Purge and Organize Kids Paperwork in 6 Steps

Purge and Organize Kids Paperwork in 6 Steps

kids paperwork purge banner

THERE’S PAPER EVERYWHERE!!! Oh my gosh, how many piles and stacks of paper do you have that are creating absolute chaos in your life? For a short amount of time, I had control of it but that was blown out of the water in a hot second.

pile of kids artwork

Yep, that’s how my son’s schoolwork looks. What started out as a neat filing system near the door turned into a hot mess that I just threw into a box hoping to do something with. I didn’t want to lose anything so it’s all inside from August – January. My first organizational idea was something I saw on a “perfect” site. I call it that because it’s just not realistic. I wanted to have all the cute little cubbies and a filing system near my door but then life happened. My son bumped it, I needed more counter space to function in our kitchen and, really, things just got full.

On to the next idea.

Keep it simple.

Steps to Purging Paperwork:

  1. See What You Have

  2. Take Notes

  3. Decide How to Store It or Display It

  4. Create A System

  5. Maintenance

  6. Follow-Up

Before you even get started, set a time limit. If you know how much time you plan to spend on it, you’ll feel more in control and will get through it more quickly.

kids paperwork in piles

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1. Prep & See What You Have

  • Find an open space that won’t be interrupted while you work on your project. (I know, the chances of winning the lottery are better).
  • Gather all the paperwork, homework, artwork, notes from school and any additional school-type papers into your open space.
  • Sit down on the floor and start making piles. Each pile should signify an action. See image above and download printable if you want something quick.
  • Sort everything no matter what it is. Create a new pile if you’d like. Each piece of paper should be living in a stack by the time your’e complete.

2. Take Notes

Whether you do this during your sorting process or go through afterwards, make little notes on each significant piece. Maybe it’s the first piece of art your son brought home or a certificate your daughter won for doing something silly. What was it that she did? With life as nutty as it is, we tend to forget the little things. These are the most important when we’re looking back.

kids paperwork filed

3. Decide How To Store It or Display It

There are a lot of great ideas for storing paperwork and/or artwork. We’ve found some extremely quick, cheap and easy ideas.

We filed my son’s paperwork in a simple snap-together bin from the office supply store. All we added was hanging file folders.

Brooke at the Design Stash created a Yearbook Binder. Um…how genius is this?!?! Tuck everything inside however it makes sense to you and decorate with your kids artwork.

school paperwork yearbook binder

Before filing things away, you may want to put that adorable artwork on display.

Andrea at Life.Love.Larson is genius! How about tension rods with curtain rings that have clips? We’ve seen this a variety of ways but none as great as seen on Life.Love.Larson.

kids artwork display on life.love.larson

Feeling a little Pinterest-y? Grab old picture frames, glue clothespins or clips to the top and spray paint them to make the frames pop.

bright frames artwork display

via Pinterest

Or fill one frame with up to FIFTY pieces of art!

child artwork frame

4. Create a System

So you don’t have to go through this process every six months, decide what works best for you to stay organized. Inform the rest of the family and get started. Our system works best when my son brings his backpack in the house, empties the papers on to the counter and I sort into open filing shelves. That’s the quick way. If I have a free minute (literally 60 seconds), I’ll run it upstairs and immediately put it in the corresponding file or recycle it.

5. Maintenance

Life gets in the way. Always. Be sure to circle back around if you see your pile start to grow. System or not, we tend to prioritize differently throughout the year and, all of a sudden, this paperwork isn’t at the top of our list like it is now.

6. Follow-Up

You know that stack of papers you labeled “Still Thinking/Unsure”? It’s time to see if you still feel this way. The end of the school year is a good time to do this follow-up process. After you have finished this final step, store the paperwork away.

tawsha connell


5 Ways to Take Control of your Chaos

5 Ways to Take Control of your Chaos

taking control of your chaos | organized CHAOS onlineThis was me. Until about an hour ago.

I was sitting in the same clothes I slept in, my hair was on top of my head (okay, it still is), my house was a mess, I have things to do more than I have time in a day and I was literally frozen in place.

This happens more than I care to admit.

My “thing” when I feel overwhelmed is to look in one direction toward something I need to complete and say, “Okay.” I’ll turn around and see another project and say it again… “Okay.” This will happen about 20 more times and it accomplishes nothing.

Have you ever felt this way?

It seems that September is the month that kicks us into a speed of about 500 miles an hour and it doesn’t stop until January. The chores, holidays, events and activities start coming in a lightning speed and unless you’re on your game, this will send you into a cell with padded walls.

Let’s control our chaos.

But how?

Get up and do something. It doesn’t have to be something huge. Your goal is to look for something that will provide a sense of accomplishment. It has a starting point and an ending point in a short amount of time.


notepadJust start writing. Unload what’s on your mind. This doesn’t have to be in order, all under the same topic or even written well. The goal is to get that clutter out of your head and on paper. You can go back and sort it out later.


shower-organizationWhether it’s your shower, the bottom of your closet, the silverware drawer or the spice cabinet. Tackle a small space that, everytime you go back to it, you feel a sense of accomplishment. Once you get started on your small space, you’ll get the drive to do other things. Tip: Set a timer. Don’t let this take you all day. It’s a small space and should take a small amount of time. If it feels like it’s too in depth, move on to something else. For now, at least.


creating-a-scheduleI’ve been talking to so many people who have all their days filled with sports, activities, club meetings, organization and travel. It gets so nuts. Start jotting it down in a calendar and make a schedule. Once you know when things are happening, your brain will start to sort it out, too. Place your important dates where they belong and back track a week or two and set yourself a reminder that your important date is approaching. This way, you aren’t caught off guard.


laundryAt my house, the laundry is the one thing I never keep up with. It is typically washed and dried but then it’s stacked up on the table in my laundry room neatly folded in half to avoid wrinkles…until my husband or son goes to look for the worlds smallest item within the stack. Then it topples. Taking the time to hang, fold and put away laundry is almost impossible. The funny thing is: Once I do it, I feel so much better. For you… find a chore that is nagging at you. What has a starting point and ending point and will make you feel better once accomplished? Do that thing.


fall-wreathIf the inside is just too much right now, go outside. How about adding a festive wreath or swapping out your summer flowers for something more fall-like (or whatever season you wish)? There’s a definite sense of pride when you drive up to your home and you see colorful flowers and decor. Everything feels so tidy and put together. Just don’t invite anyone in.

Are you rolling your eyes right now? Just like working out, you’ll feel better afterwards.

tawsha connell

DIY Reward Magnet Board for Kids

DIY Reward Magnet Board for Kids

DIY reward magnet chart

My son has been a total butthead lately. Yes, I meant to write that. No, I’m not sorry. It’s amazing how you can love someone so much your heart feels like it’s going to burst into a million pieces but at the same time can feel so frustrated by their actions. My son started kindergarten and has been telling his teacher that he’s too tired to work on his writing. I’m talking a full-on debate. Thankfully, his teacher is amazing and doesn’t play his games. My son may be tired by the end of the day but what on EARTH are you thinking telling your teacher that?

In an effort to get my son on track (without nagging), we created a magnet chart together.

Why not stickers?

I didn’t want to make one thing and be able to use it for just one purpose. I wanted to be able to add to, take from and edit when the mood strikes. Plus, this won’t be the only time my son will be in need of some sort of reward system.

This board lives on our refrigerator and it was the EASIEST thing to make. Plus, it cost us less than 10 for everything.

Magnet board organized CHAOS online

  1. Magnetic whiteboard. We found ours at the grocery store in the clearance back to school items. Don’t pay a ton for it.
  2. Decorative buttons. I used wire clippers to clip the loop off each button to make the back flat.
  3. Magnets. I hot glued these to the back of the decorative buttons as well as the whiteboard (if no magnets are already there)
  4. Wet Erase. These are dry erase pens that flow like liquid chalk pens. They are vibrant and are easier to read.

Each great report sent home from my son’s teacher earns one magnet. 10 magnets equals a toy. We are four days into this whole project. As you can see, we’re at two magnets.

I need a drink.

tawsha connell

How to Homeschool: Every Resource You’ll Need To Get Started

How to Homeschool: Every Resource You’ll Need To Get Started

Homeschooling. It’s not for everybody. Are you considering this alternate schooling method for the right reasons? Homeschooling may be right for your kids, but are you cut out for it? Do you have the right personality traits to successfully homeschool your kids?

How to Homeschool: Every Resource You'll Need To Get Started | organized CHAOS online

The below articles will help you decide if this is something you feel you’ll be able to do, and if you’re the type of person that can pull it off. It means a lot of “together” time with you and your kiddies. It was impossible to have loved my kids any more than I did, but I have to be honest and admit that we all valued our time away from each other while they were at school. I say to all of you who have chosen to homeschool your children, Good. For. You. You’re blazing trails and making us all proud! And according to what my research tells me, you parents are doing an excellent job and your kids are excelling! If you would love to jump in, but you’re still on the fence, I hope that the below articles will be of help to you in making your decision.

Okay, you all done? So if you’re still reading, you must have decided that you’re the mom bomb and you’re gonna go for it and become a homeschooling parent. Congratulations! You’re all pumped now and ready to get after it, but… what do you do first? Does that saying come to mind, “all dressed up and nowhere to go”?  Not to worry, PBS Parents has some steps that will get you headed in the right direction. The link to their article, “Homeschooling: Tips for Getting Started” explains in more detail the steps outlined below.

1. Find Out the Legal Requirements

Learn what the legal requirements are for homeschooling in your state. Easy search by state. (Site also has other useful info)

How to Homeschool: Every Resource You'll Need To Get Started | organized CHAOS online

Home School Legal Defense Association.


2. Choose Your Teaching Style

Lay out your teaching style and game plan. Below are some sites that offer FREE Homeschooling Curriculum, and other useful information that will help you get set up.

How to Homeschool: Every Resource You'll Need To Get Started | organized CHAOS online

Ambleside Online

Printable Curricula for All Ages


How to Homeschool: Every Resource You'll Need To Get Started | organized CHAOS online

Homeschool Buyers Co-Op

Resources for All Aspects of Homeschooling


How to Homeschool: Every Resource You'll Need To Get Started | organized CHAOS online


Printables, Books, Lessons…all FREE


How to Homeschool: Every Resource You'll Need To Get Started | organized CHAOS online

All-in-one Reading Program

Free Downloadable Books – (Currently No Registration Required)

How to Homeschool: Every Resource You'll Need To Get Started | organized CHAOS online


Phonics instruction, games and online interactive books


3. Tap into your Local Homeschool Community

Discover the local homeschool resources available in your area. Get support from homeschoolers in your community.

How to Homeschool: Every Resource You'll Need To Get Started | organized CHAOS online

Homeschool Central

Join local homeschool groups online and connect with other homeschoolers in your State.

How to Homeschool: Every Resource You'll Need To Get Started | organized CHAOS online

website-divider-greenHelpful Homeschool Tips

♦  How To Set Up

“Getting Started in Homeschooling” | Life As Mom

 “Putting Together a Homeschool Binder” | Life As Mom

♦  How To Tell Everyone You’ve Decided to Homeschool

“7 Tips to Help Explain Your Homeschool Decision With Confidence” | Homeschool Diaries

♦  How to Set Up Your Homeschool Area/Room

“5 Tips For Organizing Your Homeschool Room” | Pioneer Woman Homeschooling

“How To Make a Homeschool Classroom” | Wiki How

♦  How to Plan and Organize Meals and Snacks

“28 Easy Peasy Bento Box Lunch Ideas” | organized CHAOS online


Resources For Planning and Preparing Curriculum

How to Homeschool: Every Resource You'll Need To Get Started | organized CHAOS online

Donna Young

Printables and a TON of resources for homeschooling

How to Homeschool: Every Resource You'll Need To Get Started | organized CHAOS online


Webinars and Workshops regarding socialization, testing, organization and teaching tips

How to Homeschool: Every Resource You'll Need To Get Started | organized CHAOS onlineLearning style quizzes for you and your child, printables, teaching tips, resources

How to Homeschool: Every Resource You'll Need To Get Started | organized CHAOS online


And finally, the place that I found to have the greatest selection of homeschooling resources and printables is Pinterest. There you can pretty much find anything you may be looking for. (If you aren’t currently using Pinterest, I really recommend you set up a FREE account and get started). Instead of listing here all the tips and information we found, we created  a “Homeschooling” Board where all that great information will now live. We will constantly be adding pins to our board, so to make sure you stay updated, just go HERE , Click on the Red Follow All button, and look for our Homeschooling board below!

How to Homeschool: Every Resource You'll Need To Get Started | organized CHAOS online

Good Luck to all of you awesome Homeschoolers! And to all you homeschooling veterans, be sure to share any helpful advice you have with all this year’s homeschooling newbies! Sharing is caring!

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DIY Push Up “Glue” Pops

DIY Push Up “Glue” Pops


My son just started kindergarten which means he had to say “goodbye” to his Pre-K classes and incredible teachers.

I found this how-to on School “Glue” stick push up pops. It was cute but I wanted to make some changes. That’s my answer to everything, by the way. I never take anything at face value. My project is what you see in the pictures.



  • Push up pops (Michaels)
  • Candy (white)
  • Ribbon (orange in two different sizes)
  • Cardstock
  • Glue dots
  • A Lifetime movie playing in the background
  • Your favorite drink
  • Time to yourself


This is the easiest freaking project on the face of this planet. Here’s how:

  1. Click HERE for the “glue” tag printables. Print on cardstock and cut out.
  2. Stuff the Push up Pops with white candy (just like glue – get it?)
  3. Wrap the thick ribbon around the top and adhere with glue dots. Do the same at the bottom with the thinner ribbon
  4. Stick the rectangle label on the front.
  5. Call it good.
  6. Appear amazing and pretend like this was really hard. When people compliment you, don’t blow it off like it was nothing. Be enthusiastic as if this took the better part of a week.

tawsha connell