Do you feel like a hot mess with all the papers your children bring home? We have simple tips to help you organize your kids’ papers.
How to Organize Your Kids’ Papers
Are you fed up with all the artwork, coloring and school papers your kids bring home? What do you do with it all? Where do you store all of these memories? You may hate the idea of storing all of the papers, but you know deep down you hate to part with it because every page is a piece of your child’s life, given to you. So what do you do?
Keeping the home decluttered is especially challenging with kids. And it isn’t just the kids we have to keep organized, we need to keep our entire home functioning too (check out our simple time management tips for moms right here).
I have 3 kids and I know firsthand how things can get messy. But honestly, even when I had only 1 child before we could get one mess cleaned up, another had started. One project or craft, or a coloring session can turn a completely clutter-free area into a massive paper pile in short order. So what do we do?
Everything Needs a Place
To avoid squashing your child’s creativity you must come up with a paper storage system.
Let’s face it, paper isn’t the only problem in managing the home. Books, clothes, photos, toys and let’s not even walk into the kitchen.
The one thing these all have in common: They all need a home. Your kid’s papers are no different. Each paper also has a category that you need to identify in order to give it a home. It’s easy to want to lump sum all of your kid’s paperwork into “his stuff” but that is too general. It will either lead to papers never being put away or they will all be left together in an unorganized pile inside of a folder or box.
For whatever reason, I thought this was acceptable and yet frustrating. When you have just your own things to take care of, it’s not hard to find things, even if it is one pile.
I guess it just took me a while to get the mindset of family, with me being in control of all the paperwork. I just didn’t know what else to do, so I ended up settling for the clutter.
That is until I realized there was a better way, the tips I’m here to share with you.
Don’t settle for “that’s good enough”, because you’ll end up like I did, misplacing the treasures and trashing the rest because it’s just too big of a mess. Don’t trash the treasures. Don’t let your daughter’s first real masterpiece get torn or the ink fade. Let me help you organize your kid’s papers.
We have 3 easy ways to organize your kids’ papers.
How to Store Kids Paperwork
Now let’s learn what’s in the piles and the tips on how to store each type.
Before the age of 5, your little one will be exploring and express themselves on paper. This may be in the form of stamping, drawing or even initial letter-forming. It’s a beautiful time of discovery which allows your child to produce designs that they are proud of. It may be one of the first times your child realizes that he or she can create something significant. So, of course, they want Mommy to save it.
Why not encourage your little one even further by putting her art on display using the gallery method.
In the gallery method, you are simply displaying your child’s art, as if it’s an art gallery. This may be with or without frames. There are a variety of ways to do this but my favorites are the stairwell gallery and the bedroom gallery.
Whereas the bedroom gallery is a bit more beautified (and out of sight), the stairwell gallery is easier and allows for a bit of distance from your child’s focus, so you can switch out the papers without much notice.
Once your kids are school-aged you’ll get a slew of additional papers. All the worksheets, handwriting practices, sentence writing sheets, test and more find a home in your house. But don’t allow these to find their own home, because it’ll be your countertop.
Instead, create an easy storage solution like bins or baskets to organize your kids school papers.
This drop-off spot is just as easy as a countertop, however, it’s contained and out of the way. Just make sure to have one per child, or per school subject.
Now you can set a date (and a phone reminder!) to sort the papers either by quarter, semester or at the end of the school year. Discard the ones you don’t actually need long-term, and the rest you can put into long-term storage using a file storage case or folders labeled with the dates. The folders can then be stored in a box for each child.
These may actually overlap the other two categories but that depends on your idea of a keepsake. Keepsakes are the unforgettable pieces of art, school work, handmade cards, stories, and gifts that your kids thoughtfully create.
Keepsakes may include the first time they draw all of your family members, a board game they created or a word search they made just for you. My daughter actually drew a picture with people, at the age of 3. It was so well done, in my mind, for a 3-year-old, that it went past being just art to a keepsake.
Since these are treasures, what better place to store them than in a treasure box! Don’t think you have to go out to buy some special looking box. This can simply be a shoe box or a plastic container. Make it fun your child to decorate their treasure box. My kids, now over 7 years old, still love their treasure boxes, and occasionally pull them out and enjoy all the memories within. Not only do you declutter your home, but you create something so special for you and your kids.
Now I’ve tried to make these tips super simple, but frankly, paperwork can still be overwhelming.
It doesn’t have to be.
You can actually store all three types of kids paperwork in one place and without buying a container or bin!
In literally just a few minutes, I’ll walk you through on how you can store away all your paperwork in an even simpler process, just click through to How to organize kids paperwork for good!
And comment down below, and let us know how do you currently store your kid’s paperwork? I’d love to know what’s working!