child paper clutter
Tips & Guide

How to Organize Your Kid’s Paperwork

Keeping track of our child’s paperwork and artwork and knowing what to keep can be a struggle. In this post I will share some actionable steps we can all use today to organize your child’s paperwork.

Beginning in preschool, kids can seem like a never ending factory of artwork and paperwork. As hard as it can sometimes be, you need to remind yourself that you don’t have to keep everything they bring home, and that when she is 25 years old, your daughter’s not going to want to inherit boxes of her creations. That doesn’t mean you have to get rid of it all. Here are a few suggestions for how to reign in the paper clutter.

Display papers in a revolving system.

There are so many creative ideas on Pinterest for this very purpose. Use clothes pins, hang a row of clipboards, or a single, magnetic shadow box to change out your child’s artwork weekly or monthly. This allows the child to determine what she is proudest of. It also sets a limit for how many pieces are hung in the house, and keeps it organized in one place, instead of scattered all over the house.

Be picky about what you keep.

This is an important step! Once the art is out of the display rotation, you’ll have to decide whether to keep it or toss it. Your child is going to create some priceless stuff, but he’s also going to just be processing and expressing himself some of the times. Art is a tool and not necessarily an end result. Did he literally scribble on a piece of paper? Recycle it.

Read also: Things You Can Do This Weekend to Declutter Your Life

Make a scrapbook or photo book.

My favorite idea is to take photos of everything and create a photo book online, through a service like Shutterfly or Snapfish. What was once a messy pile is now a clean album, and best of all, it can capture 3D art in a 2D way. Then, you can hang a plate holder on the wall and display the book itself, put it on a shelf or coffee table, or file it away.

If you’re a sentimental type who just can’t part with the real thing, select your favorite pieces to glue into a scrapbook, or file into laminated sheets in a binder. This way, you can cut the artwork to fit the book, so you’re not losing all of it, but not keeping stacks of paper, either.

Read also: Inventive Spelling Can Help Children Become Confident Writers

Create a file for each child.

Just as you have a file in your cabinet for your child’s medical records and important documents, make one for his artwork and certificates as well. Only file away items you definitely want to keep. Pick things that represent where he is at this stage in his development and write his age or the year on the back, My mother used to also ask us to describe the artwork, and would write our response on the back. It was always a kick to look back and see what we had to say about it. Even with this system, you should go through periodically and see if there is anything you can get rid of when more time has passed and you are less attached to the item.

What’s driving your desire to keep it?

When you feel compelled to cling on to tangible objects, you’re usually trying to hold on to the feelings they elicit in your heart. It’s not about the item in question. Without overwhelming you in “material,” images of these goods can nonetheless satisfy the urge. Instead, better organizing and accessing these memories allows everyone to enjoy and share them for many years to come.

Read also: How To Keep Our Memories Safe and Organized

I keep schoolwork in my binder if it is something I don’t want to lose (report cards, stories, letters about us or our family, hand-print/footprint poems). I have their earliest items at the top and their oldest items at the bottom. I maintain track of my children’s school papers by placing them into a binder.

To store all the papers you keep, forget about colored folders, which can be divided into an infinite number of sub-folders. Keep it simple: one binder or a large cardboard file for papers to be kept for life (salary slips, employment contracts…), another for papers to be kept only for a certain time, with a few dividers (electricity, gas, telephone, taxes…).

Use either a folder with category or to use these sorters with the same principle and to keep only these papers during one year then if they are important to slip them in the files and the remainder (practically all) to throw them.

 

AboutKara

I’m a writer, new mom and foodie. I love sharing what I know while making others feel beautiful. On this blog, I share my healthy lifestyle, simple meals, fitness tips and experiences.

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