I have a wonderful friend and this wonderful friend has the energy of 5 people and loves to organize and clean.

Wonderful qualities and they kind of keep inspiring me to dig in a tackle some cleaning projects that I might have otherwise otherwise looked the other way about.

Ok, truth be told, I DID look the other way about.

I want to say that life kept me from having the extra time to do these BIG projects. I always feel that I have to be in the moment with Elizabeth and keep my eye on all of her needs, therapies etc, my other children, husband and ill family members.

I think I am sometimes so much in the day to day that I just don’t think, feel or want to tackle something else big. Let alone several something big.

But the thing is once I started tacking these projects one step at a time I saw them change from huge things to manageable things.

And then I would look at the next project in the same manner.

I think the key is to see them as something that can be broken down into steps.

(It is funny because as I write this, it sounds like the way that we do things for Elizabeth when she is learning a new task or working on a skill. For those who don’t know, Elizabeth is my daughter with special needs. She has sensory processing disorder and global dyspraxia. Both disorders affect her life daily.)


This is something that I think is so important to do with all the papers and forms we get for our children, especially those with special needs. After all, to properly address a situation at school means we need to be able to find the daily communications to refer to. To properly prepare for an IEP meeting means being able to access the progress reports that have been coming in all year.

And Spring is the perfect time to do this since the IEP season will be quickly upon us.

Here are some tips to help declutter and get organized with your school papers

DON’T LOOK AT THE WHOLE PROJECT AT ONCE– Break it down into steps and do them when you say you are going to, no procrastination allowed

MAKE SPACE– You need to be able to see all that you have before you can categorize and organize things. So find some real estate in your house and use it well.

GET FOLDERS/CONTAINER– As you sort, those papers need to go into a folder so that all the information is easily accessible when you need it. Labeled folders into containers is a great way to keep a lot of papers well organized.

BE PREPARED TO TOSS- Ask my friend, I seem to have a bit of difficulty parting with “memories” but once I began to do this, I could see what I really wanted to keep and it became easier to let go of others. So prepare yourself to toss some things in the name of keeping things well organized for the work you need to do for your child.

KNOW WHERE THE LANDING SPACE IS- Picking a place for your container(s) to go is important. I wanted mine to go somewhere where it was easily accessible but not right out in the open either.

-PLAN TO DO THIS YEARLY– glup yes! yearly. A container or folder for each year. Trust me on this one. You never know when you might be called to look at previous IEP goals as a reference point and it will be so easy to find when you have everything in order.

I hope these help you feel a bit better about a task that can be overwhelming but that really needs done to make sure all records and forms stay at the ready for your child.

I wish everyone a peaceful week.

Michele Gianetti author of Elizabeth Believes in Herself