Last time I blogged on the summer Wrap Up for younger students and the importance of organizing what comes home in June before September rolls around. Even our older children could use a hand organizing their papers and possessions. If you have a high school or college child you’ll probably have more paper and things to save rather than memorabilia. It would be best to schedule a mutually dedicated block(s) of time with your student to go through their year-end collections. Maybe you have college-age students that pulled up in the driveway with a truck or minivan loaded with dorm/apartment furnishings that take up all your garage space!

During your time together (and catch them in a good mood for this), sort his/her items into categories that fit for your student’s age. You might have:

  • Academic Papers
  • Text Books
  • School Supplies
  • Electronics
  • Small Appliances
  • Furniture
  • Clothes
  • Toiletries
  • Sports Equipment

Create a “sorting zone” for each category and even write the category on a Post It or scrap paper and using painters tape hang it on the wall so you both know what pile is what. Then, go through each category with your young adult and decide what is a keep, donate, recycle, purge and sell. When finished you can decide on the proper containers, labels and space to store his items until he returns to school.

If your college student can’t house any more items in his bedroom try adding a perimeter of sturdy plastic or metal shelving around your garage, basement or lastly attic for the summertime influx. If you have room in your yard, you could purchase a shed and move some of your gardening/seasonal items out there for the two months so your student has easy assess to and from academia. Lastly, if absolutely necessary you could rent space at a storage facility for the summer.

As for all things related to papers, projects and reports ensure everything is backed up electronically and for those super important papers nothing beats a hard copy and filing in either a banker’s box or a plastic file box with appropriate labels. Keep adding to the box each semester since your child is now working on a degree and may need his work for future study or reference material. Additionally, ensure that the student’s laptop is backed up either on an external hard drive or the cloud.

As far as the memorabilia goes for the older child, ensure that her room is set up age-appropriately for studying. Make sure the collection of Barbie Dolls and stuffed animals don’t claim her “prime real estate”. Discuss what she would like to save for her future and you figure out what items in her bedroom tug at your heartstrings. Then honor those treasures by packing them safely in archival storage boxes for both of you in another part of the house that doesn’t serve as everyday living space.