Gather all your child’s books in one place. Sort the titles into three categories:
- Keep on the shelf
- Save for sentimental value
- Give away
Books that continue to hold your child’s attention should be kept on a reading shelf. A few books will have sentimental value, but are no longer age appropriate. Create a manageable collection and store in a memorabilia box in an out of the way place. Then give away the rest. Teachers love receiving donations for the classroom library. A school in need or your neighborhood ‘friends of the library’ program will welcome donations as well.
The old saw about kids growing like weeds is true. From birth through the teen years, children regularly outgrow their clothes, shoes and sporting equipment. Unless you have a younger child to hand them down to, consider donating to a local charity or to a friend with younger children. A good rule to follow before donating any clothing: if it’s stained or torn, toss it or explore textile recycling in your community.
This is cleaning and organizing in disguise. If you let your child choose a new color for a fresh coat of paint, you’ll have another excuse to move and clean under the bed.
Empty out the backpack:
You never know what might be lurking at the bottom of the pack. If you’ve not done so already, ask your kids to empty out their pack, and decide then and there if you can reuse it for one more year. If your child is a “scrape the pack along the curb” kind of kid, you’ll probably need a new one in the fall. Otherwise, wash your backpack by hand and hang it to dry for the following year. Retain the supplies that you can and toss the rest (broken pencils, dried out markers and the like).
Remember, summer is about slowing down the pace of our often over-scheduled kids. Approach these tasks in bite-sized pieces. Make it as fun as possible.
One more thing: if you do a Google search under “August is Kids Get Organized Month,” you’ll find that I just made it up.