School Papers Storage System {Free Printables!}

 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 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, 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.

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)


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.  :)

Simply Kierste
Kierste is a blogger who shares her love of all things DIY. She is the mother of six, and most of her posts revolve around making her home a beautiful, organized, and fun place to be. 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.
Simply Kierste


Blogger at Simply {Kierste}: Where you can find simple ideas and tutorials for DIY projects, holiday crafts, home & family, organization, recipes, and more!
Simply Kierste
Simply Kierste

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  1. Where do I find the bin and file folders??

    • 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

  2. Great idea! Where did you buy the plastic filing totes?

    • 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

  3. 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.

    • 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

  4. Not only is it super adorable,it’s so organized! Thanks for sharing the idea AND the printables!

  5. 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. :)

    • 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

  6. 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!

  7. I got my totes at Dollar General last night, printed the awesome labels you created and made them for my kids! Thanks for a great project idea!!!

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

  9. Do you have the label for the front of the box?

    • 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!!

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

  11. Melissa-in-NJ says:

    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.

    • 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

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

  13. How did you make the 5 dots at the bottom of the name? Thanks

  14. 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!!

  15. This is just what I needed. I could hug you.

  16. Great organizing! The boxes look amazing! You can see that everything is made with a lot of love! Thanks for the lovely post!

  17. Alisa Hessinger says:

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

  18. 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?

    • 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

  19. 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!!

    • 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

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