Today I wanted to share with you a fun project to help you organize all the “stuff” that kids bring home from school. If you are anything like me, you might have a big cardboard box stuffed in a closet somewhere, filled to overflowing with your child’s art work, report cards, certificates, and other school papers. I struggled for a solution to this clutter for quite a while. I considered scanning everything and putting them into a digital album. I felt that not only would this be too time consuming, but a scanned version would not be as special as having the original items. I also considered making a full blown paper scrapbook out of the items, but I felt that this could quickly get too complicated and I probably would never keep up with it.

So I came up with what I thought was a good compromise, an easy way to store and display all of the school stuff. An equally easy way to keep up with adding to the album. I created a binder system using the “Off To School” kit.

I started by purchasing a 3 inch D ring binder. I measure the pocket openings on the front and the spine, digitally created covers to the exact dimensions, and had them printed at a local warehouse store. I measured a tiny school photo and made block areas on the cover to adhere the actual photos to as the years go on. My daughter is starting 5th grade this year so I obviously did not have a 5th grade photo of her yet to put on the cover. Plus you technically cannot reproduce the copyrighted images that are school photos, even if they are on a digital scrapbook page. Trust me, I got in a big ugly discussion with the manager at aforementioned warehouse store about this very topic. This discussion did not go in my favor.

After I had the actual binder completed, I made a giant mess in my living room sorting through three kids worth of school papers.

Then I started adding pages. For the individual and class photos, I simply adhered the photos to plain white cardstock and placed them in 8.5×11 page protectors.

I also put everything else that would fit into page protectors, such as report cards, certificates, importants tests, etc

I used a hole punch for anything that was too big to fit into a page protector.

Finally, I added a pocket folder for items that were too small for page protectors.

I was very pleased with the end result and feel that this is something that will be quick and easy to keep up with.

At just a month until all the kids go back to school, I challenge you to take on a project like this. Feel free to share your projects in the comments section or the forum.

PS, sorry about the little black boxes on the photos. You just can’t be too careful with personal info on the net. I hope they are not too distracting.