Everyday, I am amazed at the amount of schoolwork and artwork my children bring home! The more children you have, the quicker it accumulates! It can be overwhelming! What to keep? Where to keep it? If you don’t have a system for storing it, it can get out of hand quickly!
Here are some quick tips and a storage solution, I think will work for everyone!
Step One – Discard Daily
When my kids get home, the first thing I do (after hugs) is go through their backpacks. I set aside important papers, display their artwork, and discard what does not need to be kept. Discarding your child’s work needs to happen daily, so it does not pile up and clutter your living space. Lets be honest, some school work or artwork comes home and you immediately know you will not keep it. Let it go. However, be sneaky, because hell hath no fury like a kid that finds their work in the trash!
Step Two – Display for a Month
Children love to have their work praised and displayed! I think it is a must to have a few places in your home where you can display your child’s work. Then when your display areas get crowded, it is time to discard or store.
Step Three – Discard
DO NOT keep everything! I know their little scribbles and handprints are adorable, but you do not need 20 or 50 of them. Keep the best, the ones you love, the ones that remind you of your child at this age, and let the rest go.
Step Three – Store It
The items that are not discarded should be labeled with your child’s name and age, then stored. I created art boxes, with the intention that this will be where all of their important papers are stored.
In the past, I tried smaller boxes and binders. The small boxes filled up too quickly. The binders were overwhelming in another way. I realized that one binder, per child, per year was going to add up quickly. Then, where was I going to store all those binders?
So I found these extra large file storage boxes at The Container Store and I love them! It does seem a little large now, but I have tons of room to grow! As I said, my intention is that this will be where I store all of their important papers, artwork, report cards, programs, pictures, etc… so I need plenty of room!
The box has a file folder for each year. I plan to add folders for each extra curricular activity, clubs, camps, etc…
Step Four – Review It
There are two times you may want to review and discard again if needed. The first is at end of the school year. Take this opportunity to flip through the contents of the file for the current year and evaluate if everything needs to be kept. This is a great time to see if there are any duplicates and let the extras go!
The second, is every five years. Take a minute to go back through the files for previous years and eliminate again if needed! Remember that you are keeping your favorites!
I am so excited to have a place for all the kids papers and pictures! Contact me if you want one too!