At the end of every school year, we all face the same questions on how to store kids artwork, report cards, and school projects. “What should I do with it all?” “Which pieces should I keep and which should I discard?” “What items will I care to see years from now when I reflect back on my kids' childhoods, and what items will just be “more stuff”?” Here's how I approach it in our home, which allows me to both save what matters and get organized!
Sometime in June, a note comes home from school asking parents to send in any spare large-sized shopping bags they might have hanging around the house. And the reason that the school wants them is so that they can give them to the art teacher so she has a way to send home all of the projects that my kids created this year. Which means all of that artwork and all the classroom paperwork for all 6 of my kiddos is leaving the building and heading home to me!
Here's how I tackle the issue of how to store kids' artwork!
Allow Your Storage Space to Dictate How Much You Can Save
A few years ago, I purchased a pair of acid-free storage boxes for each of my children. (acid-free so that photos and drawings stored inside are less likely to fade over time.)
For each child, I keep one “memory box” and one “artwork box”. In the “memory boxes” I will save special birthday cards, mementos from special events in our lives, the clothes they were wearing when we first brought them home- truly special items that we want to keep.
In the “artwork box” goes all of the special artwork or school projects and reports created by that child during their school years. One box- that is all! So once the box is full of artwork (which happens by the end of 1st grade!), then some items need to come out of the box before new things can go in.
Sometimes at the end of the current school year my children might find many pieces of artwork and projects from the current year are precious to them and they don't want to part with them yet, but when we sit and look at what we saved from the prior school years, we can usually find a few things to remove that no longer seem so precious, to make room for more of the current year's art.
But we limit each of our children's artwork storage into what will fit in that one box!
Another Way to Store Kids Art
Another way that I like to save the kids' artwork is by attending their annual art show at their elementary school and photographing the child with their sculpture or drawing or painting.
It's a wonderful memento of the evening and it is a great way to forever keep a copy of that artwork without physically keeping the piece. I can just save the photos!
Of course- you can do this with any artwork that your child brings home from school as well!
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Saving Kids Report Cards
In our filing drawers, I keep a folder for each child for their school records. In that file I'll have a copy of each grade's year-end report card, and in the front part of the folder I'll keep any important school papers that have to do with the current school year. When we reach the end of the school year I'll get rid of the things I don't need anymore and only keep the year-end report card.
Why bother keeping the report cards when all of the kids' transcripts are available online anyway? For the teacher's comments (which you typically won't find on a school transcript!
Here are some more great ideas on how to organize your home!
- 15 Fantastic Command Centers to Help Busy Moms Stay Organized
- 20 Organized Kids Bedroom Ideas
- 10 Organized Laundry Room Ideas
- 12 Organized Closet Ideas
- 12 Ideas for Entryway & Mudroom Organization
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So how do you manage the paperwork that you keep for your kids? Do you save everything that comes home from school? Do you edit as you go along, or are you currently buried under tons of papers from years past? Leave a comment and share!