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The Best Way to Organize Your Kid’s Important School Year Artwork & Papers #Pinspiration

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For this week’s Pinspiration, I’m bringing back an oldie but goodie.  I was perusing Pinterest last year and came across a cool way to organize all of your child’s school papers.  It may not seem like much that first year or two of preschool, but add several years into the mix and all the memorabilia and art work you are saving will pile up.  I was also inspired by a big bag of artwork that my mother in law had dropped off years earlier.

When my husband and I first moved into our house, my mother in law brought over a big bag full of all of the art, school projects and other goodies she had saved by my husband during his preschool and elementary school years.  It was overwhelming!  The bag was a hot mess of cute old artwork pieces he had done and of course we didn’t want to throw them out.  But we also had no idea of knowing which was from what year.

So I went to Target and I bought two of these Black Tabletop File Storage containers ($13.39 each, Target.com) and these up & up Letter Size Colored Hanging Folders ($8.05 for 20 folders, Target.com) to go inside.

You can see they are pretty plain looking.  I added some sticker letters to identify each box for each child.  The boxes are stackable too which is nice:

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And then here’s a peek at what it looks like inside. This one belongs to my 4th grader below so it’s half full and there is still plenty of room.  In fact, there’s enough room that I am able to also keep his baby book in there in the back!:

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So how do you know what to save and what to toss?

I made one folder per grade and I’m very particular about what I save.  Once I got this new system in place, I was thrilled.  But the papers and artwork do add up over the years and this is a way of keeping it limited yet organized.  I have one son up to 4th grade and one up to 1st.  I’m finding it easier to save less for my older son, probably because he doesn’t come home with as much artwork.  But even with my first grader, I really only save the really epic pieces of art.

As far as papers go, I save report cards at the end of the year that show the whole year and any standardized testing scores.

My general rule of thumb on what to save is:

-Big projects
-Standardized Testing Scores
-End of year report cards
-School picture & class picture
-1-4 pieces of artwork

If you feel guilty tossing other artwork, you can do what I do which is to display it all seasonally.  I’m very good about having a constant stream of art on the fridge based on the time of year.  That way I know we’ve all enjoyed it for a few days or weeks but most end up recycled except for the really special pieces.

Pinspiration is a weekly series I do on Tuesdays with 3 other fabulous bloggers. We take one pin we saw that week and recreate it – it can be beauty, a recipe, fitness-related or pretty much just about anything! It gives us an excuse to try something new. We have a linky below where you can join in too – we’d love to have you! Try it next week – what inspires you on Pinterest? Try it! Post about it and let us know how it went!

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