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You are here: Home > Organizing Advice > Kids > School’s Out: How will you treasure your child’s artwork? What to do with all those papers!
Summer is here! Kids come home not only with their anticipated report card but tons of their artwork, homework folders and projects from throughout the school year. Perhaps you’ve collected them in a stack of papers still piled on the dining room table.  What to do with them now? What to save…or throw away? Hmmmm…what did your parents do?

It’s always fun to try a new approach to old problems—so decide that this year will be different!  Set aside some time, add a little determination and energy and be sure to involve the kids! Follow these few suggestions for a summer project to get organized and start fresh for the next school year. With a wastebasket and recycle bin handy, gather up that messy stack and take a plunge through the paperwork:
  1. Sort—Go through each child’s pile separately and decide what to keep/toss /recycle.  Collect pieces from the fridge, backpack, car, etc. too.
  2. Organize—For the keepsake items, buy x-large envelopes at the office supply store or purchase an artist’s portfolio at the local art store, one for each child and each school year; (I bought a dozen to last awhile. My kids even enjoy labeling and decorating the folders we choose :) )
  3. Label—Mark each folder with your child’s name, grade and year;
  4. Storage—Once sealed, place them under the bed, in the closet or wherever works best.
  5. Go high tech—If you’re technology savvy and don’t want to keep the papers, take photos and make a digital scrapbook. What a wonderful gift to give to your kids when they’ve grown up—great for small home spaces, too.
  6. Reuse—Children’s art works wonders as wrapping paper or a personal greeting card.
How refreshing to start the new school year with a clean space and organized memories. Next fall set up an inbox for each child (at their level works best), so they can participate and sift through more recent projects in both Dec. and June. Less fuss and a lighter burden builds anticipation, begins a habit and becomes a family affair, enjoying the wonderful pieces of art work together.

Enjoy summer!

Thanks to Carrie Vawter-Yousfi, an Organized A to Z.com partner, for contributing this article. Carrie is a NAPO member and founder of The Mommy’s Coach in San Jose, CA. To learn more, please visit her website at www.TheMommysCoach.com.