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The Importance of Keeping Your Home Entryway Clear and Organized
One might think that with the advent of electronic communications and digital organizers at our immediate disposal, today’s moms would never have to walk into the house with an armful of school notices, paper take-out menus, and soccer schedules again. But alas, we do. And those papers, in addition to the backpacks, art projects and sweatshirts that we are clutching under our elbows, need somewhere to go. Whether you enter your house through a mudroom, garage, or the front door, putting everything in it’s place is a struggle for any parent to stay on top of. Am I right?
As you can see from the picture, if I get my act together, coats and shoes could actually be stored in the right place, resulting in a fairly pleasant entryway.
So what about all that pesky paper?
Here are three tips to keep it under control.
- As soon as you walk in the house, go through all the paper and toss away anything that is replicated elsewhere (i.e. already on your calendar or in your email) into the recycle bin; paper that’s blank on one side can be used in the printer or for your kid’s doodling.
- Curate the kid projects. My kids may generate 5 to 10 masterpieces per week…each! If something is particularly amazing or seasonal, I’ll put it out for display for a while in our common areas. If they are very attached to it, I’ll encourage them to tape it to a wall in the playroom. The rest gets thrown away after bedtime.
- I try to limit pieces that we save for our memory boxes to a few per year. When a terrific Thanksgiving turkey comes home, I’ll use it as leverage to convince them that we’ll put it up where September’s back-to-school art is hanging. Again, when they’re asleep, I’ll take the demoted piece to the outdoor garbage can.
- Set up two staging places for their art – one in your family’s shared space and one in each of their rooms. Teach the kids that when the spots are full, something must come down.
- Review and file. Repeat. Take time each weekend to go through the single pile of incoming paper and act on it.
- Transfer reminders to a calendar. No need to keep a brochure for an upcoming play. Send yourself an email about ticket dates and the URL for the theater. Recycle the brochure.
QUESTION: Do you face this challenge? If you have a mudroom, does it accommodate your paper chase?
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