Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Old School

I know that for many of us, the school year has really just begun. Here at The HomeFront we have finally gotten back into the swing of car line and lunch duty and paperwork, oh my! And it's only taken us a month - that's record time around here, my friends.
Despite all the new year kinks and jitters, my tip for the day is about the end of the school year, and what to do with all the leftover school Stuff. You know, all the pencils, crayons, workbooks, folders, penmanship copybooks and whatnot that come home in your child's filthy, ratty backpack (or is it just my kids who look like they've made a detour through the landfill on their way home from school? But I digress . . .).
If you're like me, you've probably paid some kind of fee to your school for Activities or Supplies or the all encompassing Student Fee. On top of that, I shell out a nice sum in tuition. Add to the mix that my children invariably need their crayons or pencils or glue sticks replenished during the year, and you may start to see why I hate to throw anything away at the end of the year.
This is what I do: All the pencils and crayons go into a common household pencil bag (or box) and are used up for art projects through the summer. Older Girl also has pencil cup on her desk that has the potential to one day rival an office supply addict like myself. Penmanship tablets make great writing or drawing pads for the kids, since they are usually wider than most notebooks. All those leftover workbooks make pretty fun coloring books, and they also serve as a great review to Older Girl, as well as a cool way to introduce the concepts to The Boy (because we all know that whatever our siblings have is cooler than what we have . . .).
I take the folders that are still serviceable, reinforce the edges with some tape, and use them as a filing system on my desk. I use one for bills, one for all the current therapy/doctor statements for The Boy, one for upcoming birthday cards, etc. Since they are so slim, I can tuck them right in beside my computer monitor and pull them out when I need them. I know that the Lightning McQueen folder is for all of The Boy's papers, the Care Bears are for the bills, and so on. And let's face it, seeing a winking Care Bear on the front of your bill folder beats a plain folder with "Bills" scrawled across the front.
Then, when school rolls around again and it is time to buy all new school supplies, I feel like I've gotten a full year's worth of use out of all of the things we bought last year. So of course that entitles me to a new pen or tablet while we are out. (I told you, it's an addiction, my friends. I may need some kind of Staples detox program.)
For more great tips, check out Rocks in my Dryer every Wednesday!


  1. Great way to reduce, reuse and recycle!

  2. Aren't you the epitmoe of organization and thrift? Great ideas Aimee!

  3. Glad I'm not the only one with an addiction to office supplies.
    I worked in a stationery store one summer. Felt like "Sam" at Cheers must have!

  4. I have several pen and pencil cups! I used to have one for my "pencil collection" ... ones that I never even used! They were the supercool or unusual pencils. hmmmmm... can I go to staples now? please mommy????? :D


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