How to Organize Your Kids School Papers (for Good!)

Oh my gosh... YES! Finally a great way to organize kids school papers once and for all-- from their toddler years through twelfth grade! What a great keepsake to pass on to your kids too! You'll be doing a happy dance after reading this!

How to Use the My Memory Box: Kids School Paper Organizing System

The system is super easy to use!

Along with the printables, you’ll also need per child:

STEP 1: Print off the papers in the kit, one set for each of your children.

The kit includes sets in four different colors–pink, blue, green and orange (not pictured).

organize kids school papers

STEP 2: Using a paper trimmer or good scissors, cut out each of the Folder Labels and the File Folder Tabs.

organize kids school papers

I love all of the information that you can include on each of the folder labels: favorite things to do, favorite book, sports/activities, closest friends, and an area for the child to put his/her signature.

organize kids school papers

STEP 3: Glue the Folder Labels to the outside front of the hanging file folders (one label per file).

You can leave space on the front of the file folder to attach a picture of the child in each corresponding grade if you prefer.

organize kids school papers

I enlisted a helper to make the job go faster.

organize kids school papers

 

Buy-It-Now

Almost there! Only a few more steps until your box is complete!

 

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About the Author

As a wife and mom to four passionate kids, Alicia Michelle loves encouraging other moms with practical tips for joy-filled living in everyday life, especially in parenting, marriage, faith and health. Alicia is the owner/editor of Your Vibrant Family; the author of Plan to Be Flexible, The Back to School Survival Manual; and the creator/producer of the "7 Days to a Less Angry Mom Online Video Course,", Christ-Centered Christmas Resources and My Memory Box Organizing System. In addition, she is a monthly contributor for several popular family blogs, including Crosswalk.com. Follow her on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Pinterest.

Leave a Reply 73 comments

Esther - August 5, 2015 Reply

I would have done the labels by month. It will take forever to fill up by grade. And one grade folder will be overflowing. Do by month. Then at the end of the year decide keeper or not. Or take a picture of it or keep the real thing. Then transfer all the keepers to a box. Then startover for next year.

    Alicia Michelle - August 5, 2015 Reply

    Hi Esther! Thanks for the feedback! I think you and I are looking at this project in two separate ways… neither is wrong or right, just different. I designed the My Memory Box system to be something where you make the decision about whether or not to keep the paper *before* you put it in the box. It sounds like you’re saying you’d use the My Memory Box as a way to store *all* the papers and then you would choose your favorites at the end of the year. That would work too. I need to make myself purge *before* it goes in the box… otherwise I would just end up with another box full of papers that felt out-of-control and unorganized. 🙂

      Sharlene Crosswell - July 8, 2016 Reply

      Both ideas are great 🙂

Stephanie - August 11, 2015 Reply

I love this idea! I have a affection for the filing crates at Wal-Mart can you tell me where you got this filing box with the lid? Thanks!

    Alicia Michelle - August 11, 2015 Reply

    Hi Stephanie! I got these filing boxes with lids at Staples. 🙂 I like them too because they have a little lip on the insides of the box so that they can hold the hanging files properly. In my previous attempts to try to organize school papers, I’d tried to use just a regular bin, and the hanging folders fell everywhere, which was super annoying!

      Kati S - May 28, 2016 Reply

      I know this is an older blog, but do you remember what brand the container/lid were?

        Alicia Michelle - May 28, 2016 Reply

        Hi Kati! Thanks for asking! Here’s the list of supplies needed (along with the “My Memory Box” printable):

        • 1 plastic file folder box (I like this one), with a lid and an inside lip in which to hang letter-sized folders. This silver/clear one is good because you can see inside: amzn.to/1TmgeBx
        • 15 letter-sized hanging file folders with corresponding plastic tabs: amzn.to/1TmgqAL
        • Glue sticks
        • Scissors and/or a 12-inch paper trimmer: amzn.to/1RlgIBA

        Enjoy and happy organizing!

        Alicia

Pinkdaisyjane - October 28, 2015 Reply

Hi! I tried the link to the pdfs, but it says “not found.” Is there a different link I could try?

    Alicia Michelle - October 28, 2015 Reply

    Hi there! Thank you so much for letting me know! We tried to catch as many of these old links as we could when we did the site changeover, but this one must have slipped through! Thank you… they are updated now! 🙂

Our Top Homeschool Picks from 2015 | iHomeschool Network - January 3, 2016 Reply

[…] keep future school papers organized.You can read more about the My Memory Box system at this post (“How to Organize Kids School Papers for Good!”) or purchase the product here. I hope it blesses your homeschool as much as it has blessed […]

Shecki @ Greatly Blessed - February 1, 2016 Reply

A friend of mine did this system on her blog a couple years back, and I modified it to store pictures of my kids, instead of schoolwork. I have the same box with a folder for each child, and all their studio portraits are inside.

Nicole - February 1, 2016 Reply

Great idea! Now I just need to find the time to do all of this 🙂 Found your post at the Faith Filled Parenting Linkup

    Alicia Michelle - February 3, 2016 Reply

    LOL, Nicole! I totally get it. Once you’ve got it set up though, it really does run itself. Have an awesome day!

Kimberlee - February 6, 2016 Reply

This is a great idea – wish I would have found it and started it years ago as my oldest is now a senior and the other 2 are freshmen in high school. I have their things in a storage box but it is not labeled and organized – just kind of thrown in there and the boxes are in their closets. Pinned this to share with others.

    Alicia Michelle - February 8, 2016 Reply

    Kimberlee, thank you so much! I have found this to be the only way that has worked for us over the years. You could always go back and organize it like this if you wanted to. I had to do that with some of my older kids when we started the system. I appreciate the share!

Christia Colquitt - February 6, 2016 Reply

This is the same method I use. It is genius. Thank you for sharing at Faith Filled Parenting. So helpful.

Morgan @ Morgan Manages Mommyhood - February 8, 2016 Reply

This is so great! My son is 20 months and just starting to “create” things I would want ot keep and I’ve been at a loss as to how to do it.

Renee - February 8, 2016 Reply

This is a great idea for keeping those priceless treasures from our children. My oldest is 18 and has graduated High School. It warms my heart and brings tears to my eyes when I look through the things he made when he was a little one.

    Alicia Michelle - February 8, 2016 Reply

    Thank you, Renee! Oh, it is so hard to go through those things, isn’t it? So, so bittersweet. Mine oldest is 13 and I can’t even imagine what I’ll feel when he’s 18!

Emma - February 8, 2016 Reply

I love this – wish I had thought of it sooner! Thanks for sharing at the Thoughtful Spot!

Deanna Hershberger - February 9, 2016 Reply

I was just thinking yesterday how I need a system for all of my daughter’s artwork. She hasn’t even started school yet and I have a box full.
I really like that your daughter helped you make this too. What a great activity for you two to do together. <3 it!!

Thanks for sharing with Everything Kids Link & Pin Party. We hope you share with us next week too! Your blog is full of fantastic ideas!!

    Alicia Michelle - February 10, 2016 Reply

    Hi Deanna! Thank you! I’m glad you found the organizing kids school papers post helpful! And I’m glad you’re finding lots of encouragement and ideas at Your Vibrant Family! Have a great day.

Chris - February 9, 2016 Reply

Nice idea!!
Thanks for sharing at Funtastic Friday!

Marilyn Lesniak - February 9, 2016 Reply

I need to finally sit down and do this. I have a fridge, front and back door and two drawers full of my granddaughters papers and she is only 7! Thank ypu for sharing at #overthemoon. I wouldlove for you to link up at Thursday Favorite Things also!

    Alicia Michelle - February 10, 2016 Reply

    Hi Marilyn! Thank you so much for sharing your story. I know that it’s hard to think about organizing all of those papers… been there! I hope this system can be helpful for you!

Sue Donaldson - February 9, 2016 Reply

It’s too late! My kids are grown but I do hate paper stacking! (see insta photo today…) (Working on a retreat speaking talk…paper paper) Your kids are blessed. Just sayin’

Catherine - February 10, 2016 Reply

This is sooo cute! We homeschool and have to keep everything they have done for legal reasons to prove we did do school. However, if I had my kids in public or private school I would totally take on this idea. Love it!

    Alicia Michelle - February 10, 2016 Reply

    Awesome! I’m glad you like the idea! We have to keep all the papers for our homeschool charter as well. Here’s what I do: After each time we meet with our advisor, I grab those papers or artwork that we’d like to keep as treasures for the box. I’m not sure how it’s set up for you, but we have to give them a sample from that time period from each subject, so we’re left with a lot of materials that we can keep ourselves or discard. Anyway… food for thought for how it could work for you in your situation! Blessings!

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kristie - February 16, 2016 Reply

Looks like a great system! Thanks so much for sharing!!!

Charlene Asay - February 18, 2016 Reply

This is a wonderful idea. I will have to do it for sure with my kids things. This will be fun to look back when they are older.

rebecca flansburg - February 20, 2016 Reply

What a great idea! My kids’ school stuff is an epic disaster and currently just chucked onto a Rubbermaid tote. This is such a better way. Thanks for sharing!

Everything Kids #5 – Books and Giggles - April 15, 2016 Reply

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Melissa - May 29, 2016 Reply

Thanks!! I was just looking at all the hoarded crafts, papers etc brought home by my LO and feeling overwhelmed. Headed to the store today to get supplies. Since we will have 2 starting preschool in the fall I def want to get organized. Planning to let them decorate/stickers x1000 the outside of their bin! Thanks for the idea!! LOVE LOVE LOVE

    Alicia Michelle - May 29, 2016 Reply

    Yay! I love the idea of having the kids decorate their bin! Happy organizing (and crafting!)! Enjoy!

Adrian - May 30, 2016 Reply

This is great. I’ve added it to my Family Fun Friday link party. I needed some good organizing posts to feature for next week and this would be perfect.

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[…] Alicia from Your Vibrant Family is sharing her idea on how to Organize Kid’s School Papers. […]

Allison - June 16, 2016 Reply

I love this!! Just purchased it! I am using for all of my kiddos and I am making one for my sister! It’s a perfect gift for my nephew when he starts preschool!! 🙂

    Alicia Michelle - June 23, 2016 Reply

    Wonderful! I’m so excited for you to get organized, Allison! And you’re right–what a great gift idea for a friend or loved one who has a child about to start school!

Jillian Davis - June 16, 2016 Reply

This is so cool!!!! My son is about to start kindergarten and I cannot wait for all the little things he makes. I will let you

    Alicia Michelle - June 23, 2016 Reply

    Yay! Excited for you, Jillian, to start off your son’s school years as being organized in this area! And congrats on having a kindergartner!

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Jennifer - June 29, 2016 Reply

I love this idea, but I have two questions:
1) Where do you store your bins?
2) What do you do with the papers that are too large for the bin?

Thanks ahead of time!

    Alicia Michelle - July 3, 2016 Reply

    Hi Jennifer! I store my bins in a corner of our schoolroom, but your could store them in a closet or somewhere else out of the way. In terms of papers that are too big… we either (carefully) fold them in half, or we take a picture of them and put the picture in the box.
    Hope that’s helpful!

Klayci - July 15, 2016 Reply

Holy cow I’m obsessed!!! I love this idea! My daughter is 3 and I’m already overwhelmed with how to keep them all safe until I have time to put them in a book and everything. And then trying to decide what to keep what not to, its just overwhelming ha. This gives me that sigh of relief feeling so thank you. Awesome job!

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Chrissy - September 8, 2016 Reply

I’ve been thinking about starting this for my daughter. How big is the box you use? I know they come in different sizes, and I just can’t decide which would be best. Thanks!

    Alicia Michelle - September 8, 2016 Reply

    Hi Chrissy! The box we use for the My Memory Box system printables is this one: http://amzn.to/2cFygwM It fits these letter-sized hanging file folders: http://amzn.to/2cGzhY7 and because the box is clear, you can see inside. When you purchase the printable download, the Amazon links to the supplies are included so that you can order those as well. 🙂 Hope that’s helpful!

      Ressi - December 31, 2016 Reply

      Hello! Great idea, but was wondering if there were any clever ideas for storing the boxes? What if you have three boxes? Any way to mask it into the decor? Thanks!

        Alicia Michelle - January 10, 2017 Reply

        Hi there! YES, I actually have four boxes because I have four kids! I have a few ideas. You can find a corner in a room (for us it’s our schoolroom) where there’s space and stack them vertically. Or you could hide them in a closet (stacked vertically or on top of a shelf). Or, you could put one in each child’s room somewhere. Or of course there’s the garage. But I prefer to keep them fairly front and center so that I don’t forget about them and so I don’t let things pile up. Great question… thanks for asking!

Homeschool Literature - January 13, 2017 Reply

I love this idea! What a great way to keep all the originals organized and nice and neat. My organization with papers tends to end up with me scanning the paper in to keep it digital, but this is an awesome idea for the keeping the originals!

    Alicia Michelle - January 14, 2017 Reply

    Awesome! Glad you find it helpful! Finding a method to keep school papers organized is huge! Have a great day!

      Homeschool Literature - February 3, 2017 Reply

      It really is! Finding a way to organize all the various documents that add up with homeschooling honestly is such a relief because it truly can get quite chaotic, very quickly!

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