.

These binders have made a HUGE difference in the amount of paper I have lying around my desk and dining room table. I'm a firm believer that "everything has a home" but am also capable of falling victim to "where did I put that?" syndrome. My binder system takes care of both of those organization pitfalls.

Hillary Chybinski is a crafty mom of two boys living the American Dream with her husband in the Philly burbs. This post was adapted from her blog, My Scraps.

Categories: MomSpeak