12 Organizing Solutions for Any Home
Loose-leaf binders in Lauri and Douglas's office hold schoolwork and drawings, organized by year, for each child. "My kids are prolific artists," says Lauri. "But when I walk into my office and there are stacks of papers, my urge is to chuck what's not brand-new. Having this system right next to my desk enforces discipline, so I make myself put things away. Later I go through the books with the kids and say, 'Do you want to keep this?' " A felicitous by-product of the system: The children can grab one of the binders themselves and instantly access work from last month―or last year―and celebrate the progress they've made. "It's nice to get perspective and feel proud of how much you've learned and achieved."
Binders: Staples carries simple vinyl binders similar to those shown here ($8.50 each, staples.com). Find more elegant linen-covered designs ($19 to $22 each, binderfinder.com).