I was so excited when my first son started preschool and started bringing home school projects. I wanted to save everything! I mean how cute are all those little handprint crafts! By the end of the year, I had saved SO much. I quickly realized I needed a better schoolwork organizer system. As a mom of three, I had to face the facts, I needed a simple method. I wanted a schoolwork organizer system that I would keep up with to organize the art projects and schoolwork that my kids bring home weekly. I hope this idea helps give an idea of how to organize a child’s schoolwork at home.
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Now don’t get me wrong, I love everything the kids make! For a while, especially because our storage space was limited at the time, I was keeping school work in a folder like this one. Sometimes they bring home oversized projects and I wanted something that would work over the course of the years so I decided to try a storage box.
Schoolwork Organizer Inspiration
Kondo, the internationally famous Japanese organization consultant, is the author of The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up. In her book and the Netflix reality series based on it, Kondo outlines instructions for organizing and reducing household items, from clothing to books to paperwork.
In Marie Kondo’s book, Spark Joy, she briefly talks about the various ways of approaching your children’s creations. For example, “taking a photo of your children’s art before throwing it away” or “deciding how many pieces you will keep and stick to that number.” She goes on to say “if there are items you cannot bring yourself to part with now, there is no need to force yourself to discard them.” Dedicate a spot in your home to display the art. The key takeaway is that we don’t have to keep it all and we need a method to organize it.
Some ideas that work for others:
- File systems
- Digital albums
The clear storage box is what works best for me at this time. Specifically, I will be storing kids’ school papers which include assignments, art projects, photos, memories, notes, and cards, as well as homework and papers that pertain to their present school, club, sport, activities.
Of course, what works for one family may not work in another. I think simply having a system in place is key so it doesn’t get overwhelming as the year goes by. So I try to keep up with the process as much as possible.
How To Organize a Child’s Schoolwork
This is the system that I follow when it comes to my kids’ schoolwork and art projects.
Buy a bin for each child.
I sort through the papers as the boys bring them home. I sort two piles, discard and keep. School notices and announcements are usually dealt with right away after school. This might mean adding something to the calendar, creating a reminder on Alexa, or signing and returning papers to folders to go back to school.
Of course, I check the accuracy of my child’s work and take note of what they are studying but if it’s just a worksheet, it goes into the trash. I do keep things that show growth over the course of the year. I personally enjoy keeping their writing samples and the artwork that shows their creativity and personality. I love to keep projects that are sentimental and special. I also have to hold on to the adorable things they say for Mother’s or Father’s Day or special projects about our family.
For items that can’t be saved—dioramas or collages made with food products such as macaroni—and for oversize artwork that doesn’t fit in the bin, snap a photograph, print it, and pop it in the bin. I then have a basket in a convenient spot where I place the work that needs to be filed that I plan to KEEP.
Every 1-2 weeks, I will take the work to store it in these keepsake bins which I keep in a storage area in our basement. When the school year is over and you have the time and inclination, open the bin and sort through everything you’ve saved. You can reminisce while deciding what’s worth saving for good and what can be discarded.
Schoolwork Organizer Materials
Set up Schoolwork Organizer
I bought these large plastic storage boxes that have lids and rails for hanging file folders (other options HERE and HERE) and a set of these hanging file folders. I labeled a folder for preschool through fifth grade.
Then, I tape their school photo to the outside of the hanging file folder for that year.
I’m sure I’ll have to go through and filter things out over the years, but I like this simple system for now! I had a friend suggest using an app for taking photos of each project and creating them into a book, and it’s something I may consider in the future. But I just wanted to mention it in case you wanted to check it out.
Tips for How To organize a child’s schoolwork
- Buy one bin for each child.
- As the art and memorabilia come in throughout the year, be sure to date them if there isn’t a date on it already.
- Add a school photo to the hanging file folder from that school year.
- Try to file the papers to the storage box 1-2 times per month.
- Take photos of the oversized, bulky items so you don’t have to hold on to them.
- At the end of the school year, go through the folder and discard anything you decide not to keep.
I’d love for you to share how you organize your kids’ school projects below with our community! I’m always learning from you! This system is easy, contained, organized, and best of all…working for our family!
I often post videos and more details on Instagram if you’d like to follow along with my journey!