DIY School Memory Box

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Family Organization
DIY School Memory Box

Need a solution for all of your kids’ school papers? Let me help you create your own School Memory Box!

*Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links.

For those of us with children, of all ages, we are well aware that they are the biggest contributors to our paper clutter problems! They bring home backpacks full of drawings, worksheets, weekly newsletters, advertisements, and invitations – just to name a few.

Now we, their parents, are faced with the dilemma of what on earth to do with all of these pieces of paper! So many decisions. Keep? Trash? Give away? Laminate? Frame?

I’m going to walk you through the steps to creating a School Memory Box to store those papers that you deem worthy to keep, but before we get to that point, we must decide which of all these papers is worth keeping in our homes long term.

What Can We Trash or Recycle?

  • Anything that your child didn’t 100% make. I’m talking about those crafts made in the church nursery when our kids were 6 months old. These were made by a sweet nursery volunteer, not by our kids!

  • Coloring pages ripped from a coloring book. If we kept all of these, we’d have a pile stacked to the ceiling! There will always be more coloring pages to ooh and ahh at and then toss in the recycle bin or trash can.

  • Worksheets, Worksheets, Worksheets. Our kids do lots of worksheets at school to reinforce lessons or to practice writing sentences, math facts, or just handwriting. The majority of these have nothing written on them that makes them worth storing in your home for more than 2 minutes.

  • Newsletters, Fundraiser Papers, etc. Once the information in a newsletter sent from a teacher is no longer time relevant, it can be tossed. The same goes for any fundraiser paperwork, special interest night announcement papers, and more.

What Can We Keep?

  • Artwork that displays handprints and footprints. These help us to see how our kids have grown through the years.

  • Funny and sweet things our kids write. It’s always funny to see the memories our kids put to paper or the dreams of the future they have when they’re in Kindergarten. I love keeping those Mother’s Day fill-in-the-blanks where they think all I do is shop and that the best thing I cook is macaroni and cheese.

  • Memorable awards. I don’t keep every perfect attendance or honor roll award, but if my kid receives an award for some character trait (with a picture attached), I keep those. I also keep awards related to their favorite sport.

  • Frameworthy Artwork. Sometimes our kids bring home some really pretty artwork. If I would ever consider putting it in a frame and hanging it on the wall, I’ll hold onto it. Not every piece of art that comes home is frameworthy!

How To Create Your School Memory Box:

  1. Acquire the following supplies:
    • File Box with lid
    • 16 – 18 Hanging File Folders with tabs
    • Your child’s name cut in vinyl for front of the box
  1. Handwrite, print, or use a label maker to create the labeled tabs you want for your box. You can do baby, toddler, preschool, Pre-K, and Kindergarten through 12th grade. You could also be more specific with the preschool labels depending on whether or not your child attended a different class for each of those years.
  1. Sort out the papers you’ve been collecting by child, if you have multiple children.
  1. Decide what is worth keeping and what needs to be tossed, recycled, or given to a grandparent! (see above for my guidelines)
  1. Finally, place the papers, awards, pictures, etc. that you are keeping in the appropriately labeled file folder.

These boxes are going to seem quite large at first but, eventually, you may have room to add small trophies, medals, and any other small mementos they may collect. I keep imagining myself handing this box to my kids as they leave my home for good! They’ll be able to decide if they really want to keep this stuff and if they don’t they’ll have a file box to use to contain their junk at their own homes!

If you need a vinyl name for your kids’ boxes, let me know and I can hook you up for a very minimal fee, seriously. At times I will offer a DIY kit that includes the labels for the folders and the vinyl names. If that interests you, let me know and we can figure out a way to get those components in your hands!

Buy Your School Memory Box Supplies

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  • Karen Karen on Apr 28, 2021

    A great idea. I will use it when I start going through my boxes of things I stored away from my kids.