how to organise kids paperwork

There’s no denying how much school papers your kids are going to get over the first several years. They will differ from artwork, their first A or certificates of recognition.

During the first couple of years, your fridge will be covered with artwork then the next couple of years will be school papers with a gold star then you’ll start piling up with awards.

Hopefully, that would be the case. No parent would want school papers with big red ‘F’ marks or detention slips piling up. Consequently, you don’t really need a play by play instruction of how to organize your papers around the house.

You most likely have a system that works but needs to improve as time passes by.

Well, that’s exactly what we have for you – practical tips and advice to keep your kids’ school papers out of the way yet safely kept.

1Identify which School Papers to Keep

There are numerous kinds of school papers. They can differ from test papers, essays, artwork, letters from the school, permission slips, or school notices. You don’t have to keep them all. To prevent your filing system from cluttering, identify the ones you’re going to keep.

  • Artwork
  • Recognition Certificates/Awards
  • Poems/Short Stories/Personal Essays
  • School Programs and Plays
  • Special Projects
  • Any assignment that they excelled at during the year

The rest, you can either shred or throw away. I suggest that you shred any paper work that has record of your or your child’s personal information, student number or anything that might put your security at risk.

2Durable StorageĀ 

I really love storage boxes. Organizing wasn’t one of my strong suits until I discovered the use of storage boxes last year. I mean, I’ve kept all my college school papers and memories piled up on my desk until I finally bought a big storage box to store them in.

But, when it comes to even finer organization, you need to be a little bit more thorough than just chucking them all in one box. File folders, sliders and dividers are helpful. I came across a personalized storage box prefectly fit for your kid’s school papers. It’s easy to customize and the items needed are totally affordable!

Another tip: make sure your storage boxes are durable, water resistant and dust proof. This will save you from spending more on changing containers in the long run.

3Regular Go-Through

Moms are already busy juggling house chores, raising kids and taking care of a husband. No mom would have enough time in their hands to file and save school papers on a daily basis. On the other hand, if you don’t have a regular go-through, they’re going to pile up and you’ll be too overwhelmed to even go through them.

The secret: have a corner for a regular go through.

Abby, from Just a Girl and Her Blog, shared her little spot for her kid’s school papers. Each kid has a slot on the wall where they can put their papers in and she goes through them on a regular basis. Also, this little nook helps decrease the paper clutter moms have to pick up.

4Create a Filing System

A clear filing system always helps. I’ve learned this the hard way. If you only have one child, this would be a lot easier. But, if you have more than one child, things can get messy if you don’t establish a filing system.

There are several ways you can file school papers. You can either try any of the following:

  • By child – use their photo or name to label
  • By year level – preschool, grade 1, etc.
  • By category – artwork, essay, projects, etc.
  • By month – mixed category but segregated by month
  • By child & year level

I have a friend who’s tried most of these and she stands by filing by child and year level. It’s easier for her to go through because of the chronological order.

5Labels are Everything

Labels are really just there to keep life easier. Labels are everywhere! Humans wouldn’t know what to do if there were no labels! And, every person into organizing would attest to labels being holy grail.

There are plenty of printables online so you can definitely take your time choosing. Whether you decide to file by year or category, label them properly to save you the trouble of going through them over and over again.

6Display Artwork Creatively

So, kids’ artworks are really a pile-maker. They draw so many things on a daily basis that by the time you finish organizing one month’s worth of artwork, you’d have a full box!

While you’re sorting through the different school papers they bring home, see which artworks are worth displaying. Once you’ve identified them, display them creatively. If you don’t know how to display artwork creatively, we got yrou back.

Consequently, displaying their artwork will thin out your pile to file!

7Learn to Let Go

So, are you the sentimental type who wants to keep everything that has memories attached to them? If you are, you might have to learn how to let go. Otherwise, you’d have a fully packed garge. It wouldn’t be that bad to keep all of your child’s school memorabilia if you only have one child. Depending on how sentimental you are, we’re estimating a total of 18 storage boxes, one box per kid per year from kinder until they finish college.

What if you have more than one child? You do the math. You have to learn to let go. Go back to your filed system every few years or so. Go through each box, identify the ones you really can’t let go of and re-file them. The rest, learn to let go of them.

In a Nutshell…

We totally get the need to keep memories especially if their proud moments. And, that’s really okay. But, you have to keep them in a way where it doesn’t get in the way of everything else. Picture in your mind what your house would look like if you just left every school paper lying around.

Imagine the hurt your child will feel when they see you use their artwork as a table coaster because you don’t take time to organize them. If you’re not the type to organize, it will be hard to start. Such is life unfortunately. We all have to start somewhere.

You don’t have to be an expert organizer to get this done. You just need the drive and the willingness to make time for it!

One day, you’ll thank yourself for doing so especially when your kids are all on their own. That would be the best time to look back and cherish the memories.

So, got any other tips to organize school papers? Share your expertise in a comment below!

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Fueled by fun and the simple things in life, I am a full-time writer, a baker on some days when I actually have spare time and a back-up vocalist on the weekends. Coffee and I don't work well together but give me a glass of milk tea or really rich cocoa and we'll be friends for life.


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