Monday, January 26, 2015

Schoolwork Organization

A few years ago when I was in my major Pinterest obsession and pinning things like crazy I came across an idea for organizing your kid's school work.  I knew it would work perfect for what I was trying to accomplish in the way of organization.  I tried to find the original pin, but couldn't, so today I'm just sharing what I did.  

I purchased plastic file crates at Wal-Mart and used paint pens to add my kiddos' names and added a little ribbon to make it look cute. 

Inside I used hanging file folders and labeled them from Pre-School - 12th grade.  For preschool I combined the 2 and 3 year old years, then I have one folder for Pre-K, K, 1st, 2nd, etc. 

In each of these folders I keep a few special things from each each school year.  A few pieces of artwork, some writing samples, any certificates or awards the kids might have received, a school picture and any other special pieces of work they might bring home.  I also keep their report cards from each year in the folders, too.

There is just no way I could keep everything they bring home without ending up on an episode of Hoarders, but this way I have a sampling from each year and it is neat and organized in a way I can find things if I want to go back and look at them.  It's fun to look back at this stuff now so I can only imagine how fun it will be when they are in high school and go back to look at their Kindergarten work and drawings.

I keep these crates on the top shelf of one of our hall closets so they are out of the way, but easy to get to if I want to add or need find something.  

Some readers who have been with us from the beginning will remember that I wrote about our playroom artwork gallery wall.  You can take a look at that post HERE.  I have really enjoyed having the artwork displayed and it adds a fun, bright feel to the playroom.  Every few months I'll add a couple more things and eventually I'll probably fill up that big wall!

Another quick and easy organization tip I want to share are these little memory boxes.  I have one for each of my kids and I keep these in the top of their closets.  Really any small box would work for this, but I used photo storage boxes.

In these boxes I keep small things that have special meaning to the kids and to me.  Here you can see  some of Little Mama's special things.

There are copies of each of her custom birthday invitations (Jen always designs them for me!), tickets from her first Braves game, embroidered handkerchiefs that my grandmother gave her,  lift ticket badges from her first time skiing, birthday cards from her grandparents that I know she will cherish one day, etc.  It's great to have one little place to put odds and ends like this that I want to keep for her.

I have one more place that the kids get to keep things of their own that they feel is special or important to them - their Keep Boxes.  Little Mama would totally end up on an episode of Hoarders if I didn't step in every now and then.  That girl loves her "stuff" and has a hard time parting with it. It doesn't matter if it is Chick-fil-a toys, prizes from Chuck E Cheese, or party favor treats...she wants to keep it all.  In an effort to organize, I got her a flat, but large plastic tub that slides and stores easily under her bed.  She nick-named this her "keep box" and the name stuck.  In it she can "keep" anything that will fit in the tub.  However, when it gets full, nothing else can go in it until she cleans out and gets rid of something.  Most everything in there is total junk, but she loves it so I let her keep it!  These keep boxes have really helped their rooms stay less cluttered and helps them to know where  things are when they go to look for it.  Blondie has a keep box, too and every so often they'll go through the stuff, realize they don't want it anymore and give it to Boo-Boo. Ha!  He's usually thrilled and thinks he has totally scored the jackpot to be given some of the girls' special things.

I'm always looking for new ways to organize and simplify our life, while holding onto things that have special meaning or memories for us.  I hope some of these tips will help you and I'd love to hear if you have any other tips or tricks you could share with me!

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