This week on our 52 Weeks to Organized video challenge, we gave you some great tips about organizing all of the papers that your kids bring home from school. So let’s talk about some of the products (digital and physical products) you can use to store these papers along with the artwork and memorabilia.
My Keepsake Portfolio from Lakeshore Learning Center. This portfolio is great for keeping bigger artwork that is too large to store in a scrapbook or folder – just slide the whole thing under the bed or in the back of the closet. It has tabbed sections for each year, so you can use it for several years and stay quite organized. It also normally goes on sale during the summer so you can buy one just before school starts and be ready to go.
Easy Change Artwork Frames from LTD Commodities. Hang these “shadow boxes” up on the wall and easily place a new artwork in them each week by just opening the front of the frame. I love that you don’t have to take it down from the wall and take the back off like a regular picture frame. It’s so much easier. Plus, it holds up to 50 pieces of paper, so it’s a great place to keep all of your kids’ best work for the entire year.
Masterpiece Canvas Clip from Zulily. While this wonderful display piece for artwork that Olinda uses isn’t available online right now, you can easily create your own. Just get a canvas from Michaels or Hobby Lobby, either paint or glue on the letters of your title (“My Masterpiece” or put your child’s name), and hot glue a binder clip towards the top. It’s a great way to personalize your child’s artwork and show them how proud you are of them.
KUSINER Wall Pockets from IKEA. Give your children a place of their own to store papers that need action (a permission slip that needs to be signed, homework that needs to be done, a calendar they need to give to you). It’s inexpensive, cute, can be hung on the wall at their level, and can be used for other things as well – holding gloves or hats, extra school supplies, or even small shoes. Just teach your children to come home and remove everything from their backpack and put it all in the pockets. That way you can easily see if there is a paper that needs to be addressed.
Shutterfly Share Sites and Photo Books. Taking pictures of your children’s artwork and then uploading them to a digital photo storage site can be one of the easiest ways to share with grandparents and other family members. You can take pictures of the best stuff, make a book online, and then have it created and mailed as a gift to whomever you like. Or you can create a share site and add the artwork, regular photos of your family, a family calendar, or even journals about your life. Then you add only the people you want to share it with and they receive an email when you put new content on the site. It’s more private than Facebook and a wonderful resource to look back upon when everyone is older.
Graham and Brown Frames Wallpaper. I’ve seen this amazing wallpaper in a magazine and can’t wait to try it out in my home. You can cover all the walls of a room or create just an accent wall with it. Then pin up any artwork you like inside the “frame” on the wallpaper. Instant museum – brilliant!
Old School Approach – Don’t forget the basic approach we talked about in the video. Get a basket or box (pretty or just plain cardboard) and keep everything (any school papers or artwork that doesn’t need action taken with them) all year long right in there. Then either halfway through the year, or at the end of the school year, sort through it, picking out the best stuff. Store what you want to keep in envelopes or folders labeled for the year and put each year’s items into a big air tight bin, to be stored in the child’s closet, in a guest room, or extra storage space that is heated and air conditioned. Make sure the lid is tight fitting so no dust/dirt gets inside and all storage boxes are of archival quality, meaning that that papers and other memorabilia are safely preserved, possibly wrapped in acid-free paper or boxes if necessary.
If you need any more ideas for busy moms (and who isn't busy these days), pop on over to our Pinterest Board "Help For Busy Moms" or one of our other boards that have ideas for specific rooms in your home. Happy pinning!