School Paper Storage System

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 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!

School Papers Storage | FREE PRINTABLES |

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.  :)

School Papers Storage |

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.

School Papers Storage |

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!!

School Papers Storage |

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.

School Papers Storage |

I have the labels for you to download if you’d like them, too!  :) I made a pink set and an blue set, so you have your choice! If you want to create matching name labels, I’ve included the colors and fonts that I used.

**You can purchase the name labels from Etsy Shop HERE!!!

If you would like to create the name labels yourself, here’s how you can do it…

If you go to, and click on “design” at the top of the page, then choose 8×10, you’ll have a white template to create the text for your names.  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.

Fonts Used:

Century Gothic & Orator

Colors Used:

Girls– pink (#f26d7d), green (#999900), blue (#99cccc), yellow (#ffcc66), brown (#362f2d)

Boys–orange (#ff6600), green (#999900), blue (#99cccc), yellow (#ffcc66), brown (#3c2c17)

*When adding the color numbers to pic monkey, don’t use the # sign–just the numbers!


Print onto Avery 8593 file folder labels!

School File Labels: WORD DOC

School File Labels: PDF

School Papers Storage |

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.  :)


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About Simply Kierste Design Co.

Kierste is a blogger who shares her love of all things DIY. She is the mother of six, and focuses on simple ideas and projects to make a house a home! When she's not chasing around two sets of twins, a teenager, and a baby, she's working on a project, training for her next race, reading one of her favorite books, or baking something with chocolate in it.

74 thoughts on “School Paper Storage System

    1. You can get file folder sand hanging folders at Staples, Office max, Walmart, Target, etc. I have purchased the totes at Walmart and Target—look in the office supply section!!! xo

    1. Thank you so much, Tiffany!! You can get file folder sand hanging folders at Staples, Office max, Walmart, Target, etc. I have purchased the totes at Walmart and Target—look in the office supply section!!! xo

  1. Love this! My son starts pre-school next week so this is perfect timing. Were did you get the totes? Love green! Thank you for posting this great project and printables.

    1. I’m so glad!!! I just added where I got everything to the end of the post–I hadn’t realized I left it out until I started getting questions!!! Enjoy your first year of school starting–it’s SO exciting!!! xoxo

      1. What size of totes did you get? I love this and I’m gonna do it for my kids and I need to get it done for all my other papers too. :) thank you

        1. Hi, McKenna! They’re actually the totes made to be for file folders–they’re the exact size as the green hanging folders. You can tell they’re the right ones because they have the little ledges on either side for them to hang on. Check in the office section! Good luck!!! xoxo

  2. Thank you!! Thank you!! I love these! I have a huge pile I need to organize now. I’m on picmonkey now. So fun! Do you recall the font sizes you used? Also, I found the gothic font but not the second one. Any more info you could share for those of us who the least creative would be greatly appreciated. :)

    1. Hi Lydia!

      I don’t remember the font sizes I used, but honestly, it doesn’t matter a huge amount, because once you insert it into Word, you can resize it as necessary. If you upload a full size white image, then crop it in half so you get a good idea of the space that your text will be in. Once it’s created, crop your image so it’s right around the edges of your text. Then when you insert it into Word, you will be able to re-size it. If you don’t, all that extra white space will stay with your image, and you won’t be able to get it the way you want it. I wanted all my kids’ names to be the same size, so I kept the same font size for all. Some fill out the space more than others because of it.

      In PicMonkey, you have the choice of two fonts–“ours” and “yours”. “Yours” are all the fonts on your own computer. Orator is one of my fonts, but you can download it for free here:

      I hope this helps! If you have any other questions, please let me know!!! xoxo

  3. I love your ideas and actually just bought totes when I found this on pinterest, but can you tell me how you did the label on the front? sorry if I missed that in your description.. I see the printable for the school labels just not for their name..thank you for giving me such great ideas!

  4. Love this!!! How do you Store your Children’s “Non-School” Memories? My Current System is out of control!!!

    1. Since they are personalized, I couldn’t offer them, but I do explain how to make your own, and include all the fonts and colors that I used. Hope that helps!!! If you have any questions, let me know!!

  5. I have attempted to find these boxes at the places suggested without success. What brand are the ones you own? Thank you :)

  6. These are so pretty! Can you please tell me if you’re having problems with the labels sticking on the file folders? Sometimes I have problems with them curling and I’m not sure if it’s the brand I’m using or what. Thank you very much, your blog is very pretty, I’m going to go subscribe. I found you through a link from 30 Handmade Days.

    1. No, I haven’t had a problem with my labels sticking. You can always print on white card stock, and use an adhesive to attach them if you can’t get it to work. I’m so glad you found me–thanks so much for stopping by!!! xoxo

  7. Any chance you could link a PDF of the front name label so we could just swap out our children’s names?

  8. I just love ALL your printables! Every time I click on something it is usually something you posted!! I just love your posting. Thank you for sharing!!

  9. I can’t find ANY Avery 8593 labels in my town. Do you have any internet links to order them? Thanks!

  10. I have managed to figure out how to actually make the name labels, crop them and insert them into Word! Amazing to say the least. What I can’t figure out is how to get them on the same page in the Word document so that I can print them on one full size label sheet. Any ideas?

    1. Sure! Open a new document, then insert them as a picture. Just got to the insert tab at the tab, and select Photo, then Picture from File. You can then browse for the name labels, and insert them into your document. You can click on the corner of the image and re-size it as needed. I fit two per page. You may need to change the margins at the top and bottom, if they don’t both fit. Then you print!!

      If you have any other questions, let me know!!! xoxo

  11. I can’t seem to use without signing up for a membership; so I am creating the front name labels in Publisher. However when I try to type the color numbers into the color area for the font, it says they can’t be found. Are those color numbers just specific to Pic Monkey? Thank you! Love your designs!!

    1. You can definitely use picmonkey without a membership, but there are some fonts and embellishments that are only available to those with a membership—so it just depends on what you’re looking for. When you’re typing the colors in, make sure the symbol # is included. It may already be there in Publisher, but if it’s not, add it to the front of your number. So it should look like this (example color): #F46B7C

      They aren’t specific to picmonkey–it’s the actual code for that color (every color has one), so it will be recognized anywhere that accepts colors! :)

      Good luck, and let me know if you need any more help! xoxo

  12. Is it possible for you to post the name label for the front of the bin? The file labels are amazing! Thank you!!

    1. They would have to be created for each child, so I didn’t add the file. I did list all of the colors and fonts I used, and directions for how to make your own in picmokey (free online editing). I’m happy to help walk you through the process!!!

  13. What a great idea, thank you so much for creating and posting these!! I just made one for my daughter :) Would you be able to create and post matching labels for other categories to go along with these such as Baby Information, Health Records, Documents and Certificates, Hobbies, Sports, Talents, Card/Letters, and Portraits?

  14. I’m so glad I found you on pinterest! The PicMonkey site does throw people off, the link automatically takes you to its main screen to become a member. I opened it in a new tab, googled PicMonkey and just hit create your own design, so everyone it is free!! >.< The only issue I had was using your colors, it wouldn't open the correct colors. Possibly just a glitch or my computer, I made due and used A gentle touch font for the first name and it is so cute! Thank you!!!

    1. I’m glad you found me too! Sorry about the problems with picmonkey–when I click on the link, it takes me right to where you eventually got to, so I’m not sure what happened. Glad you found it, though! As for the numbers, don’t insert the # sign, just the numbers—that will make a difference. Happy you figured it out, and it sounds adorable!! Thanks for stopping by!! xoxo

  15. Hi, this is a great idea, I have 3 little girls with lots of “stuff”!!! I do have a question, can you tell me what you mean by upload a high resolution white image? I don’t understand how you upload a white image! :) Thanks so much!

    1. I have some good news, now you don’t have to do that! There have been some updates since I wrote this post, to make it even easier. If you go to, it will give you some options at the top of the page–to edit, design, or a collage. Click on “design”, then choose the 8×10 size. It will ask you to confirm that you want it to be white, which you do. Now you’ve got your white background!! Let me know if you have any other questions!! xoxo

  16. Do you remember how you adjusted the line spacing between the name and the periods? When I make my periods bigger, they are too far from the name. Thank you! PS LOVE THIS! Thank you so much!

    1. Are you using picmonkey? I created the dots separately from the name, and then moved them where I wanted them. So I created a text box for first name, one for the middle name, and one for the dots, then I could get the spacing exactly as I liked. Let me know if you have any other questions!!!

  17. I wish I had known about this 8 years ago lol. I was just thinking about making a scrap book of all the girls report cards and awards and such but I’m not sure I have them all. We’ve moved so much and have lost a lot along the way. If I had known of an idea like this along time ago I might not have lost so much.

    1. Well, it’s not too late to start!! I know you’ve lost some, but this will totally help you keep track of the ones you still have, and the ones you’ll get in the future. I know how it is to move a lot, so I feel for you!! Good luck!! xoxo

  18. i love it. my children r grown with children of their own and i still have their paperwork everywhere. i had decided to sift thru seperate and deliver to them and let them store it and this is going to make it a whole lot easier! i passed it on to them as well. and im using the system for my work at home files thank u so much for sharing! have a blessed day you and yours! annie

  19. Hello! THANK you for sharing your amazing artwork with us! I spent way too much time converting the name labels into a Word template so I wouldn’t have to learn to use picmonkey, something I’m not used to! It obviously allows for less creative license than the design software, but it was good enough for me. I would be happy to send it to you to share with others who need a simpler solution if you let me know where to send it. =)

  20. I love this idea – so simple, and yet you made it so adorable too! For the bins that you purchased, would you mind telling me the depth measurement? I’m trying to figure out how large of a filing box I would need for each of my children; I don’t want to run out of space when hanging the folders, but I also don’t want to have regular-sized filing boxes if I don’t need to. Many thanks!

    1. Hi, Kana! I would love to measure them for you, but they are in storage until we move at the end of the summer. :( If I had to guesstimate, it’s about half the depth of a regular file box. I don’t keep a ton of stuff, so that has worked well for me, but if you tend to want to keep more, you may want to go ahead with a regular size box. Good luck!!! xoxo

  21. This is a great idea, and such a thorough post! I only have two in school, and feel like I’m drowning in papers! They get EVERYWHERE!!! I am totally doing this. Thank you so much for sharing!!!

  22. Just thought of a question: exactly how do you print out pics of the artwork? 8x10s? A big collage of tiny images? 4x6s? TIA!

  23. I am trying to print the grade labels from both templates and the color is off. It’s a new cartridge. Any ideas how to fix this?

    1. Hmmmmm…I’m not sure! I haven’t had this happen before! It may be that your computer screen is showing an inaccurate color, so that when it prints off, it looks different to you. Computer screens vary so much that it’s hard to know sometimes what the actual color is. I can always try emailing you the file, in case that makes a difference!

  24. So excited that I found you on Pinterest. You are incredibly talented! Quick question: Can I edit/change the colors you used in the labels to coordinate with my folders? Thank you so much!

    1. Thank you! You can definitely create your own labels with the directions I gave in the post. I included the fonts that I used, and then you can use whatever colors you like! If you have any questions as you get started, let me know!

      1. Thank you for responding. I should have been more clear. I was asking about editing the colors on the file folder labels. I downloaded the files you provided, but haven’t figured out how to or if I can change the colors to coordinate with the file folders I am using. Thanks again.

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