Family & Parenting

How To Decide Which School Papers To Keep And Which To Toss

Pare down without sacrificing those great memories.

Your first child starts kindergarten. Every single paper the teacher sends home is golden. You collect the treasures lovingly to look back on as your little one grows and blossoms.

Then more children come along and they all go through more years of school and there are spelling sheets and math tests and artwork and soon you are drowning in an avalanche of school papers. You could fill binders with every painting, document and report card, but do you really need to?

Lisa at Organize 365 made the decision to save the following school papers and get rid of the rest:

  • All artwork
  • All stories
  • Anything with a child’s hand print
  • Certificates (honor roll, student of the month, etc.)

Slipping these items into sheet protectors and tucking them into binders organized by year or by the child’s name is a neat and orderly way to save them.

But this can still be a lot. If you still feel like you’re overwhelmed with paper, you can pare down even more without sacrificing meaningful memories. Here’s how:

Define Art

Determine which pieces of art you want to hang on to. For instance, you might want to stash the original drawings or paintings and trash the coloring book pages and glued-on macaroni creations.

drawing by jenna photo
Flickr | davef3138

Cherry Pick

Set aside your (or your child’s) favorite art, reports, stories and other paperwork. Highlight each month, semester or school year by saving your child’s best work from that period.

Ditch Duplicates

Have a kiddo that’s crazy over robots, unicorns or some other object that has led to constant drawings of the subject? Don’t feel as though you must retain every doodle. Save the best and let go of the rest.

Go Digital

There may be items that take up too much space, and yet you feel bad getting rid of them completely. Hang on to the memory by taking pictures or scanning the item. Store them on a portable hard drive or save them on the cloud for posterity.

child drawing photo
Getty Images | Akram Saleh

Even with this culling of your child’s paperwork, you’ll still be left with many precious memories.