Kids come with a lot of stuff and papers (especially when they hit school age!). So taking the time to set up a system to handle all of the kids school papers and keepsakes while preserving what’s important is a must. As a mom of 3 and a devout clutter-hater, here are my top tips for saving the best and ditching the rest.
Keep it Small
Have you heard the saying that when everything is special, nothing is special? Setting limits helps to ensure only the best, most unique and memorable items make the cut and serve as a snapshot reminder. When keepsakes are too voluminous they become overwhelming and end up gathering dust instead of enjoyed. A limit can be a hat box, bin, or file tote for example. More on that below.
Create a System
Systems are important to ensure the smooth running of things. When it comes to school papers, you need a place to process them as they enter the home. We use a wall bin in the mudroom to put papers that need to be kept for any amount of time and is the holding zone for things that eventually go to longer term storage. This keeps our counters clear of clutter and makes finding important papers easier.
When it comes to long-term storage, we use the file box system. Each kid has their own file box with folders for each school year to store keepsake papers, yearbooks, and awards. Suggested file boxes and folders can be found by clicking the affiliate linked images below.
For an extra special touch, find a Kids Memory Kit in the shop. Kits include a custom vinyl decal and pre-printed file tabs.
Feelings can change over time. What was once something worth keeping might not really be that special. I recommend to revisit your kids school papers and keepsakes annually. Not only is it nice to reminisce regularly, but it also gives you an opportunity to further edit your collection.
One of my favorite traditions our family has created is filling out an annual school year interview with the kids. At the start of each school year we sit down and answer the same set of questions, like “what do you want to be when you grown up” and “what is your favorite song”. I include their school picture from each year along with the interview sheet for a great visual reminder of how much they change from year to year. You can keep these in their school year folder or in a photo album. I go the photo album route and include their sports pictures, a birthday collage, and first day/last day of school pictures. Each child has their own album that will be handed down to them when they are older.
Need to get your personal files in order? Check out the home records organization guide.