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Back-to-School Baggie Binders: My Secret Weapon for Finally Becoming Organized

It’s hard to believe, but this time next month I’ll be preparing my children for going back to school.

We’ll start by cracking down on  a normal routine, which has, admittedly, been pretty loosey-goosey this summer.

This is the plan: I’ll enforce strict bedtimes and for my oldest I’ll limit sleepovers to the weekend. I’ll also encourage my kids —including my toddler— to dress themselves in the outfits I lay out for them the night before. This will hopefully make the back-to-school transition easier on all of us.

But I have one more secret in my back to school arsenal: Back to School Baggie Binders (catchy, huh?).

I am notoriously 1. disorganized and 2. craftily impaired, but occasionally I have flashes of brilliance (or at least dim flickers). I’m always losing papers and forms and forgetting which day I agreed to bring the dang preschool snack.

At least once a month I arrive at preschool, children in tow, with grand plans of basking in the quiet for 3 SOLID HOURS while the kiddos are at school, only to find out I’d signed up for snacks and forgotten. I then have to make a run for the grocery store during my precious work time and by the time I return home it’s almost time to pick them up again.

This is a problem.

This year I’m doing something that hopefully will prevent such minor tragedies.  It’ll also help me preserve all those little whoosey-whatsits they bring home in their backpacks— you know, the Santas with cotton-ball beards and bears with button eyes— along with notes from their teachers and important reminders.

I took a standard size three ring binder and created holes in gallon-size Ziploc Slider Bags, using a hole punch.

I created four categories for the bags:

1. School Calendar and Class Schedule- to refer to any time a date is in question or for scheduling purposes

2. Class List- to use for party planning, invitations, and contact information

3. Reminders- to check when I’ve agreed to bring snacks or made other obligations

4. Teacher Notes/Feedback

One bag for each category and voila!

The slider bags, I’ve found, are great for this type of storage because they’re so durable and sturdy, and the sliders make accessing the papers so easy. Unlike plastic binder sheets, the bags allow for bulkier items to be stored as well, and since they close I don’t have to worry about precious preschool masterpieces falling out.

Do you have any back to school secrets up your sleeve? I’d love to hear about them in the comments!

A big thanks to Ziploc for sponsoring this campaign. Click here to see more of the discussion.

Mary Lauren Weimer is a social worker turned mother turned writer. Her blog, My 3 Little Birds, encourages moms to put down the baby books for a moment and tell their own stories. Connect with her on Facebook and Twitter.

More by Mary Lauren:

Why Putting Yourself First is Impossible

The Measure of a Mom

A Working Mother’s Lament
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