Sorting Through Paper Piles / Strategies Needed
Hi all ~ I mostly lurk here and come out of hiding to chime in now and then. You have all been a source of inspiration to me over the years -- thank you!
I am about to embark on a project I've been putting off for years and need help with a strategy.
I have two children and I have mini-piles of kid-related papers in a few rooms throughout the house (my bedroom, our home office, and the spare bedroom). The kids also have some mini-piles of school papers in their bedrooms. Some piles were created at the end of various school years with the intention of going through them before tossing. Others are mini-piles of mementos (some school related, others not) and other stuff.
My mother kept nothing of mine which is probably why I hold on to all of these papers. But I also know I only want to save maybe a box worth of stuff for each child, and perhaps a binder or two, at the most.
I need to attack these piles and organize the papers I decide to keep.I also have extra-curricular keepsakes: Girls Scouts, sports, music, church -- and I'm not sure how to go about sorting and organizing.
First, should I merge all of these mini-piles into one room?
Do I go through these piles/papers first and divide them into two (one pertaining to each child?)
Or, as I handle each paper, do I decide "School" vs "Non-School" and then break it down to each child?
Or, do I decide "Keep" or "Toss" as I go through these piles? And if I do it this way, does the "Keep" pile get sorted?
I know I will only keep a sample from each school year, or those pages where the teachers wrote thoughtful comments.
I'm thinking that then I will separate each kid's stuff into the elementary school years, the middle school years, and then the high school years. (My oldest is in her first year of HS and is pretty much maintaining her own paperwork, but I have started a binder w/page protectors to store certificates, newspaper articles, etc.) I think I will use the "binder system" for the Middle School years too. For the Elementary years I have a file box for each child. Should I create folders for each grade and then put school and non-school items in those folders?
Deciding what to keep and what to toss is not the issue here; it's strategies/systems I'm in need of (and a little push too!) If you have a system that works for you, please share your tips, strategies, tools you use and ideas!
Thank you --