Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Kids' Papers, Artwork, and Keepsakes

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?

(also posted on my blog, Hands Full & Loving It (mostly)


Wendy said...

I actually scan my kids pictures in, and wished I would have started when Kaylee was in Kindergarten, but the idea didn't come till years later. But I scan them in, and will print them into a book, for when they graduate.

But I do like your method, it works to. But you'd have to have the space for every kid just to keep up. So I scan it in and then if it gets ruined, no big deal. Right??

Well, that's what works for me so far.

I think I'll even start scanning in their works of writing this year, just so they can have samples to refer to in future years.