Ending the School Work Clutter| My Solution {SMB ARCHIVE POST}


We’ve been back at school for a month now… and if your’s anything like me, the school work is starting to pile up! So we’re bringing back a great post from the SMB Archives to help you conquer the clutter! Enjoy! 

I have a love/hate relationship with all of the crafts, paintings, and work sheets that my children come home from school with on an almost daily basis. I want to keep everything to remember this time in their lives but, at the same time, I want to keep nothing.Year after year, piles of paper accumulate in my office, on the counter, and stuffed in drawers. Every new school year, I try a different system like separate binders, folders, or boxes to keep it all in, but with three kids and lots of papers, nothing seemed to work just right.


In my search for a solution, I found an idea on Pinterest (of course, because what did we all do before Pinterest?). The great idea is to use poster board, folded in half and taped on the sides, to make large folders. Brilliant! This is a super easy way to store and collect my children’s work.


I took the idea one step further. Each of my children has a different favorite color, so I used different colored duct tape (found at Michael’s or any hardware store) for each child’s folder to bind the sides together.


I also made one for each year my children have been in school. So that is about nine total. I only keep out the current year. They are so thin that I store the current year right behind a bookcase in my office. As I go through each child’s back pack, I can just slip any art work or papers that I think are worth keeping into the color-coded folder to store. And once this school year is over, I will file these folders away with the others and make three new folders.


I can’t tell you how happy I am with this system. I now feel like I am doing my part in keeping these great projects over the years without getting overwhelmed with all the stuff. The girls love to look through their past years’ art and school projects and I don’t feel like it is cluttered EVERYWHERE.

Side note: My kids also do at least one poster board-size project each year, for Star of The Week or other presentation projects. For us, these are posters filled with their favorite pictures and other interests at that time. I have kept all of these over the years. And they are fun to look at as the kids change and grow. At Lakeshore Learning, you can get these poster board-sized projects laminated. This is a great way to preserve them so they last forever.


  1. This is so great! Thank you for sharing this idea. We’re only daycare age and I already have been searching for a solution for artwork and other items. I really like this!

  2. Angie…we have been making these same kind of “portfolios” for years in Preschool. The biggest difference is that now you have a variety of colors and prints that can be used. We only had the silver tape but it the concept was the same. Good for you that you can keep and store the girl’s art projects…many parents don’t.


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