DIY Memory Box to Organize Your Child's Papers

3 Materials
1 Hour

I love the calmness January brings after the chaos of December. On snowy, gray days, when I don't have to leave the house, I'm motivated to work on the projects I've been putting off, like organizing my pantry. (Check out my free printable pantry labels if you want to tackle YOUR pantry) This year I started with the piles of school papers the kid's had accumulated since fall. I felt like my previous system of separating them by child and throwing them in their respective plastic container was enough but THEN I found a big box of old papers in my craft room and I knew it was time to get a bigger, better system.
Here's what I used for my DIY memory box:
  • File tote
  • Hanging Folders (I used 19)
  • Labels/Pens--I love this label maker
Start by labeling the hanging folders (ideas for categories are below) and putting them in each bin. I used a label machine because, well, that's how I roll!!! My handwriting would NOT be as neat once I got through ALL the labels. But handwriting them is totally acceptable!
These are the categories I used, but feel free to customize them:
  • Age 0-3
  • Age 4-5
  • Kindergarten - Senior Year--one folder for each year
  • Certificates
  • Cards
  • Talents (programs for chorus, band, orchestra, etc)
  • Other
Here's my biggest tip to make things go faster. Have a key so you can separate your piles faster. Here's a pic of my "high tech" system (I'm sure your's will be much more legible) but I wrote down: 1) their age 2) their grade 3) the school year. So in the top line of the pic, my daughter was aged 11-12, in 6th grade, in the 2017-2018 school year. I wrote it like this because some papers said "age 7", others said "2nd grade" and others said "2013". This was a quick reference for me and saved a TON of time trying to calculate it in my head.
I also made a pile of "unknowns" and asked my kids to help me to identify the year some of their "masterpiece's" were created. Their memories are SO MUCH better than mine when it comes to things like that. Of course they'll feel the need to go through all their stuff once you're done. My girls loved seeing their work from when they were younger and I was told a few stories that I hadn't heard before. That was exactly why I wanted to do this project in the first place, to remember pieces from their younger years.
Once everything is in it's appropriate folder, you are done! Now create a label with their name on it. I used my Cricut for my labels but any label will do. A sticker type will last longer than a paper one taped on. You could even use paint markers and get creative. For more organizational ideas you can find them HERE.
Any price and availability information displayed on [relevant Amazon Site(s), as applicable] at the time of purchase will apply to the purchase of this product.
Hometalk may collect a small share of sales from the links on this page. More info

Top Hometalk Projects

29 Of The Best DIY Mirror Projects Ever Made
15 Fabulous Fire Pits For Your Backyard
29 Of The Best DIY Mirror Projects Ever Made
29 Of The Best DIY Mirror Projects Ever Made
31 Coastal Decor Ideas Perfect For Your Home
14 Cool Ways To Upholster Chairs That You Can DIY
15 Genius Curtain Ideas To Instantly Upgrade Your Space
22 Ideas To Make Your Terra Cotta Pots Look Oh-So-Pretty
15 Kitchen Updates Under $20
21 Totally Terrific Things You Can Do With Doilies
15 Kitchen Updates Under $20
30 Creative Ways To Repurpose Baking Pans
21 Totally Terrific Things You Can Do With Doilies
30 Essential Hacks For Cleaning Around Your Home
15 Genius Curtain Ideas To Instantly Upgrade Your Space
Pamela - DIY vibes

Want more details about this and other DIY projects? Check out my blog post!


Have a question about this project?

Join the conversation

2 of 9 comments
  • Pamela - DIY vibes
    on Jan 16, 2020

    great idea! Love the memories, precious times.

  • Peggy
    on Jan 19, 2020

    You can now have photos taken of their favorite art pieces over the years and made into a memory book. Great for displaying,and a GREAT conversation piece. Could even be a gift to a significant other, or something to share with your future children and grandchildren. "PRICELESS" items when looking back down memory lane.😊

Your comment...