HOW TO: Organize Your Kid’s School Work

Who has a pile of your kids school work that look like this:

And who knows what to do with it??

I had to get my act together if this was something that I was going to accumulate for the next 15 years! I figured out a system that I put into place last year when S started nursery school and O was in second grade. It’s a system that works for us — a NYC family with a 1200 square foot apartment — so it’s definitely something that anyone else could do, especially if you have a larger home.

Here are my steps on how to organize my kids school papers:

  • I keep a large bag in my girls’ closet and throughout the school year, I place everything that is worth saving in the bag (see above picture). I don’t touch it until the end of the school year when the girls are in camp and I have some extra time.
  • When I do have the extra time, I go through the editing process. I go through the bag and organize the papers into three piles: definitely keep, possibly keep and definitely throw out. This will be the hardest part. JUST. DON’T. FEEL. GUILTY.  If you feel like you want to keep something, but can’t because you don’t have the space, take a picture of it with your smart phone and file it in your computer under a folder that has “Kids Name, Kids grade, 2011-2012″. The goal is to make a small pile, about 2 inches high.
  • I go to The Container Store and purchase these Translucent Boxes and buy one for each kid, for each school  year. Hopefully you do this every year so you don’t get backed up.  I like this box because it looks great so it can be kept out in the open, which opens up prized closet space.
  • Place the papers in the box and take a permanent marker and mark the translucent box with your child’s name and school year. It would be great to get your kids to write it, so you can see how their handwriting changes through the years.
  • Done. You have a full school year’s worth of stuff…I mean “memories”… in this neat stackable box.

My girls love to take out their boxes full of their school work every now and then and reminisce about what they did the past year.

How do you organize your children’s school papers?