Their backs are breaking and their backpacks are stuffed. Now what do we do with all the contents inside now that the school year is over?
I’m very thankful to all my kids’ schools and teachers for an amazing year. Their hard work and dedication is unbelievable. But why do they shlep so many things home at the end of the year so moms have to feel the guilt of throwing it away?
Just what do we do with the stuff in that stuffed backpack so it doesn’t end up clogging up the coat closet all summer? Here is a mini guide so you can feel motivated to take care of it right now:
- School supplies. Look them over well. Your little girls might be super excited to use their older sisters’ markers, even if she’s going to want new ones next year. But if supplies are not in good condition and no one will use them, there’s no mitzvah to save them. Barely used supplies can go straight into the “extra school supplies container.” And if you don’t have that container, it’s a good idea to make one to keep those extra supplies from year to year (often, you can save a trip to the store when you find something in there. It’s also a good place to put extra supplies when you buy in bulk.) Things that go in there? Paper, Folders, dividers, writing supplies etc.
- School papers. Do you have one of those kids who thinks she needs 10 boxes of school paraphernalia to play “school”? Give her a bin and tell her she could keep whatever fits in there. Let her go through it and keep only the things she really “needs.” Usually they get tired of this activity in a few days and you’ll be able to dump it all then!
- Sentimentals. Have a labeled file for each kid of SPECIAL items you’d like to keep. Don’t go overboard! If you saved every kid’s yearbook, haggadah, project with a photo and everything they ever wrote, you’ll need a storage room the size of an average wedding hall to fit it all! Who will even have time to look through all that anyhow?!!! So just save a FEW very special items so you can actually keep it, look at it and enjoy it for years to come!
- Genizah. Take note that a lot of papers can’t be thrown out but need to be placed in genizah.