It’s every parent’s struggle: school papers. If you are like me you are drowning in school papers. Papers come home from school EVERY SINGLE DAY. Sooooo many papers. When my oldest started school here is what I keep asking myself: How do I decide what to keep and what to toss? How do I store what I want to keep without being overwhelmed? If you’ve asked similar questions then you are in luck! Because today I’m sharing my process for kid’s school papers, how I decide what to keep, and how I store it all!
Okay first let’s talk about keep vs. toss. Here is an example of about a week’s worth of papers Hudson brought home when he was in kindergarten. All cute right? But all kind of the same, right? First, when I pull these out of my child’s backpack I make a BIG deal about them. I’m talking “Wow! Great work!” and “You did so well!” and “I love this!” that kind of stuff. If they are super attached to something or really proud of it I IMMEDIATELY turn the paper over and write the date on the back of it. Trust me on this one. And then everything goes in to a pile. At the end of the week (after the kids have gone to bed and after they have forgotten about their papers) I sort through the pile and toss stuff like the papers pictured above. Yup. All of those cute papers are now in my recycling bin. The key to this is being ruthless. You can’t keep everything. And also doing this while the kids are asleep. DO NOT LET THEM DISCOVER THEIR WORK IN THE TRASH. I’ve made that mistake before and it is NOT FUN.
If you have a child who is really attached to all of their work, then get a box for them to keep in their closet or under their bed and have them go through their work and decide what to keep and what to toss (but pull out your favorites first). If they want to keep everything (I have a child like this!) then let them. Just make them store it and keep it organized and put away. You can will be able to recycle this stuff two years later once your kindergartner is in second grade and is no longer super attached to their work. I speak from experience on this.
So you might be wondering, what do I keep? I probably keep the most from kindergarten. Because everything is just so dang cute. I keep anything with a handprint on it, anything that took a lot of work, anything my child is super proud of, a super cute story they wrote, or something big like the first time they wrote their first and last name, or a perfect score spelling test etc. Keep in mind that you will probably have more stuff that you keep during those preschool and early elementary years. Above are a few things I kept from Hudsons kindergarten year. Again, be ruthless.
Next, you’ll need a file box for each child. Hudson’s file box is old, but I got these boxes for the girls and really like them! I just wrote their names on them with a sharpie. This is where I keep all of the papers for each kid nice and organized.
I purchased these rainbow hanging files and made one file for each year of school. Annabelle just started preschool, that’s why her’s is so empty!
Here is Sadie’s box. You can spy some of my favorite artwork that I’m keeping!
And Hudson’s! My original plan was to have this box go through high school….but now I’m not so sure that everything will fit. So for now it’s just preschool-elementary. Compared to how much they actually bring home, I’m keeping such a small portion!
For artwork that’s too big to fit in the file folders, I have one of these boxes for each child. Remember to immediately write the date on the back! These boxes are similar to what I have.
I also have one of these All About Me books for each child and I LOVE them! There is a page for each year of school and it is just the cutest thing ever. I usually fill this out with my child each October. It’s such a fun tradition that I know I will cherish for forever! There is a page for preschool through high school. These sell out FAST, so grab them here while you can!
And that’s it! If you have any questions, be sure to leave a comment here and I’ll answer them!