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How to Organize and Preserve Your Child’s Art and School Work

A lot of paper comes home with your kids. How much do you save?

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It's almost the end of the school year and my hall closet is exploding with school papers and projects deposited there since September. If you're a parent with school age children (pre-school included), then you know what I mean.  Starting from the first day of school, your kids begin bringing home artwork, homework assignments, tests, and assorted memos from school. It adds up to a lot of paper.

Just think; if you save everything your child brings home by the time they are in college you will have a two car garage full and over flowing with just their paper work and it will be spilling into your home. I believe it! I did some quick figuring if you save just 3 pieces of paper a week, times four weeks in a month times 9 months in a year times 8 years in school (pre-school through 6th grade) that is a total of 864 pieces of paper.

The amount of school work you save may vary from year to year. While every scribble is precious to a preschooler's family, by the time your child is in 8th grade you might not want to save every item. Let go of the guilt. Remember, you can throw some things away.  (Unless you want to end up on an episode of "Hoarders.")  What's important to keep differs in every family. For children that struggle in school, keeping key papers that show improvement are a great way to positively reinforce their academic progress. You'll have the proof.  Or major projects that were more yours rather than your child's are good to keep too.

Each box, page or notebook acts as a time capsule, so in addition to school papers, save school-play programs, report cards, school photos, writing samples and for children that like to write--ask them to jot down a list of their ten favorite and (not so favorite) things about the last school year. While you've saved the paperwork, you've also retained their memories.

I'm always surprised by how quickly the school year passes. One minute it's September, and then it's summer vacation. It's time for me to sort through all of the papers and get those labeled boxes into the attic before the new year begins.

We'd love to hear how you organize on's Parenting Forum.