As the end of the school year approaches, moms everywhere are bracing themselves for the mountains of art, school papers, and awards that their children will inevitably bring home. Neat and organized spaces become home to cluttered piles of papers that represent a year’s worth of work to your children that they are not willing to part with.
It’s very similar to the method that I use to organize my ripped out magazine pages. It’s very straightforward and simple, and yet has made such a difference in keeping my kids’ papers and artwork at bay!
- Tabbed Sheet Protectors
- Regular Sheet Protectors
- Magazine holder, storage box, or another holder to store artwork
Here are a few examples of some things that I have kept over the years…
Self portraits made by my kiddos…
Cute little doodles…
A letter to Santa that my daughter wrote when she was starting to not believe…
Special awards that my kids have received…
Memorabilia. Embossed metallic handprints that I created for my kids in 2007…
Diary Entries for important events, like the birth of our son…
To temporarily collect and store the art, I use metal magazine holders, and I have one labeled for each of my children, and one for my husband and I. As my children bring home work, we decide together if it’s something that we should keep or throw away. We keep their best work, special awards, my homemade birthday party invitations, letters to Santa and the Easter Bunny (make copies so they’re not suspicious), special cards or letters, etc.
Again, anything that is your child’s best work or is meaningful to them and/or you. It’s also nice to just keep a sample here and there of their work to see the progress they make throughout the year.
As the art and memorabilia come in throughout the year, be sure to date them (if there is no date on it already). I like to write the date and how old my child is, usually on the back of the paper so it’s not taking away from the art or work.
Step 2- Label & Organize
Label your tabbed sheet protectors. I labeled mine like this for each child:
- Birth-Preschool (or EAK or Kindergarten)
- Preschool (or EAK)
- 1st Grade
- 2nd Grade
- 3rd Grade
- 4th Grade
- 5th Grade
I also used some Avery Martha Stewart sheet protectors I bought at Staples that have pockets that hold 4 photos. Although I keep separate scrapbooks, I like to add the 4 photos behind each divider, so we can remember what each child looked like when they made their art.