Ali Edwards Capture life. Create art.

April 17, 2009

Organizing All That Stuff That Kids Bring Home From School

Clean1

I think I mentioned recently that I have a bunch of different projects happening around here. If you were to visit my house you would encounter piles in each room with a project underway. These are projects that are getting attention here and there when I happen to be in that particular room.

Sometimes things are just shuffled but I have been trying really hard to actually make a dent in each project with the precious minutes when I find them. That dent may be just a tiny one, but it is step forward.

If you were to look on the floor in Anna's room, between the albums and the crib (shown above) you would find this:

Clean2

It's been there for a couple weeks now.

This is the beginning of a project to organize Simon's artwork and papers and evaluations and teacher notes and all that good stuff from preschool through first grade that has made it's way home in his backpack.

The overflowing basket is kindergarten and first grade. The 8.5×11 binder also holds information from kindergarten. The other two piles are from the two different preschools he attended. Last week I went through much larger piles from these years and have already whittled it down to what I want to keep.

How did I decide what to keep?

I am pretty ruthless when it comes to this kind of stuff. Most of the papers from the early preschool years were random coloring sheets with the lovely random marks of a three year old who put very little pressure on his crayons & pens. I kept a few of those and recycled the rest. I did not need to keep them all. I definitely kept notes from the teachers, photos of the class, evaluations, schedules of what they were working on at a certain point in time, etc. I envision going through each pile again to make it even smaller before moving on to working with some of the papers.

What I want to keep are the pages that help round out and complement the stories that live in his albums right now. I love this kind of content/documentation for his albums. When I
look back on things that my Mom kept from when I was growing up I love
to see the papers with my handwriting or notes from teachers.  These are real life gems.

Here's my plan for the stuff I do keep:

(1.) Some of the papers and artwork will go directly into his albums from those years. I am planning to simply slip many of them into 8.5×11 page protectors. This should be fairly simple since I have all the layouts/albums in order already (you can read about that monster project here).

At
one point in time I considered having separate albums just for documenting his
school years. After looking at all those albums on the shelf I decided
I just want to add them to the appropriate years and have them be a
collective reflection of stories and real-life papers (just like what I
am trying to do with Anna's baby album); essentially a more traditional kind of scrapbook.

Simplybeyou_low

Noschool

(2.) Some of the papers and artwork will be used to create layouts. Just the process of going through the piles generated a bunch of different ideas for layouts; there are so many stories still left to be told. The layouts above from Life Artist and Creating Keepsakes 2008 both include papers from school. They are such a great jumping off point.

(3.) If there are leftover papers I may get a couple boxes for more long term storage. I would LOVE to only keep what can be stored in the albums I have already created. My goal is to create a home for all this stuff that is easily accessible, organized, and made relevant within his albums. 

What I do now: 

These days when Simon comes home I take a look in his backpack (if he has not already pulled out the papers to share with me) and am going through the papers on a daily basis. Some get recycled immediately, some are put up on the fridge to be enjoyed and celebrated, and some go into the basket you see above (which lives in Anna's closet).

In the future I would like to get in a routine where I take what comes home and either put it right into a page protector in an album or place it in a to-do pile in my office where I keep content I want to add onto an upcoming layout. 

Look for another post in the coming months as I share my experience, process, and layouts.

Edited : so many great ideas in the comments today. Thanks for sharing your thoughts and systems!

Dottedline_2

Have a wonderful weekend! 

Comments

  • 1.
    Sarah said…

    WOW, having kids makes it look like I’ll have my work cut out for me! (First baby due in just 6 weeks.)
    I remember mom saving our school papers under the couch in our living room for a while. Those have since been cleaned out; afterall, I am 30+ now.
    Love your scrapbooking and journaling life ideas. You are a great role model. Your kids will certainly appreciate all of the LOVE (and time) you put into this passion of yours!

  • 2.
    Sasha said…

    Thank you for this post Ali. This is exactly the kind of thing I need to see to get going on all the little organizing projects I have all over the house as well. I don’t mind the process of shuffling and organizing and recycling and paring down so much, but it does take proper motivation to get me started on it. And, even more to finish it!
    Thanks again!
    Sasha

    • ….
      louise Duck said…

      Sasha, this could have been me speaking, I am so with you there!

  • 3.
    Karen said…

    Even your piles are organized!

  • 4.
    Jan C. said…

    Sounds like a great system. I have 5 kids, and I have always felt like I was drowning in school papers! What I do is keep folders in my filing drawer for each child, labeled, “report cards and standardized tests,” and “school papers.” I file the report cards and important test scores away in one folder where I can pull them out as needed. That folder stays put from preschool through 12th grade, and then moves elsewhere. The other is for school artwork and a few homework pages that I keep, and every year I move that to a file folder in each child’s “keepsake box,” labeled with the appropriate school grade and teacher’s name. The keepsake box has in it all the stuff we are keeping that would never fit in a scrapbook, and the kids like to sit and go through their boxes every now and again.
    It’s the best I can do. I didn’t even start scrapbooking until the oldest kids were well into high school, so I’ll probably never get enough albums made for their school years. This is my solution, and it seems to be working so far.
    Good luck getting all of your projects completed!

    • ….
      louise Duck said…

      fantastic, wish my mum had enough time to have done that for me. I do realise with 7 kids , she never did, gosh I only have 1 and find time to scrap hard!

  • 5.
    {vicki} said…

    I simply punch holes (if not already punched paper) and file into a 3 ring binder from Office Depot. I also use dividers (Math, Science, Reading, etc) within the binders. I have one for each year. VERY SIMPLE and works great for me.

  • 6.
    Michelle W. said…

    I love that you’re sharing this. I, too, don’t feel the need to keep *every single paper* that my kids bring home from school. I go through their stuff and the things I know for sure I don’t want to keep go right in the trash. Others go on the fridge. Still others go in 12×12 plastic storage boxes that I found on ebay. They’re great for storing papers. And some I’m going to put in some frames and do a collage on probably the living room wall.

  • 7.
    BethBG said…

    Great ideas! I’ve got “portfolio books” set up for kindergarten (I have twins) using big envelopes from an idea in Simple Scrapbooks a year or two ago. So far the first grade stuff is still in piles and I want to go back and put the preschool stuff in a similar system. I never thought of using some of the papers in layouts, I LOVE THAT! Some of the “reject” stuff can be salvaged (am I the only one who recycles schoolwork under cover of darkness?) XX’s

  • 8.
    Shelley said…

    One thing I did that I still love. I saved the holiday artwork (especially christmas) and put it up every year on one wall or door. My high schoolers still get a kick of seeing what they did and reliving the memories, I however can’t believe how fast the time goes! I keep kids holiday art in a big carry art folder that slides behind just about anything.

  • 9.
    Tanya Gilmartin said…

    Hey Ali,
    Imagine doubling all that paper when Anna goes to school!
    I have 2 young school age children-my system? SCAN IT AND CHUCK IT!
    After their artwork has been displayed on the fridge, I put my child’s name on the back and the date if it is not there already, and store it in a basket I keep on a shelf in my office (behind closed doors). When I have 20 minutes here and there, I scan them into my computer, put them in a seperate file, and get rid of the original (I still keep some things, but really, not much). I reduce the size, and print a bunch at a time on an 8.5 x 11 sheet of cardstock. I simply put them in a 12×12 album with a quick hand written note (if needed) near the picture with their age, and the “story” that goes with it. I also scan their “signature” each year and add that to the “art” book. If a piece of art is too big I take a photo.
    The kids love looking at their art through the years, and I get rid of a TON of papers.
    Now that everything is scanned it makes it easy to make a layout using their school work or art.

  • 10.
    Kristyn G said…

    My little one is only 15 months now, so we haven’t started with the endless piles of school goodies, but I know it is coming soon! I wanted to share a project that Noell did over at Paperclipping. It’s her School Work Scrapbook Project (http://www.paperclipping.com/purchase-the-schoolwork-scrapbook-tutorial-now/) It is a stand alone mini-book type project, so it may not fit with your keeping everything in one place, but thought you might want to check it out if you hadn’t already.

  • 11.
    Melissa said…

    I am currently doing in-home childcare and have 5 kids that do projects on a nearly daily basis. Once the projects are completed, I scan them into the computer. Once the year is over, I plan to burn these projects onto a cd and they will have a copy to keep. This way they don’t have to keep every project but they will have a reminder of each one. Maybe you could try that on some of Simon’s papers.

  • 12.
    Rachel said…

    Ali -
    I got an idea once from… somewhere, lol… to use page protectors to keep their treasures. You can buy pre-bound page protector books (Avery makes them) from Office Max etc., which hold 10, 20, 50 pages inside each. I ran right out and bought up a dozen of the large ones with the intent to store a school year’s worth of artwork and papers in each book. Unfortunately, I had the baby I’d been nesting over and the project was put aside. It’s been a couple of years now and this post has inspired me to get back at it!

  • 13.
    Calli Taylor said…

    The way I decide what school projects to keep is when it something like a self portrait, written about something they love, or what they want to be when they grow up. Long story short, if it is personalized in some sweet way, I keep it. I will also keep it if it’s a particularly good piece of art for them. My kids have under-the-bed boxes where they put all the projects they bring home. When summer starts we go through the boxes and decide what to keep… I find they are more willing to part with things once a little time has passed.

  • 14.
    Noreen said…

    After taking Library of Memories with Stacy Julian I now have two Rubbermaid file boxes (one for each of my sons) with a big hanging file folder for each grade (preschool – 12)inside. Once the kids bring stuff home, we’ll decide if it will be kept or not and then it has a home to go to – no thinking required! I really recommend Stacy’s entire system for keeping photos and memorabilia organized and ready to scrap with. You can read about it in her book Photo Freedom or take a class at http://www.bigpicturescrapbooking.com
    Noreen

  • 15.
    Elizabeth said…

    I think Tanya’s idea is a good one–scan and chuck. That way, you can keep some of the items that you might have thrown away. Only keep those items that you or Simon might want to physically hold and look at, or for doing layouts.

  • 16.
    tracey m. said…

    Hi Ali,
    I am SO THERE right now with my 8 and 6 year-olds school work. I’ve put up two clear wall pockets in the kitchen in which to deposit their daily backpack deliveries. Then, at the end of the week, I transfer each pile to their own hanging files in my big file cabinet. (I made mine with big, boxy bottoms by cutting and taping two hanging files together. I can store about a year’s worth of stuff in each!)
    Of course, the ultimate goal is to pare down and archive the “keepers” in a special way. I LOVE (and am so inspired by!!) your plan. I am now a convert to the American Crafts binders that you use. So flexible, so REAL-LIFE!!!
    Have a great day,
    Tracey M.

  • 17.
    Linda said…

    Over the years I have kept one extra large manilla envelope for each of the kids to place art, worksheets, term papers in. One thing I’m really happy I have kept now that the oldest three are in college and grad-school….a sampling of worksheets. When they graduated from high school I scrapped book twelve years of work by reducing the size of the homework on a copier for their high school graduation scrapbook. This spring it was great fun to see a first grade math paper scrapbooked next to a third year physics based calculus paper by the same daughter. I swear I only blinked once and those years were gone.

  • 18.
    Cary said…

    My kids are 28 and 25 and we had an underbed cardboard storage box where selected art work goes for the school year. The last day of school we go for ice cream and prepare to look in the box for the memories of the school year. We purge and I had them select the ten best pieces they want to keep. Before there was scanning I took a few pictures and added this to their pages for each grade. I love your idea to use some as elements on a LO. At their Graduation parties I pulled out one project from each grade and had them displayed with award certificates and grad. gown in the living room. My favorite thing is how their “signature” changed over the years! I have also heard about having a larger frame where selected pieces are hung in the house for a month or so then the child selects the next piece to be changed out. What great memoires you will have!

  • 19.
    Leslie said…

    This reminds how much I really need to go through the things I have and try to incorporate them into the children’s albums. I’ve weeded through them fairly well as they are 13 and 10 but the sit separate from their albums. What do you plan to do with oversized art? Thanks!!

  • 20.
    Michelle said…

    Great post—something I also think about every end-of-school-year. I feel semi-”in control” of photos, but school stuff is more piles/boxes/files right now as well. I love seeing what others are saying about tackling these things. I have only Kinder done for my son, and I use 12×12 albums with a mix of 12×12 page protectors and 8 1/2 x 11—-in the 8 1/2 x 11 I just keep papers I love or have chosen to keep that don’t really inspire a layout. The 12x12s are layouts, which sometimes focus on a drawing or assignment and sometimes focus on photos. I like my general process, but it just takes some much time to conquer, and I haven’t done much at all with my daugther’s stuff. But, HELLO INSPIRATION! ;-)

  • 21.
    SchoolMommy said…

    Ali~ Thanks for giving us not only helpful tips, but a glimpse into your real life! You seem to be so relaxed and always have it all together. Nice to see that you have some “piles”of ongoing projects like the rest of us!!!

  • 22.
    Michelle B said…

    What a wonderful post Ali! My four year old son is just finishing up his first year of pre-school and I have been collecting so much stuff! Right now I just have it all in a file folder box – but I know I need to get it in an album. I was thinking about making an album just for him that was school stuff – acomplishments, etc. You gave me some great ideas!
    And just a side note question for you – maybe you will do a Q&A again soon! I haven’t scrapbooked for a couple of months now. I seem to have lost my creative mojo! Does this ever happen to you? What do you do to get it back? I still am taking pictures and documenting via my blog but not finding enough will to scrapbook anything.

  • 23.
    Linn Woodard said…

    Thanks for your details…I’m just starting to figure out what I want to do with my first son’s school stuff (he’s in his second year of preschool now) and I like your ideas of how to tackle it all. I’m wondering, what will/do you do with the 12×18 artwork he brings home? I’m thinking a large storage tub to hold that along with a school years scrapbook to document his school days.

  • 24.
    Linn Woodard said…

    I love this idea, Shelley! I think I’d like to keep that stuff right in my Christmas box along with my other Christmas decor. Thank you!

  • 25.
    Kristin Rutten said…

    Kudos to you for getting this process underway this early in Simon’s (and Anna’s) life … after collecting all of that school “stuff” for the past 13 years for my two boys, I finally managed to at least get it sorted by child & school year into huge manila envelopes a couple years ago. After that huge sorting task, I bought a storage unit with a drawer for each kid, which is where I stash their memorabilia during the year and then empty it into a folder at the end of the summer. For most years, each of the boys has 2-3 very packed 10×17-inch envelopes. That is in addition to piles and piles of photos waiting for their stories to be told. I also have purchased an album for each of the boys … so far empty. Other than a partially finished baby book for my first – and even less actually completed for my second – that’s about all I’ve done. So I have 13 YEARS worth of stuff to get together, which has been on my mind a lot lately because my oldest will complete 8th grade next month … and {gasp} move on to HIGH SCHOOL! I have vowed to be more on top of things with my two girls (now almost 3 and 9 1/2 mos) and so far, am doing much better with them. I cringe whenever I think of all those wonderful memories that are lost to me now because I just didn’t get them recorded. I just love when you share these projects … it’s like a call to action to actually DO something about all of this! (And I must admit, it’s comforting to see that you have piles, too! :) . Thanks for sharing…

  • 26.
    Kristin Rutten said…

    You’ve got some great ideas I may have to adopt myself! I especially like your year-end ritual … TFS!

  • 27.
    andrea said…

    My nieces and nephew were always doing some kind of art (family of artists). I am an art teacher so I knew which drawings to keep as they went through different developmental stages. I would date them and put them in a portfolio. When they graduated from art school/university, I slipped the drawings and paintings into a very nice presentation portfolio according to date and gave the whole thing as gift.
    They loved it and could see their talent emerging year by year. They’re professionals
    now themselves and have a record of when it all started.

  • 28.
    Nichole said…

    Thanks for sharing this, Ali. I’m doing Stacy Julian’s School Of Life album for my daughter, and I absolutely love the system. I have one Rubbermaid tub for the overflow. Anything that doesn’t go there or her SOL album gets recycled or mailed to grandparents.

  • 29.
    Ali Edwards said…

    I love this idea too.

  • 30.
    Deirdre said…

    Thanks for sharing this. One of the key points for me, that you mentioned too, is returning to piles later to whittle them down further.
    We have a metal file box (from the dollar store but the same kind as Pottery Barn sells) on a wall in our mud room and all school papers go in there. Sometimes it is too overwhelming to decide what to keep or not keep at first glance. Once a month I go through and recycle/toss and keep only what hits me as uniquely representative of something.
    At the end of the year, we’ll go through it again and keep only a few signature pieces. This is in addition to art work from home (kept in a rubbermaid tub), teacher notes, etc. I’m using Becky Higgins school years kit, and believe this might be the one album my son wants to take with him when he leaves home (since he is deciding so much of it).
    I only wish I had purchased more of BH’s kit for my younger boys!

  • 31.
    alexandra said…

    Funny you should write about this now… just the other day I was thinking of the piles and bags of art and ‘stuff’ that I have accumulated since my twins have been in Jr.K and now Sr. K. I have an overwhelming amount of papers and projects and I had wondered how you would handle it all. I bought two big American Crafts binders and loads of page protectors last year but have yet to tackle things. I’m also at a loss for what to do with the larger art pieces – do I save them, scan them, frame them photograph them??? Not sure what to do. I know I have to edit but starting is a bit daunting. Thanks for sharing a bit of your process – it’s nice to see I’m not the only one with ‘piles’ – but mine, oddly enough, usually end up on the dining room table!!

  • 32.
    Ali Edwards said…

    My first thought on the oversized pieces is that I am just going to crop them down to fit in the 12×12 albums. If it was something totally amazing I would probably frame it. So far most of his things could be cropped and not lose the overall feel.

  • 33.
    Ali Edwards said…

    It could be a sickness :)

  • 34.
    Michelle said…

    Oh my gosh, Ali, we are on some kind of psychic wavelength, LOL! Yesterday I was looking at the pile of my kids’ artwork on the kitchen counter, thinking I needed come up with a new system to keep it organized. I thought of YOU! (Really!) You gave me great advice on getting my garage studio set up a couple of months ago (still a work in progress!). I love your ideas on putting kids’ work in sleeves directly in their scrapbooks, and using the art itself to create layouts. Love that! Can’t wait to try it.
    Another cool idea I saw in a magazine a couple of years back — (I think Cookie?) There’s a company (I forgot the name!)that will take the scanned images of your child’s artwork, and put them all on a poster. I’m sure one of the many photo printing websites around could do the same. I’m thinking about giving that a try, it would be fun to frame & hang it in the living room.
    Thanks for reading my mind and publishing another great post. :)
    Hope you and your family have a lovely weekend.

  • 35.
    o-girl said…

    Nice to get a glimpse into someone else’s system of keeping school memories. I’m ruthless too. When my kids were in elementary and doing art work regularly, at the end of the school year I’d go through it and keep only the exceptional pieces of art (c’mon…be honest…not every piece is exceptional but we don’t tell the kids that) and take photos of most of the others, especially big, bulky art pieces that would be hard to store. I’ve kept ceramic pieces and crafty things like that. (Both kids had the same teacher in 2nd grade so I have 2 adorable wooden snowmen they each made that I won’t part with). I kept notes from teachers, evaluations, stuff like that that you mentioned. I used to draw pictures on my daughter’s lunch bag (she liked the brown paper ones for this reason) and she’d bring them home because she liked them so much so I’ve saved a few of those too.

  • 36.
    Shaquanna said…

    Hi Ali,
    Thank you for sharing your process of going through school work. Although I do not have my own kids yet, I am a teacher, and get lots of letters, drawings, etc. from my students. At first, I was saving a lot of what they gave me. As I have been teaching longer, I tend to of course save photos, the class picture, as well as really sentimental letters from students, or a drawing/coloring page that really moves me in a way. That said, I also have MANY piles around my house, and too going through other life memorabilia. I’ll get through what I can now, as I am going away, so it will have to wait until I come back.

  • 37.
    Michelle said…

    P.S. The photo of Simon on your “Simply Be You” layout is gorgeous! What a cutie :)

  • 38.
    Tona said…

    It sounds like you have a great plan going.
    When I was teaching preschool & the parents would ask what to do with all of the excess art work their child did I would suggest to use it for wrapping paper when sending gifts to friends and family. (Grandparents especially love receiving a gift wrapped that way).

  • 39.
    tara pakosta said…

    SIGH>>>i wish i had been on top of this from the beginning. now I have a 3rd grader and 2nd grader and all that stuff to go througH! the good news is, i put each grade a big padded envelope and put the year on it for each child! so it’s sort of organized. and i already threw out most of what I didn’t want. it’s just a matter of finding the desire to go through it all. oh and my albums are NOT in order. about 3/4 of my layouts arent’ even IN albums yet! you are so LUCKY to be so organized!!!!!!!!
    keep INSPIRING ME!
    tara

  • 40.

    Calli,
    This is a great way to teach kids how to purge things themselves (which I, at 30 years old, still have trouble doing!). I think it is great that you are involving your kids in the process and importance of “saving” and “purging”. I think boys often have trouble with the concept of saving. I was always amazed when guys I dated had little more than one box of possessions to their name and was sad that I couldn’t glimpse into their childhoods! On the other hand, I have way tooo much stuff. So learning to prioritize items is great.
    The few times my mom did help me go through my things, she would put things I wasn’t sure if I wanted to part with yet in a box in the attic. Several years later when we would go through the box, I found it much easier to decide what was important to me since I wasn’t so attached to seeing the items every day.

  • 41.
    Sharna said…

    I have struggled with this as my kids grow (they are 8 and 10) but I have a fairly simple system now… I keep an IKEA wire in the kitchen that we show off their art and good grades for awhile (read months). Whenever it’s full or needs a change up I take everything down and sort. Much gets recycled, the best gets placed in boxes by child (kept in my closet) some gets turned into new art (we cut them up and make cards for the elderly or military, etc.) and the ones that my daughter gets weepy about parting with I take photos of with her in front. I once read an idea where you make a temporary gallery of all their art for the year on a wall and stand them next to it and take a photo, then keep only a few special pieces. Every year or so I double check the boxes in the closet and purge again. Distance is helpful and makes things feel less precious. I have also found that my son doesn’t care a bit but my daughter is VERY attached to her stuff. I make sure that I bury any of her items in the recycling bin so she doesn’t get too upset. I hope she’ll thank me when she’s grown that I only saved a sampling of her things and not every single thing… :-)

  • 42.
    Jennifer P said…

    I had to “divide and conquer” when it came to my kids albums after starting scrapbooking later in their little lives. I was afraid I would never get caught up and the idea was so overwhelming I had to break it down into easier steps to keep from getting bogged down and giving up. I now have 3 books for each kid. One school days, one holidays (Christmas), and one everyday. I keep a few of their “origionals”, but to keep the mass down, I take pictures of the art work we can purge and make a collage of smaller pictures in a layout. That way I don’t have so many large pieces in the book and I can keep it condenced to one book for the time being.

  • 43.
    debbies said…

    There was a Saturday Night Live skit about a woman who saved everything under the sun for her scrapbook. A guy friend at work came in telling me about, making fun of how crazy the hobby can get. Sometimes I wonder if I’m behaving this irrationally by saving all this stuff. My little boy is just 2 and half, and already I have many, many paintings of his that I just cherish, and can’t part with. I still haven’t figured out what I’m going to do with them all.

  • 44.
    cheryl said…

    Hi Ali,
    I was just adding to the largest binder ring that I’ve been keeping with the work my pre-schooler is bringing home this year. I just punch a hole and add the pages to the huge ring, this way she can look them over during prep for K-5 next year and I’ve kept them together for myself to look at and weed through one day. I have four kids and I have often felt buried alive with “stuff”. This has helped one little corner of my world feel under control.
    It has been an easy fix. Wish I’d thought of it when my twenty-two year old was in preschool…we live and learn!
    Have a joyous weekend!
    Cheryl

  • 45.
    Jakki said…

    I HAD to comment before reading all of the post…
    Both of my son’s have done the Santa Claus with the cotton balls! I still have them too!!!

  • 46.
    Vicki said…

    At my kids school they had this great tradition of making bound books with copies of the entire Kindergarten year. Unfortunatley my kids are now 22 and 26 so I can’t remember the company that did it– but my guess is there are alot of those companies out there… (That book is in the attic somewhere :)
    But I can tell all of you with younger kids– it does get easier the older they get.
    Some suggestions:
    1) Keep all xmas ornaments they make in your christmas boxes… We do an entire tree dedicated to all that art!! and it is a conversation peice every year
    2) Fingerpainting looks great framed!!! be sure to frame one or two… you would be amazed how many people think its modern art
    3) Scanning does help!! you know you don’t want it all but by scanning it you can toss alot of things you are waivering about!!

  • 47.
    Nancy Gaumer said…

    I actually teach preschool teachers and have a preschool age granddaughter. I am totally overwhelmed as I see every piece of paper as something I can use for a class I teach! So many of the papers I have are 12 by 18 and fit into nothing. Cropping is mostly sacriligious to us in early childhood. I’m wondering about the Martha Stewart scrapbooks that are huge-has anyone used these? I agree that photographing and saving to CD would probably be a great strategy as I’ve used it for 3-D projects. Love the idea of taking out old holiday artwork each year.

  • 48.
    Christine said…

    My mom did this for me – I have a bunch of ornaments and wall hangings that I did when I was 10 and under (I’m now 39). I LOVE taking these things out each year and sharing them with my kids!

  • 49.
    Joanne Martinson said…

    I didn’t have a chance to read through all the comments…so if this is a repeat, sorry. I have a small suggestion that I’ve used for layouts as well as just to keep the immense amout of “momentos” to a minimum. I have an 8 yr old and 15 yr old…so lots of papers over the years!! I scan or copy and reduce the size substantially. It is a way to keep the original memory without all the bulk!
    Hope this can help.
    Joanne

  • 50.

    Thanks for sharing Ali – the daily paperwork for 2 boys is one of my constant struggles. What I have done is set up a binder for each boy (Ryan is blue, Owen is green) – these binders hold all current school/childcare info I need for the year – class lists, handbooks, etc. Then from the wonderful Stacy J – I have a School of Life file box, where each boy gets a folder for each year of school for papers to remember – report cards, certificates, math tests, etc. Because I am So sentimental – I also have a large plastic bin for each boy of their BEST artwork. . .I recycle and toss a lot more than I ever did – but I feel like I hold onto enough to savor in my golden years.
    Have a great weekend.
    Hillary

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