School is out, the kids are at home and all of their stuff is with them. Having a break from school is great, but what can we possibly do with the half-used notebooks, stubby pencils, and worn crayons besides put it in the landfill?
Simply put, use them. If they are in good condition, use them as a summer scrapbook or journal. Use them for Lego instruction booklets, owner’s manuals, college mailers, storing scrapbook paper, just about anything. Encourage kids to come up with a great use for them and start teaching them the value of organizing information in ways that become meaningful to them.
Always go through them and decide if what is written in them is important. Do you want to save it? If the answer is yes, take a photo of the page with your smartphone then upload it to your Dropbox or other digital storage system. Then tear out the pages and send to recycling. If the notebooks in question still have a decent amount of blank pages inside, consider donating them.
Kids love crayons until they get too small to use and then they become clutter. It seems wasteful to just throw them away but that is typically what we do with them. Instead, you can make them fun again! Look online for tutorials to melt them into new shapes that can still be used.
Once empty, send the backpack through the laundry. It can then become an overnight bag, a pool bag, or a bag to tote toys around.
Whatever you decide to do with old school supplies, just be sure to turn that after-school clutter into something useful. Otherwise, quickly get it out of your house so it’s not still sitting in your kid’s backpack at the start of next school year.
Jennifer Snyder, Certified Professional Organizer
Neat as a Pin Organizing Experts