Storing Schoolwork Memories


How have you chosen to store the school work of your children especially if you have quite a few children?

My inner minimalist sees the salad of construction paper in a rubbermaid tub of my childhood schoolwork my mother just dumped in my garage and is like yeah, I don’t even want to look through that.

On this end of history I don’t care, so figure my grown children might not either. Still, it feels heartless to trash their work straight away. I have a pile of kindergarten papers from my oldest just sitting there. I need a system that doesn’t take up much space and can easily be managed no-matter how many kids we have. I don’t plan to keep it all, just things that are cute/funny/creative.

I COULD do a bunch of poking around on Pinterest, but y’all came through with such good advice on the last parenting thing I asked about. Also Pinterest has been known to let me down.

Scenario that repeats in so many iterations:
Husband: Why are you pouring Listerine on your feet? Nevermind you probably saw it on pinterest.
He walks away shaking his head and I shout down the hall…“It’s going to make them so smooth, you’ll see!” It never does.


In the book Minimalism by Josh Fields, he talked about how he had to clear out his deceased mom’s things, and she just piled up so much that he had to sort through and figure out what to do with it all.

He through out a lot that he knew could be tossed, even things that may have had some sentimental value – it would have become burdensome to keep it all and it wasn’t an even trade.

With the things that he knew couldn’t just be tossed out and forgotten because it was too important, he took photographs of them. I think he had a few things framed and the rest in a photo album he put together.

It might not be a bad idea (just an idea) to do a kid’s memory scrapbook. Some of those things might be bigger and taking up space. But you can snap pics and paste them to a scrap book. Maybe later on when they grow older and get married, you can give those scrapbooks to them as a gift that they can one day share with their kids.


That is a great idea, especially because it handles the issue of large or unusually shaped things.


I also take photos of things that make me go “awwww”. And then I throw away the original before I can change my mind, or else I’d be up to my ears in odds-and-ends! :slight_smile: Because my kids are always making things that make me go “awwww!” :slight_smile:


There is a tendency to think every paper our kids bring home is worth saving. No true.

My children are all over 21 now. Several years ago, I brutally went through the stacks of papers in boxes. My rule for saving was it had to be original art or words. No colored dittoes, no macaroni glued on paper plates, no teacher cut out the parts and kids glued down stuff. I was able to purge a lot that way. Whittled it all down to a box each. Small enough to punch holes for a 4" binder, and that’s it. They will each get their own binder of art and writing someday. ( My kids used to draw pictures and write stories to go with them.) When I am ready to part with them. :slight_smile:


Well I’m a student but I’ll tell you what my parents do. My mom saved my best works in a big folder up to 6th grade. It was assorted by grade too, like a folder for first, one for second, one for third and so on. They even have a picture I drew (a Japanese style tree painting which doesn’t look too shabby) hung on their bedroom wall.


When I was in grade 2, I was eight years old and we were asked if we would like to donate our artwork to the school. I think that was a good idea.


I do a combination of all of the above. As papers come in, I trash a lot of them. I don’t do it in front of the kids normally but they know I do it and I explained why. Special things are set aside for a binder or I take pictures. Mr. Snail made from clay gets played with until he breaks - then trashed. Every once in a while I go through the special papers I’ve saved with fresh eyes and clear even.

I do have a couple pieces that we’re going to try to frame and hang up. Simple but they turned out beautifully.


When cleaning out the in-laws’ house, my brother and sister-in-law found, not tons and tons, but a small folder of schoolwork art projects, papers, a letter or two written by my husband as a young boy. I never saw this stuff before. It’s 50 years old. My husband just died. It’s nice to have it.

It was about a folder-sized pile, nowhere near “a tub”.


Good point. It is probably most fun for people who didnt know them as kids.

I got to see some of my husband’s kindergarten stories about snakes chasing a girl up a mountain, but at the top of the mountain is Jason Voorhees. I laughed so hard.

Why deny any possible future inlaws such a laugh? My kids haven’t been raised on slasher films like their dad was. I’m sure thats for the best :laughing:


I purged my own work in this manner when I was about 23. My only regret is that my town hadn’t started collecting ordinary paper for recycling yet!


Our basement is stuffed to the ceiling with boxes of old school assignments and children’s clothing. Even a colored dish cloth, so I found out the hard way, might have some sentimental value.


It’s a time thing. Periodically going through things will have you see things with a different eye. You may even ask why you ever saved some things. :flushed:

My kids wanted to keep everything. Later, they let go of things. When faced with having to take it to their own home, I am sure they will purge more things. :wink:


My kids aren’t school age yet, but for artwork, I tend to photograph their “best work”. I suspect I’ll keep a binder or a box for really special things they make, especially if they were given to me as gifts.


I saved my first math and reading books. Also some paintings and written assignments that show how I developed during the years and remember doing. We were writing stories in year 5 or 6 and I wrote down the week long bedtime story granddad told me and my brother that summer. My teacher made me read it in front of the whole class and all of our parents. Thinking about editing it and having it printed so that I can give it to my 3-year-old niece as a present in a year or so. Granddad had a great sense of humour and must have read all of the books in the local library.


You are such a thoughtful mom! Your kids have different temperaments for sure, so one would care for nothing while another will cry over every little scrap saved!

I agree that spouses and grandkids will enjoy as well, but be reasonable. Children bring home (I think) thousands of things! Plus there are school photos, trophies, dance photos, ribbons, etc.

A small box + a picture album/folder each would be great I would say. I saved a lot for my kids and really, they looked through it once every 1-2 years maybe? I even wrote in all their baby books. I think you can really just read your own baby book so often! I wish I didn’t try so hard it was a lot of work. Toss some in boxes they’ll be happy!


I did both of my kid’s “baby books” on Shutterfly, where I was able to design them myself, rather than the fill-in-the-blank variety. I used a sort of story format, where I took my favorite photos of their first year and told stories about things they did or said. Being a musician, I included lyrics of the songs I sang to them. It was more like a “baby journal” and I really enjoyed making them. They didn’t really seem like that much work. We’ve actually looked at them several times already. The cool thing with Shutterfly is that I can make a second copy so we can both have one. I don’t know if they will appreciate it or not when they get older, but I like them myself, so I don’t really care!


Take a picture of the child(ren) with the artwork. Done over many years, It could be an impressive photo album (or video slide show on a flash drive).


This topic was automatically closed 30 days after the last reply. New replies are no longer allowed.

DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in these forums do not necessarily reflect those of Catholic Answers. For official apologetics resources please visit