When our kids were babies and toddlers we found ourselves keeping everything they made, but after a few years of doing that, we realized it’s not the Louvre and we don’t have room for all that. Before we know it, we’re drowning in drawings of crayon scribbles. After a while, we have to prioritize what to keep and what not to keep. Now you realize that it’s time to figure out how to organize school papers and artwork.
There’s an emotional value to these things, because we know our kids put their heart and soul into their work and they won’t be little for long. I imagine sending the kids off to college and coming across something they painted as a 2nd grader and getting weepy.
But, we can’t keep EVERYTHING. In May, our kids start coming home with backpacks full of work, art, reports, cute drawings, projects and everything they’ve worked hard on all year.
For a couple of years, I would carefully keep everything in bins, then stick everything in that bin into a box to go at the top of the closet. I don’t know why, I guess I had an unhealthy attachment to everything they did.
What really turned it around though, was how do we display their artwork? I was just pinning it to a cork board in the playroom. But, what happens to it after that?
I discovered these perfect picture frames. These things come in different sizes and they’re spring loaded and hold up to 50 pieces of art.
Each frame opens with a hinge and you can actually stick artwork in the frame without taking it off the wall if you want to. I find it just as easy to take it off the wall, though.
Like most families, we have tons of fun artwork at the end of the year.
These were my daughter’s so I asked her what her favorite piece was. She picked “The Scream”. Kinda dark, but okay. I’ll display it. We can easily switch out later.
I stuck the whole pile in the frame, there’s plenty of room.
Just close it up!
…and hang it back up! All of these frames are built the same. I got various sizes and have a hallway dedicated to the kids’ masterpieces.
Here’s a fun one! What do you do with all the rest?! They will have schoolwork that you will consider keepsakes or will be fun to look back on in years to come. Maybe they wrote a funny paper or made an awesome grade on something they worked really hard on. You can’t throw that in the trash.
Speaking of trash, I know we all do it. Most of it has to go there unfortunately. I usually sneak the stuff we’re not keeping to the dumpster so the kids don’t see it. That would make them sad. But, really we don’t have to keep every single math paper that comes home.
The ones I do keep, I do this! Follow me here if you want to do the same.
Then get labels and make a template to print off for all grades (including preschool). Type “Name”, “Year”, “School” and “Teacher” along with the grade on the top. Put a label on your file folders and keep them in your bin ready for the end of the year!
Now, each year tape a 5×7 school pic onto the appropriate grade and fill out the form. Stick a handful of work that you want to keep from that year in your folder.
You’re all organized. And you won’t feel so overwhelmed!
Now, tuck it away in their closet until next year!
I hope this post helps you organize all your child’s keepsakes, homework and artwork. Now, it’s more fun and you have a plan for it when it comes spilling out of their backpack at the end of the year!