If you are in need of some help storing your kids school papers, you are in for a treat today! I am sharing my BEST system on how to organize school papers.
It is a super easy way to keep the most important things from the year all in one place, without feeling like you need to have boxes and boxes for each child.
I shared how to do this using Oriental Trading products over on their fun site fun365.com.
I am also did a Facebook Live video showing the system in action if you would like to watch that!
Tips on how to Organize School Papers
1. Find a spot to keep EVERYTHING during the year. You’ll see why in a minute…So for this, you just need a hanging file folder, or a box or something you can let your child deposit all of their art work, birthday cards, stories, writing samples, etc… If you can show your child where to put their papers, they can do that for you. Your younger child will be happy that you are keeping all of their work, and you can just let them keep thinking that you are keeping everything.
2. Time is your friend. One of the best tips I can give you is to wait until after the school year is over before doing this. In fact, if you can…wait until the following school year to do the year your child is in. Why? When you are getting those sweet drawings and stories from your child each day, it can be hard to be selective. It is SO much easier to wait and give some time before you go through and start sorting the papers, you can be a lot more selective after time has passed. This is true if you are decluttering sentimental items of any nature.
School Work Storage
3. Write down any details you want to remember from the year on one sheet of paper. There is a free printable for each grade I created over on fun365.com. It’s also fun to put a school photo with this paper. If you use the printable there is a place to put your child’s name, age, teacher(s), school, and a place to put their favorites or any other thing you want to note. These are perfect for going in the front of all the papers you end up keeping.
How to decide what school papers to keep
4. Time to whittle it down to your favorites! When going through, think about what your child might want to show their children when they are older, put yourself in their shoes. You would be SUPER overwhelmed if your parents handed you a huge box from each year of your school life…but you would also be sad if they didn’t save anything. Let’s find a happy medium. Here are some good rules of thumb while looking through your giant stack of papers and things…
- Photos My youngest’s teacher is so good to send photos home once in awhile of my son on different special days of the year, or just doing his work. I love her for this (among many other reasons). If your child’s teacher does this, or you have a few from the school year, these are great to save, but only keep those that are meaningful and cute.
- 1-2 Writing Samples…if they made a special book for the year then keep that.
- 3-5 Art Pieces that are really cute, remember when you keep less, those items become so much more special, instead of just being one of a 100
- Anything that makes you laugh. Don’t you love those Mother’s Day Questions you get once in awhile? Well last year my Oliver brought home a St. Patrick’s Day one that had us all chuckling at his answers. They were all funny, but my favorite was his wish for the world is to see Jesus and Batman! 🙂
And that is it! Don’t keep the rest. If there was some art that you were on the fence about or is too big or bulky to realistically keep, take a photo of it. Better yet, take a photo of it with your child holding it. Put the photo in your Chatbooks, or other photo book.
How to Store Children’s School Papers
5. Finally, it’s time to store all of your child’s school papers! I found the best place to store them is in a plastic folder.
When my two oldest were young I bought a scrapbook kit for each of them that they no longer make (I even bought two extra for my unborn children because I knew I wanted four…yes I’m a super control freak). The plan was for them all to have a scrapbook for each school year…HA! I was a young naive mom who thought that would actually happen! Now looking back I realize that my kids probably wouldn’t want 15 giant scrapbooks each and that this ways is much better. The point of all that was that they came with hard plastic art portfolio folders.
If you are looking for an even more compact and colorful way to store your child’s school papers then I would definitely look at the supplies I shared from Oriental Trading. They will fit nicely into a fireproof file box and you could add their important documents into that as well. Wouldn’t it be so nice to have their birth certificate, social security cards, insurance policies, copies of your will, all their school papers and a flash drive of all their photos all in one place?!?! I am not even close to that organized, but those are the goals!