Before I get today's organizing idea…. I have a little news to share with you…. this is my 1000th Post! I know! The balloons and confetti are pouring down from the ceiling even as type this! I should do something really big, like give away $1000 or something, right? Except- I don't have $1000 to give you today. So how about 1000 good wishes, okay? And maybe you and your friends can all get together and leave me 1000 comments on this post to celebrate this special moment in Momof6 history? Or help me get to 1000 Facebook fans and 1000 Pinterest followers today? Any of this would be a great blog-a-bration present!
So thank you….. and now back to your regularly scheduled organizing idea….
It's That Time of Year…
Here we are in the month of June, and every year at this time, 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.
And the questions on how to store kids artwork, report cards and school projects become- 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”? It's time to make some decisions…. and here is how I do it:
Allow Your Storage Space to Dictate Your Limits
For each of my kids, 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. And the artwork boxes has to fit all of the special artwork or school projects and reports created by that child during their elementary school years. One box- that is all!
What I find to be helpful is that 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. So at the end of the school year a child 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 in the box at what we saved from the prior 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 keep the sum total of pieces saved into what will fit in that one box!
An Easier “no Space Required” Way to Save Artwork
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 and include them on my child's scrapbook pages.
Saving Report Cards
In our filing drawers I also 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 (paper clipped together in the back of the folder), 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.
For kids that have other school-related files-such as IEPs- I keep that paperwork organized and filed separately from school report cards.
So how do you manage paperwork that you keep for your kids? Do you save every thing 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!