Avoid school year memorabilia overload!

Check out http://www.zazzle.com for personalized binders like this.

With the new school year comes the daily flow of papers, homework, tests, projects, report cards, progress reports, annual photos and artwork, as well as calendars, schedules, flyers, contact lists and other papers from school and extracurricular activities.  Multiply all of that by the number of children in the household and you can quickly become buried. 

Whether you are sentimental and keep way too much, or just can’t work your way out from under the piles, don’t wait until the end of the school year to organize this memorabilia.  Get started NOW!  Set guidelines around what to keep, what to toss, what to put things in and where to store them.  You will be in control as the school year goes along instead of leaving an insurmountable project for later!

Rubbermaid makes storage bins that are readily available.

Some great suggestions to try:


  • Immediately toss old homework and things that are out-of-date, irrelevant or damaged.

  • Designate a separate container (storage bin, file box, binder) and a place (under bed, closet, cabinet) for keeping the memorabilia for each child.  If it gets too full, sort further!

  • Let your kids help with the process.  They are often more realistic about what is worthy of keeping, and it teaches a valuable lesson about decision making and organization.

  • Binders, or file boxes with hanging folders, are great for writing assignments, exceptional tests, report cards, or anything flat.  Use dividers to separate categories or school years, and slip special items into sheet protectors.  Bins, boxes and baskets of every type are also readily available.

  • Start a scrap book each year for meaningful pictures and mementos of sports and other extracurricular activities.  Fill it as the year progresses.  Let your children decorate the pages.

  • For artwork, consider creating a gallery.  Put up several large picture frames and display your favorite current pieces.  Or stretch string along a wall and attach art projects with clips or clothespins.  Swap out the art periodically for newer work, putting the older pieces in your storage box or bin.

  • Take a picture of your child with the pieces you don’t want to save, as a remembrance of what they created and how they looked that school year.  Other ideas:  give artwork to other family members, have photos of the work made into calendars, use it as wrapping paper.

  • Three dimensional pieces are awkward and take up more space.  Again, photographs can capture the multiple dimensions of the project and are much easier to keep!  Special pieces can be displayed on a shelf or in a shadow box.  

Find great boxes like these at The Container Store.

Find great boxes like these at The Container Store.

Organizing throughout the school year reduces clutter, stress and wasted time, and by saving less items, you add importance to those special pieces you keep!
Look around for hanging file boxes that match your decor!

Look around for hanging file boxes that match your decor!