Me In Order is here to help your organize your kid’s schoolwork and artwork!
Do you have a designated home for your kid’s schoolwork and artwork, or do you have these items wherever they will fit?
For some of us we had that one home for their stuff, but then it was filled up, so we had to start another place, and then that place filled and another home was created…and the cycle continues. Well, regardless of where you have it stashed it is definitely a problem in many of the homes we visit. Today, I hope to give you some guidelines on how to move past the chaos of our kid’s memorabilia and into an intentional, orderly gift to them when they leave the nest.
Ideally, it would be great to gather all of their work together before starting this process, but for some I know that is an overwhelming task. So, if that’s you…don’t to it! I think this is one of the reasons we procrastinate on this project…for some this can be a huge undertaking. So, my advice is to tackle each pile separately. Once you narrow down the piles, you can go back through the decision making process again. Now, whether you get it all together before starting the sorting and deciding process or do it by pile you will still follow the same process that we follow for all of our projects:
In order to organize your kid’s schoolwork and artwork, begin with separating the kids schoolwork from their artwork. It’s easier to create order around them if they are separated. Schoolwork can be kept in a file box and organized by grade level, extracurricular activities, etc. Artwork can actually be photographed and then discarded. Or, even better, think about creating an art book of their collection. Check out this cool website for ideas.
Throughout the whole decision making process, remember the WHY. Why are you keeping all of these things? Do you want to give them a snapshot of what they did as they grew, or are you looking to load them up with 18 boxes of stuff that will overwhelm them and that they will probably never look at. Knowing your ‘why’ behind the keeping will help you make the right decisions. Some of the adult children I have had the pleasure of working with have enjoyed seeing a few things that their parents have kept, but for those that kept a lot and then passed it down, these adults were left feeling overwhelmed and wondering “Why, Mom?”
Next, in order to organize your kid’s schoolwork and artwork, it’s time to make some decisions. When deciding what to keep relating to the schoolwork, toss the tests and the worksheets. Only keep the stories they wrote and the projects they worked hard on. Those are always the best to go back and review when they are older. I love reviewing some of my daughter’s stories that she wrote when she was younger. I get a good laugh at them and just a reminder of how cute she was at that age. For artwork, only keep the BEST pieces. Do not keep the scribbles or the coloring pages. You want the ones that show their imagination. If you are feeling brave, you can get the kids involved in the decision making process by having them decide what their best pieces are. This allows you to keep the pieces that they are truly excited about and most proud of.
Once you have made your decisions, now we need to discuss how to contain them. As I mentioned previously, the schoolwork can be kept in a file box and then in files labeled by grade, extracurricular activities, and any other category that you feel is helpful. It is recommended that this file box be a weathertight box to prevent anything from happening to these precious pieces of our kids’ lives. For the artwork, I think taking a picture is the best option. Even having them hold the artwork for the picture is a great idea. If you do choose to keep the artwork, decide on the size of bin you want to keep and that will be your guide to how much you can ultimately keep. Again, make sure this bin is a weathertight container.
When it comes to labeling, make sure you label the actual container. Also, label the work. Some of us have multiple kids and we don’t always remember who did what. I encourage you to add dates or notes to the pieces you choose to keep. These notes will be helpful 20 years from now.
Maintaining this process should be a little easier once you have set up the system. For some of us, we can decide and maintain as things come in but for others, once or twice a year is more realistic. Do what works best for you. Now that the system is set up the deciding part is really all you will struggle with. Just remember your WHY!
I hope these tips on how to organize your kid’s schoolwork and artwork gets you moving forward on such a fun and rewarding project. I would love to hear about some of the stories your kids have wrote. Please share them in the comments and of course, if you have any specific questions or concerns comment here or send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org I would love to help you create order and bring peace to you and your family.
Certified Expert Organizer®