I wanted to show you my system of organizing my kids paperwork from school, including assignments, projects, school photos, art, awards, certificates, etc. I have been doing it for two years now and it is a very efficient system.
I started with four heavy duty plastic file folder boxes from Staples. I can't remember exactly how much they were, but I remember thinking they were a little pricey (remember I have to buy four)! But in the end I'm glad I used them. I labeled one for each child with their full name.
I keep them in the corner of my room because they won't fit in my closet and I haven't found a better spot for them yet.
In the white basket to the left is where everything goes before it's filed. I only file two times a year, usually right after Christmas and right after school ends. Only one of my children wants to save EVERYTHING (every.single.paper) The other three I sort for them. We keep everything in that basket until sorting and filing time. I also keep my label-er in there, with scissors, double-sided tape, big labels, file toppers, contact paper, and a sharpie and pen.
Inside each file box contains a file folder for each grade.
We keep school papers in here, like book reports, special drawings or art projects, holiday papers and projects, and anything that they are especially proud of. I like to include papers that showcase their handwriting so they can see how much they progress they made through the early years. I also save awards, certificates, and programs when they are in plays or musical performances.
On the front of each folder I use contact paper to put their school picture on the front and a handwritten label with the grade and year. Here we have already sorted what we wanted to keep. The rest we threw away.
I also have one of these for each child. This is a more personal account of they feel about school. I also include school pictures and copies of their report cards in here.
Each grade in the "School Year Chronicles" has a space for School Highlights, signs of the time, their yearly favorites, and places for general notes. I know one day they will look back on these and be so happy to see what their interests were and reflect on fond memories.
This may not work for everyone but it really helps me stay organized and when they go away to college or move out of the house, everything is all in one spot for them. :)