How to Stop the Paper Trail – School Papers

We’ve been working through a series on letting go of paper clutter and this week’s topic is school papers.  They’re sentimental, sweet, and if you let them, they’ll take over your house.  My kids bring home piles of papers  I love going through them with them and talking about their days, what they learned, and what the paper is all about.  But….we don’t keep them.  I use two ‘systems’ for school papers and the system has been working really well for us, so I thought I’d share.
I keep papers that need to be returned to school, calendars, permission slips, etc. on their own clipboards in our office.
Then, the super cute, super special papers go in a file box for the school years.  The kids help me decide what is special enough to keep and what can be recycled.  I have these 3 free printables if you’d like to make them for your family’s school memory box post, follow the link below the picture.
Here’s my/our criteria – precious artwork (I am an art teacher, so the drawings and paintings tend to rank a little higher), a stellar test, adorable story, or something really special that can’t be made again.
Here are a couple more great ideas for school paper storage….
This is my all-time favorite idea for art work – scan the images, shrink them down, and put all special artwork from a school year on one picture.  Have professional prints made and put in a frame and under glass.
(I cannot find the original source, so if you know of it, let me know!)

I love the look of this, an upgrade from the clipboard and a great idea!

This is so great – a cubby for every family member – school papers could easily be in here waiting to be signed or filed.
This isn’t for school papers, but what a great idea to keep all those oh-so-important baby papers!So what’s your school paper solution or system?  Any great tips to share?

The big ‘Get Organized’ Sale in my Etsy shop ends tonight at 10cst – if you haven’t grabbed your printables at 30% off, today’s the last sale day….
I’ll be back later today with a great giveaway – hint – if you like Washi tape, you’ll LOVE the giveaway!
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Click here to see all the posts in this series.


  1. We have a file box with a set of hanging file folders for each child we have 1 file per/two months. I fill the folders with schoolwork that comes home. At the end of the year we go through a choose a little from each part of the year and put it in a plastic tote. This helps us decide what is important and what isn’t. I have 1 different colored hanging file in the very from of the file box where papers live that are active, ex. Calendars, Lunch Menu, etc. We also have a homework folder in there, my son is given a homework packet at the beginning of the month to be handed in by the end of the month. This helps us keep the paper flow down!

  2. Katrina D says:

    I take a photo of my child with her better pieces of art work, and the photos will go into a hard cover book photo book, along with other photos from our year. We have one folder, which holds a monthly calendar of events, that gets tossed every month….I read then toss unneeded paper every chance I get. There is an amazing amount of paper brought home most every day.

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