Friday, February 7, 2014

30 UHeart Organizing: Organizing School Records

Organizing schoolwork and memorabilia is 13+ years of a task.  However you decide to tackle all of the stacks of papers that get sent home with your child each day, getting a system going early is the key to consistency and sanity as your kiddo grows.

A Thoughtful Place blog has always been a favorite read of mine because Courtney is so sweetly sincere and always does such a lovely job sharing brilliant yet simplified ways of creating a thoughtful home and life.  I am honored to have her here today to share how she manages the papers that her children bring home from school each day.




If you have children, then you have paper. A lot of it. Whether it's homework, artwork, or school records, our sweet little ones generate of items for us to manage. I began their school careers thinking I could place it all in one box and move on. I was wrong. So with a little imagination and a great printable from Jen, I have finally tamed the ever growing pile of school papers and records.


I found these darling binders at my second home, Target. Just to be clear, this system is how I organize things such as: report cards, school photos, testing results, writing samples, and important assessments {vision/hearing, etc}. I have a different system for archiving all of that cute artwork they create.


As soon as I opened the binders and saw that they have polka dots I was sold. So two of these came home with me along with white dividers from Staples.


I busted out my label maker to create labels from Preschool - 8th Grade. Yes, I fully plan for my children to go to school beyond 8th grade but I think this binder will be good for up until the big time!



I must admit that I first started keeping their school records in these file folders. I didn't have the space for a large file box, so while this system was not working well for me, it was a pretty easy transition into the binder system. I was able to hole punch and transfer the papers straight into the binder. If there are items you do not want to hole punch, you can always use a clear sleeve or pocket.


Here is a breakdown of what I have behind each divider:
  • School Photo Printable {Thank you, Jen}
  • School Days Interview
  • Class Photo / Soccer Team Photo
  • Report Cards
  • Assessments from teacher conference
  • Writing Sample
  • Vision/Hearing Screening
  • Copies of health physicals needed by the school.
  • Any other important records that we should keep.


I also put my favorite gold bookplates to work on each binder. Anything to make organization pretty! These have adhesive on the back and stick so well. I always scoop mine up at Staples.


Each grade begins with the printable Jen created. I just adore it. There is a space for a school photo as well as naming the year, teacher, grade, etc. If there was a sport photo that year, I include that as well.


Following the photo page, I include an interview that we conduct with each child at the end of the year. My daughter couldn't wait to answer the questions. You can also have the kiddos write out the answers once they are writing, but I chose to interview them and write the answers myself.

{Click HERE to download and print the School Days Interview}


I keep the binders near my desk in my work space. I just like that they have a dedicated spot and I always know where they are. It's been really fun to sit down with the kiddos and see how they have grown. And bottom line, it's a huge sigh of relief to have all of those papers neatly organized and easily accessible. And when my son is 21 and making major life decisions, I can look back at his 1st grade report card and see what his teacher said about him. . . all glowing comments, of course!




"Do you believe in love at first sight? I sure do because when I first stumbled upon I Heart Organizing I immediately fell in love with Jen's mad organizational skills. I think we all long for a calm, organized, well styled life. I am the author of A Thoughtful Place blog where I dish on all things related to decorating, organizing, entertaining, and of course DIY-ing! To be quite honest, working on making my house a home is my happy place. It fulfills my need to be creative and I love sharing ideas {both big and small} with my readers. Along with my blog, I am a contributing writer to House of Fifty and have recently started my own decorating firm, Casey Grace Design, LLC,  with my talented sister.  I call Orange County, California home where I live with amazing husband and two children. At the end of a busy day, I love to enjoy an ice cold beer on the front porch with my hubby while we watch our children ride their bikes or run around. Life is sweet and I am thrilled to be a part of the IHeart Organizing Team."

"Do you believe in love at first sight? I sure do because when I first stumbled upon I Heart Organizing I immediately fell in love with Jen's mad organizational skills. I think we all long for a calm, organized, well styled life. I am the author of A Thoughtful Place blog where I dish on all things related to decorating, organizing, entertaining, and of course DIY-ing! To be quite honest, working on making my house a home is my happy place. It fulfills my need to be creative and I love sharing ideas {both big and small} with my readers. Along with my blog, I am a contributing writer to House of Fifty and have recently started my own decorating firm, Casey Grace Design, LLC,  with my talented sister.  I call Orange County, California home where I live with amazing husband and two children. At the end of a busy day, I love to enjoy an ice cold beer on the front porch with my hubby while we watch our children ride their bikes or run around. Life is sweet and I am thrilled to be a part of the IHeart Organizing Team."

30 comments:

  1. Fantastic idea Courtney!! One of the things on my to do list is to organize all the girls papers/artwork (yes, a little behind...they are 20 and 24).

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    1. Thanks, friend. My motto is always, "Better late than never!" Have a great weekend.

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  2. I love these. I currently keep the file boxes like you do with all the school memories. Such a great idea and really clears the school paper clutter!

    www.styleoyster.blogspot.com

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    1. Isn't it amazing how much accumulates so quickly. I was guilty of shoving it into a pile for much too long.

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  3. this is just too precious. i do not have kids yet, but reading all of the great ways to keep memories and important papers organized makes me excited for the day i can use these techniques with my little ones!

    rae from lovefromberlin

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    1. You're my kind of girl. Love that you are already imaging organization with the little ones. You are way ahead. It took me a while to get it together!

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  4. Great post! I love all the colorful printables! :)

    AJ | TheAJMinute | @TheAJMinute

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  5. This is what I was looking for. This is really helpful. I currently keep all my kids school records in a big box and I cannot wait to create a binder for each of them.

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    1. I'm glad it's an idea you can use, Ciaa. It really does make it super compact.

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  6. We have a large bin for each of our kids with dividers for each grade and activity, but I really like the idea of all the more important docs in something more accessible like a binder. And one with polka dots sure doesn't hurt :) Thanks for sharing!

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  7. So helpful post! I have to organize the school papers soon...very soon!

    ps: I live in Greece and I visited the States last summer and one of the thinks I bought was exactly the same binders:D

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  8. Papers are such a problem for us. They get stuffed in a drawer and no regard is given to the papers that are already there so eventually many of them get shoved into the back of the drawer until the drawer no longer opens! Eeek! It drives me nuts!

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  9. I really like this binder idea. You mentioned you do something different with their artwork--have you posted that system previously? I would like to hear more about that. I am debating between the binder or the box idea that Jen shares, so I am thinking some kind of a combo idea might be best for us.

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    1. Hi Kristi. . yes. . .what I do for the artwork/school work is different as there is SOOOO much of it. It has been working well for three years now and is actually very easy for us to follow through on. You can read more about it here http://www.athoughtfulplaceblog.com/2012/08/how-to-keep-organize-childrens-artwork.html

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  10. Great advice, Courtney. My oldest son is only in preschool, but I can already tell that the papers will pile up fast, so I think I'll create a binder for each boy now so that I'll be ready and can avoid the piles of papers {paper piles are my nemesis!}

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    1. Hi, Angela. You are so smart to start early. I think that it key in not letting in get out of control!

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  11. Love this system and the binders are divine... but I have to ask: will everything fit? What exactly do you keep. I don't have kids in school yet but I already have an entire box filled from preschool. Of course I'll eventually pare it down, but I just don't think a binder would do for 9 grades? Maybe I'm wrong.

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    1. Hi CJ. Thanks for the comment. Yes, there is no way it would all fit if you included the artwork/school work. That is a totally different system of using portfolios to keep their cute work. The complete list of what I keep in this is above but it's the report card, photo, interview, assessments from the teacher during conference time, any health physicals, etc. So for the first grade section, I only had about 9 pieces of paper. It is the vital records and papers we do not want to lose and could need at some point. Hope that helps.

      The system for keeping the art and work is here if you are interested. http://www.athoughtfulplaceblog.com/2012/08/how-to-keep-organize-childrens-artwork.html

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    2. perfect! Thanks so much! I was totally wondering how that would work!! :) I'll check that post out too!

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  12. This is a great idea. I have such an issue keeping up with all the information that comes home.

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  13. What a great way to organize Courtney and those binders are fun! Anything with polka dots or stripes is a must for me. We don't have kids but this gives me the inspiration I needed to organize another project I have in the works. I love that your interview your kids at the end of each school year. That will be so fun to look back on.

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  14. I don't have kids yet, but this is such a great idea to file away for the future. The thought of having all the school-related things in one dedicated spot is so appealing. Such a cute way to take care of it!

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  15. My mom purchased a book similar to the one created here when I was little. I still have it and love to pull it out every few years and look at my report cards and mementos from my school years. It's also fun to see my handwriting throughout the years! I love it!

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  16. I absolutely love this idea! Organizing it all into one place makes so much sense - paper clutter seems to be the problem with many households, so this definitely helps solve that problem! Adorable too! Love it!

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  17. Please share how you organize your kids' artwork- we have so much of that around our house!

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  18. Love these gorgeous binders!! You have my country and home town on the map behind the last pic of the blue binder!! Hugs and thanks for your wonderful posts from Cape Town, South Africa. xx

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  19. Such a great idea, it's important to keep everything in one spot so you know where to go when you need it. Those binders are awesome!

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  20. What a great idea- especially for those who want to preserve school memories but don't wish to scrapbook in the traditional sense.

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