Are you ever overwhelmed by all the papers and art projects you children bring home from school?
You are not alone!
The number of worksheets and graded papers that come home each week is a lot of paper to sort through for just one child. It’s exponential when you have multiple children.
When my daughter started school, I was unsure of how to sort through it all. She brought so many cute projects home. I constantly asked myself: What do I keep and what do I get rid of?
Here is my process I came up with for sorting, and then for saving and storing:
- Toss worksheets and coloring pages. Unless there’s something profound or funny my child wrote or drew on it, it goes in the recycle bin.
- Keep minimal paper: The precious projects, like the kids’ handprints, their drawings of our family, or special essays go into our keep pile. I have a file folder for each child in my desk. As the school year goes on, I put keep items there and then sort through the entire folder at the end of the year.
- Capture: There are many papers and projects that fall into an in-between category, they’re neat and we’d like to keep them, but the keep pile is getting too big. For these projects, I snap photos of them and put them into an album on my phone.
Once you’ve sorted, you can save and store in a few different ways:
- Photo Books: Make photo books of school papers that are in albums on your phone.
- Portfolios: I buy large plastic bins and create a construction paper portfolio for each year of school. I buy the large 12×18 inch sheets and create pockets by stapling half a horizontal sheet to another full sheet. Then I create a cover with their school picture and grade. I connect all of the pockets together with metal o-rings. *Click here for my Amazon store with the exact products I use.
- Plastic Bins: I store all of the portfolios in a large plastic bin. If the paper portfolio doesn’t sound appealing, you can use file folders, one for each year of school.
One of our summertime practices each year is sorting through the papers the kids brought home and creating that school year’s portfolio. It’s fun to look through their work and is also a relief to throw out old papers we don’t need anymore.
Until next school year, that is!
What is your organizing system for school keepsakes?