Binder for Child's School Papers
Filing Systems Kids

Take Those School Papers and Stuff Them

Organize school papers easily for stress-free retrieval later

The last thing you want to tackle is how the endless school papers as you’re struggling to get through the school opening madness, the chaotic evening parent orientations and the looming school calendar. Read on to find out how to get rid of the clutter and organize school papers you truly need.

My son scatters the contents of his Take-Home folder on the dining table faster than a low-flying bird taking care of business over unsuspecting pedestrians.  

I need a moment to breathe.

Grudgingly, I make my way over to the source of my frustration (surprisingly, not my son) and take a nervous peek at all of it. 

Yes, they’re all still there. 

A few papers have fluttered to the floor.

I notice with some relief that some of the papers are old homework – an immediate rim shot into the paper recycling basket. 

Never look back, that’s my new declutter rule – one good look and it’s gone forever.

Still, other papers seem to glow with their sense of urgency and self-importance, like your child’s unique passwords and instructions to access school apps and websites. 

Isn’t it ironic that when schools go digital, they still need to send home paper instructions on how to use their snazzy new tools?  Should you lose those pages though, your To-Do list has a new annoying and tedious task of recovering that stuff.

Of course, let’s not forget, the ultra-important report cards that arrive quarterly, threatening the electronics privileges of many…..or result in a family trip to the local ice cream shop.  

A good grade is a treat for all, I say!

Then, you have the sentimental keepsakes like the time they did something in school that was totally in sync with the school’s PR goals and *FLASH* your child and his classmates are in the local newspaper! 

Or the awards they receive throughout the year that need a permanent home when summer rolls around.

Where, oh, where to put all these papers?!

Stuff those School Papers

I don’t have a photographic memory and that’s probably for the best – some of my more awkward photos from early days (a college snapshot of me on a hike in the woods with my ex-boyfriend and his new love interest and four other friends who all know the backstory) can remain blurry forever.

Find out more about me here.

I thought about scanning them but I doubt I’d find them quickly when I need them.  

Do they go with my old bills in my hanging folders? 

Shouldn’t I just leave them around my desk area, silently thanking the ones that are neon-colored?

Finally, I had an idea.

Why don’t we take all these pieces of paper, a mixture of pragmatic and keep-so-you-can-show-your-grandkids, and file them in a neat, sturdy binder?

Maybe like this one?

A Fabulous Binder Idea to Store All Your Child's School Papers

Ah, you see where I’m going with this.  Let’s take another look.

Organize school papers in a unique binder with DIY divider tags

It’s nothing fancy and definitely not my best work.

But this binder idea isn’t meant to be a work of art.  It’s the new home for all your kids’ school papers.

Like this plan? Then, here’s what you need to do:

Gather All Your Papers

This is the most important step so make it fun! Put on your headphones and play your favorite music while you scurry around your home, collecting all the heaps of papers you’ve stashed out of desperation.

Take your time and go through all of them, grouping by similar categories.

Here are some ideas for what sections you could set up to organize school papers:

ACADEMICS

  • Anything related to their progress at school (report cards).
  • Instructions for accessing school websites (including user names and passwords). You can easily purge these as your child advances.
  • Class rosters
  • A special note from a classmate or teacher; or perhaps a favorite story your child wrote
  • Here’s what I don’t save: homework, test results and school newsletters (unless my child is featured in one).

AWARDS

  • Certificates or letters of recognition (use acid-free sheet protectors)

ACTIVITIES

  • Flyers for the extracurricular activities or special clubs that they’re involved in (teacher’s contact information, dates they meet and so on).
  • Summer camp or winter break registration forms and receipts

BANK INFORMATION

  • I choose to file my child’s personal savings account statements here. It’s good for them to see how it fluctuates or grows as they get older.

Artwork and school portraits are a whole other category.  More on those in future posts.

Organize the New Home for School Papers

Reuse an old binder or buy yourself a pristine new binder. You’ll also need a 3-hole punch, divider inserts and divider tabs.

Feel free to get creative here.

My DIY dividers had been an idea casually tossed to me by my uber-creative friend, Andrea.

 She can take the remnants of last Christmas’s gift-wrapping frenzy and present you with an exquisite work of art that she crafted overnight … a one-of-a-kind spiral-bound photo album that you pull out to show off to friends and family.

Check out these cool ideas for DIY binder tabs.

You can also make a cover sheet for each of your kids’ binders or let them design it.

File Them Away Once and For All

Punch each lucky piece of paper, insert into the relevant sections of your binder and kiss chaos goodbye!

Maintenance

You know what’s the best thing about this binder? 

It’s versatile

If you like, you can keep these papers forever.  (Hoarders Anonymous meets every Thursday night, I’ll meet you there by the donut table.) 

When the binder fills up, start a new one.

Ultimately, you can hand it off to your child as they graduate high school.  Then, be prepared as they politely hand it back to you, crushing your enthusiasm as they politely say in that new grown-up tone, “No, mom, you keep it…it means more to you”. 

Smile.  Say nothing.  Payback is coming in the form of grand kids.

If you just need it for a year, toss the contents over the summertime and start fresh. 

Ahhhh! Like lying on the bed on top of warm, freshly laundered clothes you’re too tired to pack away.

Wait, that is a thing, right?

Anyway, you go out there and get a binder to organize school papers and have some fun with it. 

And finally, let me hear you cackle with delight as you tackle those dreaded backpack dumps with glee.

Take that, pigeon!

How to Store All Your Child's School Papers in Binders

How to Set Up a Student Binder

Prep Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes

Organize school papers and tell them where they can go!

Materials

  • 1 2-inch binder (one per child)
  • Binder dividers
  • Binder inserts
  • Binder cover sheet
  • Optional: acid-free sheet protectors for articles, photographs etc.

Tools

  • 3-hole paper punch

Instructions

  1. Search all your impromptu filing spots around the house and gather all the school papers you want to keep together.
  2. Sort your papers into various categories. The broader the categories, the easier it is to maintain, e.g. "Academics", "Awards" etc.
  3. Punch all papers and insert photos and clippings into sheet protectors (if applicable).
  4. Make your DIY tabs.
  5. Assemble the papers in between the dividers and file into binder.

Notes

Don't go crazy setting up a binder for each grade - one binder per child for a grade range (K-5, 6-8 or 9-12) should be fine.

23 thoughts on “Take Those School Papers and Stuff Them

  1. This is awesome and totally inspires me…and your site looks beautiful in general! Thanks for sharing…Now I’m going to organize my paper clutter which has been driving me nuts for weeks!

    1. Thank you for your awesome encouragement, Melissa! I’m slowly exploring the world of blogging. I even have a Blog binder. ?

  2. Love this idea! I’ve seen all sorts of binders set up for moms – household binder, menu binder, blogging binder, etc. One for a child/student is brilliant. Thanks for sharing last week at our Encouraging Hearts & Home Blog Hop!

    1. Yes, it’s an effective system that takes away the stress of looking back for one tiny but important bit of paper later in the school year.

  3. so helpful! Thanks for contributing to the To Grandma’s House We Go Link party this week! Be sure to follow us and we’d love to see you next week!

  4. Definitely a cute idea! I started scanning most of my kids cutest artwork. That way they don’t clutter up our (too small) home, and we still have a way to go back and enjoy them later. Thanks so much for sharing at the #happynowlinkup!

  5. Congratulations! Your post was my feature pick at #WonderfulWednesday this week. Visit me at https://www.marilynstreats.com on Tuesday evening and to see your feature and grab your badge! All hosts choose their own features from the comments left on their blog so be sure to return to my blog for your badge. I invite you to leave more links to be shared and commented upon. Please be sure to leave your link number or post title so we can be sure to visit!

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