Monday, August 23, 2010

Preserve School Memories

It's that time of year again.  The kids are back to school, and the paper blizzard has begun.  In the first three days I received approximately 30 sheets of paper of varying levels of importance.  Some went directly into the recycling bin.  Some went in after the child was out of the room, had forgotten all about it and wasn't there to witness the act.  (Does that make me a bad mom?)

No matter how ruthless I am, there are always some papers that need to be kept.  Important notices, or things I want to keep as memorabilia. What to do with it?  Last year I started a standing file system.  Each child had a section, and each section had several file folders (homework, to keep, classroom info, etc).


 It sits on the counter next to the fridge, hidden from view unless you're right in the main kitchen .  It worked fairly well for me, although as you can see I started to get sloppy and just shoved things in the file box, but not necessarily in the correct folder.  I'll clean it out and start fresh again this year.  A really organized person would have done that at the end of the school year, but I'm not that person.  In fact, I still have stuff from two years ago that I need to sort through.  Most of this is the stuff I don't want to get rid of.

So here's my plan.  I saw this in a Family Fun magazine 2 or 3 years ago.  I bought the boxes, but never did anything with them until now.  One box per child per school year, labeled with the pertinent information, and holding school papers, photos, small artwork, anything worth saving that will fit.



Now that I've started on it, I realize that these particular boxes are a little too small for my liking.  They just snugly fit an 8.5x11.  These were Duck brand mailing boxes; a package of 3 costs about $5 at Walmart.  I'm going to look for a bit larger size, or go with something like this:





 I saw these in The Lakeside Collection catalog:  five 12x9 document boxes for $4.99.  That's a pretty good deal!  I also saw similar document boxes at Walmart in the office supplies section, but they were sturdy cardboard (good!), and $6 each (not as good).  So, I've got choices.

No matter what I choose, they will store away easily in a larger box.  I'm picturing a bankers box or two for each child, filled with these capsules of his or her school years, easy to pull out and look through occasionally, and one day to send with them when they move out for good (sniff!).

Oh to be so organized in all facets of life!  If I can pull this off, there's no telling what I can do!

Some related posts that may interest you:
Ways to use paper that doesn't need to be saved:   

Show off kids' artwork:   

9 comments:

staci @ lizard n ladybug said...

Love the idea of a pizza box. Where did you get yours?

Amanda @ Serenity Now said...

Love it, Holly! I am the same way with extra preschool papers. If it's a really neat craft, it goes up on the side of the kitchen cabinet and is later relegated to the paperwork folder. Otherwise, mama cleans house during naptime. ;)

Holly said...

Staci, these were mailing boxes that I got at Walmart. A pizza box is a good idea, though! In fact, I saw that in a mag too, for keeping artwork. They said just ask at your local pizza shop. They might give it to you for free, or charge a small amount, like 25 cents.

FrouFrouBritches said...

Oh wow! What a great idea. I started with standing files when my oldest was in Kindergarten. Now, they each have a big ole Rubbermaid and my oldest's in overflowing. I NEED to get organized.

Hope throwing away the stuff doesn't make me a bad mom. My kids draw constantly and my oldest expects me to keep every piece of paper she draws on. We would be overrun with paper if I did that.

RJ @ A Life Designed said...

What a great idea to use small boxes for each year! My mom used to keep *so* much of our school work/art... every time I move I kept whittling it down and finally recycled about 99% of it this most recent move. I think the mom's definitely appreciate these as keepsakes more than the kids! :)

Shug said...

Can you believe it is school time...
What a great idea. My daughters are grown, but it didn't stop there. I have files for all of my grandchildren...I can't help it, I love all the little things they do. Hope they someday appreciate it all....

Anonymous said...

If you do buy the Lakeside boxes, let us know! I'd like to know how their quality is.

Wendy

alanna rose said...

I have nightmares about paper clutter!
Your solutions look great, I'm with Wendy - if you buy the Lakeside boxes please let us know :)

Deanna said...

Michael's, using a 40% off coupon, scrapbook supplies aisle, acid free paper storage box- I like the opaque bendable plastic 12x12 with the little handle myself.