Organizing Children's School Papers

If you have children in school, then you know how many school papers come home each week.  I like to keep certain, special, things for each of my boys (artwork, hand prints, report cards, school photo and class photo's, etc. just special things that I feel are worth saving.) I plan to create a scrapbook for them, as their graduation gifts, and will use all the items in here.

If you have small children, that aren't in school yet, I HIGHLY recommend  that you get a jump start on this one!

I've always kept these papers in a large photo box, which works okay, but certainly wasn't organized.  Then I stumbled upon Jen with I Heart Organizing's post regarding school papers & fell in Love with her idea! She went with file boxes, I chose to do mine a little different, to save on space:

I found these legal size expanding briefcase files and they work great.  I've planned ahead, all the way to 12th grade, to make it easier when school begins each year.  I've created an entire file folder for each of my boys, including my 2 1/2 year old and he's still got a while before beginning school.

To have everything set and ready is going to make the task of keeping it all in order SO much easier. Not to mention the fact, that if a person plans ahead, chances are things will stay organized! ;) At least that's how it works for me.

This is how I've organized my boys' school papers: 
I bought the expanding file box/briefcases' from Walmart.
You can also find these in any office supply store, Target, etc.
They have about 20+ divided tabs inside. 
( I have a PLAN for the extra sections, which I'll share with you later.)
I labeled each briefcase by stamping their names onto material. I saw this label idea over at When Eight Create and just had to make them. (see their how-to HERE.)  I love the inspiration out in blog-land!!  I simply popped an eyelet on, with my Crop-A-Dile tool and used ribbon to hang them onto their folders.   I SOOO am making more of these tags. Love. Love.Love them!!
Using my Dymo Label Maker (which I also bought from Walmart) 
I categorized each section by grade.
I created a school days form, printed 13 out (pre-school through 12th grade)  and placed one form into the front of each section, where they sit and wait for the following year.  

Right behind, the school days form I slip in their class photo.  Then, as my boys bring papers home that are worthy of keeping,' I just slip them behind the class photo.

HERE is the School Days Form (which is NOW available in my ETSY shop)
I glue my boys' school photo in the blank blue space. (which is appx. size. 5 1/4w x 7 1/2h)
Then write in their school information. To view this item in my shop, click HERE.

I'm excited to have this lil' project complete.  When it comes time to create my children's graduation scrapbook gift, these forms will be going into them.  My boys already LOVE looking through the sections, at old classmates, at the way they wrote their names in kindergarten, their old special school projects, etc.  I do believe, they will enjoy a scrapbook of it all.

I would like to take a moment to thank each and every one of my readers for your interest in my blog!  Please know, I appreciate it greatly (after all, YOU are exactly why I blog!)  Thanks for the comments on my projects too!  Truly, the followers, the sweet emails, the interest, the comments, THIS is what motivates a blogger to continue blogging.  So please, do continue leaving me comments (as long as they're nice ones ;)  so that I KNOW you really are interested in my projects and that you truly are being inspired. 

May you be a little inspired!


  1. love this DaNita!!! looks so cute with your designed page.

  2. I always found it hard to throw away paintings from the kiddies but you know they do like thousands. What to do with them? Use the paintings as wrapping paper for family presents, Grandparents especially love the idea.

  3. What a great idea!! Love the name tags...so cute! Thanks for sharing!

  4. I wish one notebook would work for me... I would need a notebook for each month since I homeschool. Each school year I require an entire packing box for school papers. Neat notebook!!

  5. What an adorable idea!!! I wish I knew about that when my kids were little...I will have to remember one day if I have grandkids ;-)

  6. love this. I have been organizing my son's school papers by year, but I don't like the box they are in. I think I need to change to something like this.

  7. There really is nothing more delightful then organization! Great Idea!! Love It.

    Build It, Sew It, Love It

  8. Love this idea. You are making me feel guilty for all the little things I've thrown away! I've got to make 3 of these ASAP!
    I awarded you the Kreative Blogger award on my blog. http://thrifty101.blogspot.com/2011/05/kreativ-blogger-award.html
    ~Michelle @ www.thrifty101.blogspot.com

  9. Michelle,
    I throw away A LOT, I just keep certain things. Sometimes, it's hard to decide whether to keep something or not. I certainly don't want you to feel guilty, I simply want to inspire. :)

  10. Terrific idea!
    My goal with the three kids is to keep only the best stuff. Each child has a special container for memories. They love looking through their collections.


  11. I LOVE THIS! I have two little boys (2, 3) so I'm excited to be able to get this together now and it will be all ready for their school days!

    I also love your blog and it makes me smile when I see a new post :)!

    Have a great day!

  12. hi DaNita :-)
    I followed your link here from Michelle's Someday Crafts, What ever goes Wednesday's, out of curiosity about your files.

    I too am a file user. Big time! And I too once posted about files to use for your kids.

    Here is the link to my "life files" posting - http://thehousethatlovebuilt.xanga.com/700405438/my-gifts-for-the-baby-shower/
    and here is the link for the system I used (which included a file) for keeping track of school and life events, etc. - http://thehousethatlovebuilt.xanga.com/718661389/2-calenders--a-file-box/

    Yes, I have also posted about other types of files... the best way to find them would be under my 'hopefully useful tips' sections.

    I got a chuckle out of you having a son named Bryson. He got called a lot around here. Our (now grown) sons names are - Byron, Benson, Brandon and Brent.

    I see from the picture in your side bar, that you too are a fan of Tupperware (TM). :-)

    I'm glad I stopped by.

  13. this is brilliant! I don't have a child in school yet but I am definitely going to do this. it's so simple and organized.

    really glad I found your blog!I'm a new follower.

  14. Great idea! My little one starts kindergarten this year. So I should totally get one of these made. Thanks for the inspiration!

  15. Very nice! I love your school days form too. I always tell clients to set a boundary ( a limit of space) in which to keep school papers so they aren't tempted to save everything. Great job!

  16. I love this idea! I love the forms you have for each grade with the picture on it!

    I am having a giveaway on my blog. Just leave a comment to win a $27 store credit to get a fabulous organizer!

  17. Hey DaNita! GREAT idea - I love the idea of the expandable folder. Not only does it keep everything organized in years, but it forces you to limit what you keep. Seriously, when I think about my kids in 10 or 20 years, how many math papers will really interest them? I find I only keep things that have their thoughts or a story they made up or something that shows their personality and likes/interests.

    Thanks for the inspiration!

  18. Thanks! Great idea and great way for people to consolidate only a limited amount of papers from their kids school.
    I'm featuring this on my Organizing Mission Monday Link party this coming week.

  19. Thanks so much for the shout out! Your system turned out incredible! Love love love your spin on it!


  20. Perfect! I am doing this u are inspiring me!!!!
    Jess ~ the balanced libra
    you put Martha S. to shame Doll!

  21. Hi! Love your organizational idea. Tried to find this type of legal size file folder but can't. I can only find letter sized ones. By chance do you remember who makes it? Thanks in advance.

  22. Hi Claudia,

    I do not know the maker of the legal size folders (and there is no name on the files) but I do know that I found a couple of these at Walmart and found a couple more at Target, and I've seen them at Office Depot as well.

    Good Luck,

  23. THANKS! Found them at the third walmart I went too. Weird that they don't all carry them. Off to organize!!! :) Thanks again.
    Claudia :)

  24. This is incredibly awesome! My little girl just started kindergarten this year and I am astonished by all the stuff she brings home. This is a great way of keeping it all together and making it easy to go through. Thanks for the great idea!

  25. This is a neat idea. I think I might do this for my 2 girls who are 1 and 3. What are the other ideas that you have for the other sections?

  26. Love this! For the larger projects that won't fit, you can take a picture of the project (with or without the kiddo). Thanks for sharing!

  27. I do this too! For the extra sections in mine, I used them to store mementos from scouts, sports, various afterschool activites. I also used one section for extra school photos. Love the cute name tag idea!

    I have a largish cute storage box I keep near the file folders. When the kids bring home something I think is worth saving, I put it in the box. Then about every 6 months or so, I go through the box and file what I think is worth keeping and recycle the rest. You'd be surprised at what in the moment seems saveable that a year later isn't.

  28. What a fantastic idea!! For all of those other papers that you throw away--you could always take a digital photo of it and create a digital scrapbook...I have started doing this with my son's daycare projects that he comes home with...I don't want to save each letter of the alphabet that he scribbled on, but want the memory of his first colorings :)

  29. This is such a great idea. I have all their papers stuck by year in xray file folders that I brought home from work but this will cut down on space. Have to decide if I want to get rid of the items that wouldn't fit in the smaller folder or still keep them.

  30. I just found your site today, and I love all the label ideas for kids! What really caught my eye was your son's name. I have two boys, Bryson (11) and Braylon (3). Anyone who names their son Bryson has got to be AWESOME...so you definitely have a new fan! I look forward to following you! :)

  31. Just curious, how big are the expandable folders that you use? It is bigger than the normal 8.5x11 sheet of paper? What do you do with large items that your kids bring home? Does this accomadate those, or do those get tossed? My son has brought home some things that are bigger than a normal sheet of paper, and I am trying to figure out how I can save them in a way that doesn't take up a lot of space and doesn't require me to bend them. I know I probably just shouldn't save them--if I save everything I will wind up with soooo much--but I can't bring myself to throw them away either. Maybe I should just bend them and get it over with, haha. Also, what do you do about saving things that are not flat--just take a picture of it and pitch it, keep it in a box, etc? Thanks for your help! This is my first time here and I cannot believe how organized you are! I will be going to Dollar Tree tomorrow to get some supplies :)

    1. Yes, they are bigger, they are legal size. However, since this post, I no longer have the school papers organized in the expandable files. I currently am using 3 ring binders and this entire printable school days memory book pack:http://www.etsy.com/listing/105308148/school-days-memory-book-37-pages-pdf I limit what I keep. Thanks for visiting and come back often.


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