Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Kids' Papers

Need a better way of organizing your kids' papers? From art projects to cards to report cards, this is what has worked for me.

1. Invest in a horizonal filing system. I have one slot for each child. I use post-it notes folded over to label them. This one is chock-full of last year's papers because I haven't yet gotten to steps 4-6.

2. As papers come home, decide what's worth saving. I don't keep many of the math papers or coloring pages. I do keep every report card and a representation of their best artwork. If in doubt, I keep it, because I have another chance to purge it later.

3. As the year goes on, put the papers you are keeping in the horizontal file. Keep up with it all year long and it's not hard at all.

4. At the end of the year, pull out sheet protectors and a binder. Here's one I've made for Joey several years ago (at some point, I'll fancy it up with a nice title page, but for now, this is what it looks like. I have a divider for each year so they can be kept in one binder but stay separated).

5. Pull out the stack of papers you've saved the whole year long. Because you've been putting things in the pile all year long, they are in chronological order already. Just turn the pile upside down, and start putting everything in sheet protectors and into the binder. Now is also your chance to do a final purge of stuff you don't need to keep.

6. Enjoy looking through your child's papers or letting them look at their scrapbook from that year!

Notes like this make all this mothering stuff worthwhile:

Translation for those of you not up on kinderese: "I love you Mommy because you take me on rock hunting."

What do you do to manage your kids' papers and keepsakes?


Mostly Diane said...

That is how I have done it, but I am thinking of switching to photographs of their artwork instead. i haven't made a final decision yet.

Dina said...

We have the exact same system except we take a photo of them holding any art work that is too big for the binder. Occasionally something extra special gets folded and stuck in a page protector, but they are usually happy just with the photo.

Lisa6Kids said...

This is how I do it too. I used to try and save everything which was ridiculous even if I only had one child, let alone six!

Kristen Pearson said...

What a great idea. I need to remember this for when my kids are older.

RondaJo said...

I have started putting their stuff in little storage bins. That way I can have the papers as well as the artwork that is not flat. Each year they get a new bin, and I write that years information (year, school, teacher, grade) on it. It seems to be working for us so far.


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