School is almost in session around these parts, and it means that soon a plethora of papers will be heading my way. Many of those are my kids' "treasures"--artwork, papers, pictures, and other keepsakes from their school years that I want to keep forever. They can pile up really fast, and I'm excited to share with you my School Papers Storage system--one that I've used for many years to organize all those special papers!
It's super easy. Easy to put together, and easy to maintain, which are both important, and vital to success. I bought a plastic filing tote for each child (the kind meant for filing--it has edges on the side of the tote for the hanging files to hook on to), then added a hanging folder with a file folder inside of it for each year they're in school--preschool up to 12th grade. I labeled each folder so it's easy to tell where papers should go. I also added a cute label on the front, so I could easily tell which child it belonged to. And ribbon for good measure. :)
Now all I have to do is slide in papers I want to keep inside the coordinating file folder! I love these totes because they have a lid, which makes it easy to store, and keeps the papers safe from dirt and dust. They can stack in a closet, on shelves, and they don't take up much space, which is another huge bonus.
You might be thinking that the box is small for ALL those papers. Well--I'm here to tell you that it will most likely be plenty of room. With my oldest son, I kept EVERYTHING. Seriously, everything. I think I had two totes for kindergarten alone, lol. That's really saying something, because that's not what I do--I'm usually a throw it away kind of girl, but I just couldn't bring myself to get rid of anything. I might want that scrap of paper with an unidentifiable object on it one day. Well...a couple of years later, as the totes were piling high (and that was only with one child), I went back through them to clean them out, and realized that I had kept way too much. I learned a huge lesson that day, and as a went through and chose the things that I loved best, or that he loved best, I was able to condense it all into one file folder, and still feel like I had kept the treasures. So, I started this filing system, and have never looked back. I LOVE it. It's made school papers storage easy!!
Now...what about artwork? It's a good question, because you probably have had giant artwork come home, and have put it proudly on display. I take a picture of the art I want to "keep" then save it onto my computer in a file labeled with that child's name, i.e., "Kate's Artwork". I have sub-folders with each grade, so I can easily recognize when it was done. I get the pictures developed once a year, then file them in that year's folder. It's an easy way to keep the art, but without it stacking up. A few of the originals I have saved--those that are small enough to fit in the tote, but it seems like when they are in the younger grades (at least for my kids), the art has been over-sized.
This has worked so well for me, for multiple kids, and over many years, and I really wanted to share it with you, in case you were looking for an idea for your own kids' school papers.
I have the labels for you to download if you'd like them, too! :) I made a pink set and an orange set, so you have your choice! If you want to create matching name labels, I've included the colors and fonts that I used. If you go to picmonkey.com, and upload a high resolution white image, you can use these fonts and colors to make your own. It's free, and pretty user-friendly. Once you create them, save it as a jpg file, then insert it into Word as a picture. Re-size it as necessary.
I printed two to a page, and printed them on full sheet white labels. After I printed them, I cut them in half, and applied them to the front of each tote.
Century Gothic & Orator
Girls-- pink (#f26d7d), green (#999900), blue (#99cccc), yellow (#ffcc66), brown (#362f2d)
Boys--orange (#ff6600), green (#999900), blue (#99cccc), yellow (#ffcc66), brown (#3c2c17)
Print onto Avery 8593 file folder labels!
You can purchase the hanging files and file folders at Office Max, Staples, Walmart, Target, etc. I have seen the totes at Target and Walmart. I just got one for my last baby a few weeks ago at Walmart for around $5--look in the office supply section AND the plastic container section--it can be in either one! Oh, and if you like them all to be matching like I do, I would go ahead and buy some for future children. :)