Organizing School Papers and Kid’s Artwork

School just ended for us last week so yesterday and today we have been going through the piles of paper that came home with the kids on the last day.  I’ve written about my process before and that system is pretty much the same one we used again this year.  If you are also inundated with school paper piles, here are some of my previous links that might help you:

Organizing all that school clutter

Organizing keepsakes with memory binders and totes

Taming the school clutter….again

Looks like some of my organizing buddies are doing the same thing.  Check out these great ideas:

School Time Papers @Complete Organizing Solutions

School Papers – Simple Steps to Decrease the Clutter @Organize with Sandy

Budding Artists – Taming Your Children’s Art Clutter @A Fresh Start

I also came across some unique ideas for showcasing your child’s artwork.  These would make such great grandparent gifts.

Children’s Artwork Necklace ~ I just absolutely love this idea and only $9.00!

Tikatok ~ where kids write, illustrate and publish their own books.  What a great keepsake!

For even more ideas here is a short video from Monkey See.  I love this site and got totally sucked in the other day watching a whole series on how to work with curly hair, it was very cool :)

Video ~ Organize Artwork

Have you tackled the school paper pile yet?


Sponsored by It’s Frugal Being Green

Filed under: Keepsakes, Kid Stuff, School Stuff


21 Responses to Organizing School Papers and Kid’s Artwork

  1. 1
    brandi says

    I tackled my daughters by scanning most of it into the computer (what was too big I took a picture of) and made a photobook on of all her artwork. I added pictures in there randomly of her and her friends for the days they made the work. She doesn’t go to school but we do lots of crafts at home and playgroups so it filled one of the standard size snapfish photo books. She loves going back and looking at it and so does everyone when the sit at the coffee table. I have it on the shelf below the table for a decorative book.

    • 1.1
      gina says

      That is such a great idea!!!!!! Love it!

  2. 2
    Chele says

    Oh I love the necklace idea! That is brilliant!!! :)

  3. 3
    Heather Cameron says

    During the school year, my day-to-day trick is to post everyone’s artwork or great test results on the fridge during the week so they see how much it matters to us. Then, every Saturday, I pull the week’s work down to sort it out. If it is particularly original work, I tuck it into a school memories box each child has up in their closet. (The rest is recycled.)

    At the end of the school year, I go through the box, relive the memories, and discard those items I feel I can finally let go of. I have my Grade 7 child’s box of eight years of memories (including non-school items) down to two IKEA stationary boxes now.

    I know, I should be more brutal but (excuses, excuses) I was one of seven kids and my mom held onto next to nothing, so I find it a little sad now that I have few photos or artwork reflective of me as a child. (And yes, I know I should simply take photos of their stuff, but sometimes holding it in your hands is just a bit better!)

    Happy Canada Day!

  4. 4
    Heather Cameron says

    Sorry, I should clarify — just a bit better for ME, Brandi — I love your idea with the book!

  5. 5
    brandi says

    O no problem at all! I forgot to mention we do have a little box of the artwork she wanted to keep as well but this is how we “showcase” it. My mom kept everything so I was in the opposite situation. If we drew on a napkin she kept it so when I moved into my house I had like 10 of those big storage boxes full of stuff like that. Fun going through but just takes up way too much room so I kept a small tote of it and am letting my daughter choose what to keep from hers. So far works for us…

  6. 6
    Laura says

    I just love the necklace idea! I am going to get several made and wear the like charms. Thanks for posting that!

    What we do with my daughter’s artwork & papers is to put them in her backpack from that year. Everything fits and it’s surprisingly compact. Eventually, everything will go into a big Rubbermaid container–around grade 6. I’ve also used the pizza box concept with my younger daughter who is not in school yet.

  7. 7
    Laura says

    I love the book idea a lot but haven’t done it yet myself.

    I find that as my kids get older less and less artwork comes home. I have a ton of stick figure drawings from my three year old though which we keep displayed on a white magnetic board in our dining room for a week or so.

  8. 8
    Laura says

    Pizza boxes are such a great and inexpensive storage solution. I have gotten new pizza boxes for free from my local pizza delivery place.

  9. 9
    sarah says

    I take pictures of all the art work and place the pictures on a cd at the end of the year for each kid. I keep two or three of the best and they hang in the kids room or my craft room. It keep the house clutter free and still keep all the memories. I take photos once a week.

  10. 10
    Laura says

    Sarah, I never thought of doing CD’s. They would take up next to no space at all. Very clever!

  11. 11
    DeniseC says

    Our school has Art to Remember or your local store or your self make magnets or notebooks with the child’s artwork on it . Even a christmas ornaments.
    My one daughter took her beach piece and we made a keychain holder and a journal book which is the Visitor’s Log.
    You can even make tote bags and aprons by putting it onto computer and printing onto print paper.

  12. 13
    Lori Gray says

    HAven’t gone there yet….but it’s on the infamous list!

  13. 14
    Rebecca says

    I did! I kept things that had a hand print or photo, the rest I took pictures of it all in a “mess” and tossed. I did this once mid way through the year and again at the end.

  14. 15
    Sandy says

    Thanks so much for mentioning my blog on your post!
    I have just spent the last 15 minutes or so looking at your resources. I love the necklace idea! Wonderful!!!
    I also started watching some of the videos on and had to make myself stop as I have too much to do and realize I will be on there awhile. But I will go back and look soon!
    Thanks so much

  15. 16
    MJ Doyle says

    I’ve been using the bin in the closet trick now for years. The kids choose what they want to keep in their “special bin” and when it’s full, it’s time to go through it again. Well, the kids don’t want to have to go through their bin, so they pick and choose very carefully. If they decide to put something in the recycling that I’d like to keep, or if the artwork was made specifically for me or my husband, I put it in my own bin in my closet. It’s a great system!

  16. 17
    ConsultantCalamities says

    Oh, this is QUITE the project…!! I just did it for my son for the year now that he’s out of school. WHEW, that took some doing!

    all year long, I toss some things that are quite repetitive, and hang on to some things that are “cute”. I put them in an accordion type file thingie…(along with other memorabilia, etc to keep, I’m a scrapbooker!) :-)

    then at the end of the year, I go through the pile 2 more times over the course of a few days. my son also helps with this a little. I put things to keep in a large manila envelope, in a smallish box. Then a few really special things go in his scrapbook.

    I think I’ll be able to get K-8 into the box, but I’ll probably have to get another one for high school! :-) but I’m ok with that. 2 organized, labeled boxes, plus a few pages in a school scrapbook is good for me. He has the option of keeping it in the box or tossing it, but at least he’ll have some of his “best” samples of work in the scrapbook!

  17. 18
    Sarah says

    Thank you so much for sharing the link to the Etsy seller who makes artwork into pendants! That is such a fabulous gift idea! I bookmarked it for birthday & holiday gifts for relatives.

    I love Etsy. I love giving business to WAHMs, and I love handmade crafts!

  18. 19
    Sarah says

    Oh and like a commenter above (also named Sarah, small world), I take photos of all my kids’ artwork, including Magnadoodle images that would otherwise be lost for good. We homeschool, so ideally, each child’s art for the year will all be on a CD with other photos from the year (homeschool co-op parties, science fair projects, field trips, etc.). It serves a double purpose: mementos for the kids for when they get older, plus a record of what we accomplished, if we ever got “audited” by the state.

    I once read that it’s best to take a photo of the child HOLDING the artwork, rather than *just* the artwork. That way you remember WHICH kid drew it :-) and it puts into perspective how old/big they were when they drew it.


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