As I mentioned before, one of the biggest sources of memorabilia in this is house is the mountain of papers that come home from school with the kids, especially in elementary school.
There’s artwork and worksheets, tests and report cards, and it ends up being a huge pile of stuff. There are a few things I try to do to keep it under control.
First of all, when school papers arrive in the house, they get the once over from the relevant kid, who lets me know if they think the paper is worth saving or not. My youngest is very good at choosing papers that are meaningful, versus things that are boring or repetitive. (How many spelling tests do you really need to save?) My oldest has gotten to the point where he’s self censoring all his papers before I even see them, so things that I think show where he’s at developmentally, or that illustrate his unique take on the world are frequently disappearing before I see them. The perils of having a middle schooler I suppose.
Once the kids do their initial sort, the papers are supposed to go into a file folder labelled with their name and grade that’s located in a file cabinet right next to my desk. Luckily that was mostly enforced the past few years, so fixing the mess of papers I had lying around was much easier than I thought it would be. (The kid sort is a new step, and has been a wonderful way to deal with all the school papers!)
At the end of the school year, the file comes out of my file cabinet, and goes into a file box for the relevant kid, and a new file is set up for the following year.
But what about giant, bumpy artwork?
That’s got a place too. Way back when, Pottery Barn had these boxes, that fit most large art papers. I’ve got one for each kid, and one for photographs and large memorabilia that’s not kid art. Additionally, because every kid needs a place for his art to be appreciated, I have a wall dedicated to displaying kid art, that gets changed as new art comes home.
Finally, since I am actually caught up with the kid’s School of Life albums, I’ve added choice bits of memorabilia from each year to their books.
Man, I feel so organized right now!
Except for my photos that I haven’t been maintaining, or the piles of non-school memorabilia that are overflowing their containers. But those are problems for another day. Let’s revel in being caught up in this little piece of everyday life for a little bit before moving on to the next disaster.
Do you have any tips or tricks for organizing school papers? Share them with everyone!