I hope your kids are as prolific in their artistry as mine are. I just love having all the mementos of each step of their development and the little events in their lives that they express in their writing and art. It can get overwhelming, though, when they come home every day with more papers. I have come up with an easy way to kept them safe and sound in the short and long term.
After they each come home and empty their backpacks, I look at all their papers. Some go up on the cabinets and some go in the kitchen drawer. This is what I call, paper purgatory. It is temporary storage for papers that, ugh I just have to say it, aren’t worth saving! Ok before you bash me for being a horrible mother who doesn’t value her child’s work, let me explain. I once read that you have to pair down your collections because if you kept everything, then nothing would seem to have any importance. If I keep every piece of paper because my kid drew a line on it, I would be a hoarder. Some things have just got to go! But I can’t let them know that I don’t keep everything so some go to purgatory until I am sure they aren’t going to mention or ask about it. Then they can go in the recycling bin…the one OUTSIDE.
The papers I want to keep go into these scrapbook paper storage boxes in my living room. I have one for each kid.
When these get full, I move the papers into plastic storage boxes which I have labeled by school year. After the school year is over, the box goes to the attic to be found by my kids someday and it will remind them how much I love them.
I made these labels to go on the boxes. I like to laminate the label because I’m a geek and I love any excuse to use my laminator. But just taping it on the inside of the box, facing out so you can easily read it, would do just fine.
I love keeping all the schoolwork and artwork they make. It’s kind of like taking photos of them throughout their life. If you never took pictures of them as babies, the four year old standing in front of you may as well be 4 days old. We only recognize their progress when we are able to reflect on where they came from. When they get bigger and do everything the way they are “supposed to,” you get to look back and remember when a picture of a human was a giant circle with arms and legs and a face. Let them be little. Enjoy the blob people cause some day they may be mad that they can’t paint like Picasso. For now, everything they do can be magical to them and you.
You can print your own copy of the labels out here: School Storage Label