As your child starts another school year (or is starting for the first time), you may find that you have a stack of artwork, projects, school portraits and report cards. What whould you do with your kids school papers? Maybe you will toss them into a bin until you you figure it out. But, wouldn’t it be better if you could figure out how to organize your kids’ school work?
As a parent, you want to keep many items for your kids to have when they grow up. I still have things from kindergarten that I share with my kids. They find it hilarious to see that mom couldn’t write very well either!
Organizing these papers will save your sanity and help you find the item you want when you need it. Not only that, but you won’t end up looking at a paper your child wrote and ended up wondering — how old was he when he wrote that? You might see that handprint and think, was she 5 or 6 when she made that in school? I’ve got a simple way for you to keep those cherished items AND help organize them. The best part of all is that you only have to do your filing ONE time a year!
With three kids, I had to find a better way to stay organized. I came up with an easy system that I know anyone can use. And, it will take you just 30 minutes a year (max) to get everything organized!!!
ORGANIZING SCHOOL PAPERS
You will need a few items to use this system. It requires bins, folders, and plastic sleeves. Below you’ll see each of the products I used so you can create your own system.
I found mine at OfficeMax, and they were around $15 each. I loved the winged lid because it was easy to open and had the ability for me to put a hanging folder inside of it. You can find them at many stores, however, make sure that you find some which will allow you to hang folders inside of it.
You will also need folders. I recommend box bottom folders, so that expand wide enough to hold all of the items you need to store. These were a little more expensive, but, you should have no problem storing an entire year’s worth of papers in a single folder.
Grab a package of plastic protectors, or sleeves, that you can tape to the front of each folder. Placing your child’s picture inside helps you easily identify the year (and prevents them from getting crushed or creased).
You can use the tabs that come with the folder if you wish. I happened to have some 3M tabs on hand so used them to stick to the folders.
First, write the school year on each folder tab. I made them for preschool through twelfth grade, but you can make them with whichever grades you would like.
As you can see in the photo below, I have mine created from Preschool up through 6th grade for my kids. I then filed the paperwork for each year into each folder. I didn’t have to cut anything. I didn’t have to put it into a scrapbook. I literally just placed each item into the appropriate year for each child.
Since I have three kids, I also need to know which bin belongs to which child. I printed their names on paper and taped them to the front of each box.
WHAT PAPERS SHOULD YOU STORE?
So, what should you save? Here are some the things I have filed in each of my children’s folders:
- Report cards (I save ONLY the final one of the year and file it away and don’t keep the one for each quarter)
- School photos (includes a class picture and those given to them by friends)
- Funny stories
- Up to 3 pieces of artwork per year (I take photos of the others I want to keep and just retain digital files)
- Desk Tags
- Other items which show my children’s personality at that age
On the outside of each folder, tape a plastic sleeve. Then, when you put the school pictures away, you can slide them into the front of the folder. It keeps them more protected and also can help you identify the year more quickly.
The final step is to organize your papers! Place all of the items for each school year into the appropriate folder.
As I mentioned, I only file once per year. I have a large box which I set on top of these in my basement. All year long, I just toss in the items I may want to save into the box for all of my kids. Once the final report card of the year is issued, I print it out (they email them to us) and that is my cue to do my filing.
I go through the box of papers and open each child’s storage box. I file the items I need to save and toss those things we don’t need to keep. It takes me no more than 30 minutes to do this for all 3 of my kids!
There you have it! A quick and easy way to get those papers filed away and off of your kitchen counter, desk or wherever they happened to lie.