• Get More Value for Your Money: What to Do with Old School Supplies

    Don't be so quick to throw them out!

  • Photo by Nick Amoscato/Flickr

    First order of the day when school officially ends (and summer vacations starts): review your kid's school bag that's probably full of used school supplies: from textbooks and notebooks to art supplies and envelopes and folders. There's a lot of paper that 10 months of schooling accumulates. Here's how to sort through all of it. 

    1. Decide which ones to throw away.
    The crumpled up papers, food wrappers, torn up folders and envelopes, broken pencils and cap-less pens can go straight to the trash. Some things you might want to consider keeping include pencil case items that are in good condition (useable pencils and erasers, pens that still have ink, working markers, rulers, etc.), unused paper (pad papers, bond paper, construction paper, etc.) and coloring materials (crayons and colored pencils) in good condition.

    Don’t throw out textbooks and notebooks, however. We’re saving those for the next items on this list. 

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    2. Gather all the notebooks and useable papers. 
    To reuse old notebooks and papers, you can tear the clean sheets of a notebook out and stitch them together with some yarn to use as a homemade sketchpad or scratch paper notebook. You can also use adhesive glue to make your own notepad. 

    3. Donate the textbooks.  
    Check with your child’s school if they accept donations for used schoolbooks. Schools usually have this near the start of the next school year. You can also drop them off at charitable institutions or child benefit organizations that accept them. If your child still writes with a pencil, you would be doing the textbook’s next owner a great favor by erasing out the answers on the exercise pages of the book. 

    4. Store away properly.
    Keep your “to keep” pile as neat as possible so you know where to find them when the next school year rolls around. You’re more likely to be tempted to throw them out if they look like a mess. You can also plan on using them at home, solely to be used in your child’s study area. Nevertheless, store them properly so they’re easy to get to and won’t be neglected. Otherwise, all your reusing and recycling would for naught. 

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