How to Organize Kids Papers & More Organizing and Productivity Tips

Good Monday morning friends!  How was your weekend?  We spent Saturday and Sunday in the country with my friends and it was such a welcome retreat!  Just the last hurrah we needed to be ready to really start the new year today!  I was in such a foggy first new year week of not knowing whether to sleep in and relax or set my alarm and get going.

But, I’m one of those people that can only laze around for so long before I get ansty and want to get up and get productive.  Well friends, today is that day! I’m sharing how I got the kids’ paperwork under control AND recapping my most popular productivity and organizing tips.  The good thing about those is that they’re especially relevant this time of year when you still have good intentions to get your shizz together!


If you have kids then you know the paperwork situation can make you nuts!  Especially once they start preschool and begin bringing home loads of art projects everyday, the paper can get out of control fast.  Then there’s things like mementos, school records, certificates, medical/dental records, sports things, photos, birthday cards, and on and on.

Years ago, I created a filing system for James, but he’s outgrown it, and now that Jordan is almost three and will be starting preschool in the Fall, I wanted to get on top of things.  For my first organizing project of the new year, I tackled the four bins of papers that had been stored in my office closet for years.  Each one of them taunted me every time I opened the closet door!

How to Organize Kids Paperwork

Storage Bin


Start by getting all the papers and things you want to keep and put them in one place.  You might have to go to different rooms, drawers, closets to gather everything, but get it all so that you know what you’re dealing with.  I have to admit, our paper situation looked much worse than the photo below when I got started, I just didn’t get a picture!  I had 4 bins full of papers to deal with!

How to Organize Kids Paperwork


You’ll have to go through every single thing and sort it into piles.  I think it’s easiest to sort into big general categories first, and then break it into smaller groups.

For example:

  • Art
  • School (report cards, certificates, tests, homework, teacher notes)
  • Photos (school photos, sports)
  • Medical records
  • Dental records
  • Birthdays (cards, invites, photos)
  • Mementos (hair clippings, first tooth, etc.)
  • Birth (documents, notes, bracelets,
  • Religious (baptism/communion, etc.)

How to Organize Kids Paperwork


For me, it made sense to organize our things in the follow way:

  • Baby Notes
    • notes I kept during delivery and while we were in the hospital
    • documents pertaining to birth
    • photos
  • Baby Shower
    • invitations
    • photos
    • cards
  • Birthdays
    • invitations
    • photos
    • cards
  • School by grade
    • kids work
    • report cards
    • individual photo
    • class photo
    • sports photo
  • Medical
  • Dental


I found a 4-pack of linen covered storage bins to store all these papers.  I’m hoping that two for each child from birth to age 18 should be sufficient.The bins are nice and sturdy, with a bottom board to keep the box more stable.  It’s also collapsable when not in use.  For example, we’re only using two of the four bins now, but I’m thinking the kids will grow into two bins as they get older.

How to Organize Kids Paperwork (6)


I used my old labeler to label each folder and I must say I got a little emotional labeling all the way to senior year! I found pink labels for Jordan’s pink folders.

How to Organize Kids Paperwork



My favorite part! Getting the loads of paper off your floor and into the file folders where you can clearly see them labeled!

How to Organize Kids Paperwork (5)


1. Have a system for papers that come home

With our son, we regularly empty his backpack folder and together review the work he’s done at school.  This helps me know what’s going on, but also gives us a chance to connect and talk about what he’s doing, how he’s doing, he can show off or tell me what he didn’t like, etc.

Then, I’ll ask him, “do you want to keep or toss this?”  I know my child is on the sensitive side and if I throw something out that he wanted to keep, he’ll be very upset.  But, he’s also learned that we can’t keep everything, so he’s pretty good about tossing the unimportant stuff.

For the time being, we put the “keep” things in a dedicated kitchen drawer until I get the time to move them into his bin.

Some things, like certificates or report cards or special art, we’ll hang on the fridge for everyone to see.

2.  Don’t feel like you have to keep everything

When your precious little babe starts brining home their darling scribbles, it will be tempting to feel like you need to keep every.single.thing.  It’s personal preference of course, but I don’t feel like I need to keep everything.  It would be miles and miles long to keep everything they did.

That’s why I like to display art and reports on the fridge door for awhile so that we all get lots of time to see it front and center, before pulling it down.

3.  Use an app to preserve memories

There are apps you can use where you take a photo of your kids art or whatever you want so save, then upload it to an app that will create a little book for you!  I really think this is genius, but I haven’t actually done it.  I went as far as to download an app and take the photos, but I never made the book!

Preserve & Organize Kids’ Art

4. Regularly deal with the papers

Pick a time that works for you, maybe every other week, once a week/month or whatever, to organize the papers.  If you let them sit for months on end, you’ll end up with an overwhelming pile and the task will feel more daunting.


Being productive and organize is in my nature and I hope I can help you get more organized too.  Check out these popular posts if you want some organizing inspiration for the new year!

How to Plan Your Entire Year in Advance


How to Plan Your Day

FREE Printable - How to Plan Your Day for Maximum Efficiency #planning #planner #planyourday

How to Plan Your Week

how to plan your week free planner

Sunday Night Planning for a Productive Week 

My Miracle Morning

Zella high waist moto leggings and sports bra

Playroom Toy Storage

Here’s to our best year yet!  If you want to see more productivity/organization posts in 2019, please let me know.  I always value hearing from you! 

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Meet Megan

Hi! I’m Megan, mom to a thoughtful teenager and spunky young girl. We call Houston home and recently moved into our dream home. I traded my lawyer hat to become a full-time blogger in 2010. I love sharing my passion for affordable fashion, home decor, organization, & fitness to help inspire you to take care of you!


  1. I love this post, especially for kids papers! Mine is 5 but I have saved pretty much everything and it’s not organized at all. I’m still behind on writing in his baby book by 3 years 😐

    Thank you!

    1. It’s hard to let things go! I hope I gave you a glimmer of hope for a start! But if you really want to keep for instance, all the art, I’d put that in one bin and try to separate by age, then use another bin for other things. Those apps are good for keeping memories of the art, but not keeping the actual art pages. I try to just keep the “special” ones. Thanks for taking the time to comment, you got this!

  2. Thank you for the organization tips, I’m in that mode as well. I can’t wait for your ebook, I will be looking forward to it. My girls are 16 and 18 so this year is a little sad for me but in a good way I guess. I’m going through many “last”with her being a senior. What I did with the artwork over the years is that I did save the “best” ones but still after that many years the best becomes too many. I actually took pictures and only saved about 10-20 to give to them one day.

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