Your child brings a lot of love into your life. They also bring a lot of paperwork. Keeping important documents on hand and up to date can be overwhelming for busy parents. It becomes even more stressful if you are unable to easily access essential information when it is required. If your child has special medical needs, disorganization may even prove dangerous. Following are five simple ways to organize your child’s important documents in just a few minutes every evening.
1. Get Paperwork From Your Child Immediately After School
A lot of important paperwork is sent home with your child. These documents include notices regarding school policies, upcoming events, items your child requires, and evaluations of their performance. Children are not the best record keepers, and it is important for you to take possession of these documents as soon as possible so that you can file the information appropriately.
2. Create a Dedicated Area For Your Child’s Documents
This can be as elaborate or simple as you desire and your home can accommodate. At minimum this area should contain a filing system for records that need to be kept on hand as well as a board where time sensitive documents will remain visible. If you are especially short on space and do not need to keep the original document, you can scan it into your computer. A calendar dedicated to your child’s medical appointments, school activities, and after school activities completes your system.
3. A Place For Everything
Now that you have an area dedicated to your child’s documentation, establish separate categories for the types of paperwork your child produces. Common categories include school records, medical records, and after-school activities. Within each category, create subcategories so that each document will be easily identified and produced as needed.
A bulletin or magnetic board is a convenient way to prominently display time-sensitive items such as permission slips and birthday party invitations. Mark these dates on your calendar, along with medical appointments, so you are able to prepare for these events in advance.
4. Everything In Its Place
All of your hard work is meaningless if you don’t put it to work for you. Make sure to set aside a few minutes each evening to file all of the day’s paperwork into its appropriate location. It may be tempting to set it all aside until the weekend, but you will find yourself overwhelmed when the weekend comes. In addition, many notices come at the last minute. If you set them aside, the weekend may come too late to take action.
5. Periodically Purge Your Files
Once you have used your filing system for a while, you may notice that certain files begin to overflow. Instead of giving up because you can no longer jam more documents into the correct file, take the time to remove old paperwork from the “active” file. Depending on the document, it may be appropriate to throw it away. For example, school policies for kindergartners are no longer helpful when your child is in second grade. Some records are important, but not likely to be required on a moment’s notice. These may be moved to an “inactive” file and stored with other family documents.
Taming the flow of your child’s important paperwork is easier than you think. Following these five simple tips will help you keep your child’s documentation up to date, and you can use your weekends to relax!
James is currently helping out a leading UK printer cartridge supplier by doing a range of tasks which include blogging, reviewing Samsung toner cartridges among others things, and keeping the website updated.