Organizing Resolutions: How to Organize School Work

I can’t believe how much paperwork comes home from school with my daughter! I was in shock the first few weeks she was in school, and quickly started drowning in it. Determined not to be “taken down” by school work clutter, I knew I had to come up with a plan. So today I’m sharing with you, a couple ideas for how to organize school work.

Peter Walsh, my organizing hero, says this about saving school work, “The first question is who are you keeping the schoolwork for – you, or your children?  If it’s for your children, get them involved in the decision making.  If it’s for you, still get them involved as chances are you might think everything is genius quality and should be saved!  Kids are usually far more practical.source

Here are 2 tips for how I decided to save my daughter’s school work.

#1 Displaying artwork
I saw an idea, years ago, to take digital pictures of kid’s artwork and then put them in a digital frame so the artwork gets displayed all the time. I loved this idea because most parents want to save every piece of their kid’s artwork but then it just gets put in a closet somewhere, never to be seen again. So when my daughter brings home her school work, any artwork get’s its picture taken. Here’s what my folder looks like in iPhoto.

After I’ve taken it’s picture, and loaded it onto my computer, the artwork gets tossed {I think I just heard you gasp}. I know it’s shocking, but if I keep every piece of art she brings home, it will add up into piles and piles of art over the years, and if I’m honest with myself I know I’ll never really have the time to go back and look through it all. I feel comfortable tossing it because I know that I have a copy of it safe on my computer and on my external hard drive. There are a few papers I have actually saved, like all of her name writing homework from when she was learning how to write her name. Those papers aren’t really something that would look cute in a picture frame but I wanted to save them to see the progress of her handwriting, and her learning how to write her name.

#2 Saving Papers

Peter Walsh also recommends “[designating] a drawer, a folio or a bin for the work you are going to keep.  The size of this container sets the limit for how much you can save. Once the drawer is full, a piece has to be discarded before anything new can be added.  One in, one out – it’s a simple but effective strategy“.

For the papers I decided to save, I purchased these inexpensive magazine holders from IKEA (5 for $1.99). Each of them is labeled and then stored in her closet.

 

Here are some other great ways that moms on Pinterest are storing their kid’s school work!

DaNita at Delightful Order purchased an inexpensive expanding file box and labeled each of the tabs for every grade level.  This is an easy and compact way to save school work.

Jen, over at iHeart Organizing, purchased inexpensive file boxes, like the one below, and filled them with file folder, one for each year of school.

All three of these ideas are similar, it just depends on how much room you have to store the school work.  Now that you have all these great ideas for organizing school work, it’s time to organize!  If your kids have been in school for awhile, and there are a lot of papers to go through, don’t be discouraged! It’s better to get organized late, than never.  Trust me, you will feel amazing once you’ve gone through all the school work and eliminated all the extra clutter!!

 

If you need a little extra motivation and would like to read the entire post about saving school work, by Peter Walsh, you can read it here.

If you need any extra help organizing bills, junk mail and other important papers, make sure to check out Week #1 of my Organizing Resolutions: How to Organize Papers.

 

About the Author

"Hi I'm Anna! Welcome to Ask Anna where I love to answer your household questions! I have always loved to clean, organize and decorate and this blog is a fun way for me to help you love it too! I am a busy mom of a beautiful little girl and I'm married to the love of my life. Together we fill our days with projects , laughter and love. I serve an incredible God and overall I'd say I'm truly blessed!"

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Discussion

  1. 1

    We saved our kid’s work and when my middle daughter became a teacher, she found her early writing journals and shared them with her first grade class. Made me feel proud!
    Laura recently posted..Goodbye to 2012!My Profile

  2. 3

    I currently have a magazine holder on the counter for each child for the school year. At the end of the year we go through it and throw away most of it but just keeping the odd thing to go into a box in their room. I remind them constantly that anything they want to keep forever will be their’s to schlep around their adult life so they should only save the absolute most precious things to them! They have seen my simplifying and throwing loads of things away over the last couple of years so it is not too difficult. I do find that the younger they are the more they want to keep and I generally let them until they are old enough to let it go. With my oldest (she is 10), we went through the box in her room and she threw out a whole heap of stuff that she had been keeping from when she was younger that she didn’t care about anymore. I agree with you, if you keep everything there will be mountains of paper everywhere.
    Catherine recently posted..Merry Christmas!My Profile

  3. 4

    Great tips! We have piles of school work in this house. Most of it goes straight to the garbage but I have special files for saving the important stuff.
    Randi – Dukes and Duchesses recently posted..Edible Napkin RingsMy Profile

  4. 5

    About 5 years ago, I scanned all my daughters artwork and papers that I wanted to keep and have them stored them an external hard drive. I love the frame idea!! Awesome tips :)

  5. 6

    About 5 years ago, I scanned all my daughters artwork and papers that I wanted to keep and have them stored them an external hard drive. I love the frame idea!! Awesome tips :)

  6. 7

    I am going to be needing this soon. I like the idea of taking pictures of the artwork and tossing it, but I don’t know if I am at a point to do it yet. Just pinned and I am sharing this on my blog’s FB page.
    Vicky @ Mess For Less recently posted..Playdough Games: Birthday Party PlaydoughMy Profile

  7. 9

    Great tips. I was trying to scan the artwork but a photo sounds much faster and easier – thanks for the inspiration. I hope to catch up on some paper-decluttering before the new school year starts next Tuesday!!
    More Than A Mom recently posted..Menu Plan ~ August 2013My Profile