Kids create a lot of paper during their childhood.
They create a lot of other stuff too, but that’s for another post.
Today, I’m sharing how I have handled ALL of the paper, artwork, mementos, and miscellany over the last 14+ years that I’ve been a mother.
For starters, both of our girls are sentimental. They like to hear stories, especially of their birth through toddler years. They love to look at pictures and videos from before they can remember. Therefore, I have not embraced the “scan everything and store in my computer so I can throw away all of the paper” lifestyle.
In early motherhood, I probably kept too much, but I quickly learned that it’s just insane to do so. As the years went on, I became very adept at keeping and storing their prized possessions.
This might sound like a lot, but trust me, it’s not overwhelming; everything is organized and stored out of sight.
Each daughter has a Tiffany box, a flat plastic tub, and file folders.
The Tiffany & Co. Box:
It sounds rather pretentious to tell you that my daughters’ mementos are stored in Tiffany boxes, but they are very sturdy, a pretty color, and they were FREE.
We received a few wedding gifts from Tiffany’s when we got married. And no, I did not register at Tiffany’s, but a few guests gifted us with elaborate goodies from that store. Of course, everyone knows about the Tiffany “blue” box, but I didn’t know until I received a gift that everything comes in a blue box, even home items, such as vases and water pitchers, two items we received.
I wasn’t about to throw those pretty blue boxes away, so I kept them. They sat in a closet for 5 years until I had my first daughter. I needed a place to store all of her baby mementos, such as cards, notes, and even a newspaper from the day she was born. It worked out brilliantly and thankfully, I had a second unused Tiffany box to use for my second daughter…because what one does for one child, one must do for the second child. My girls remind me of this daily!
If you have a Tiffany box, great, but it is NOT necessary or even realistic. You can use any type of box that can easily be stored, such as under beds or on the top closet shelf, where my girls’ boxes are stored.
Flat Plastic Tubs:
In the early years of preschool, all the kids’ artwork was adorable and I wanted to keep every single piece of it. Everything they brought home started on the refrigerator. A fridge full of artwork never bothered me and the girls liked their artwork being on display.
As new artwork came in, we would remove the old artwork. I would let them keep a few pieces and toss the rest.
Each daughter had their own flat plastic container where we would store the saved artwork. My girls are now both in middle school and the artwork that they bring home is few and far between now, which is good from a storage perspective. They each have only one very full container and they occasionally like to take a trip down memory lane and go through their masterpieces.
These flat tubs can be easily stored under beds or in closets.
As the girls got older, we received more and more papers, so I created files for each school year for each daughter. This works really well to store papers, such as certificates, awards, ribbons, medical info, report cards, ticket stubs, extra school pictures, well-written essays, and other paper mementos.
Every once in a while, my girls get nostalgic and ask to sort through their boxes and files. It’s fun to see how much they’ve grown in their handwriting, drawing, and creative writing. Also, if either of them wants to become a teacher someday, they have a pile of ideas.
Photos are another story. Both girls have a couple of baby albums, because they were both born when we still regularly printed photos, but I can’t tell you the last time I printed a photo. We keep photos stored on our phones, computer, and the cloud. Any paper photos that we receive are stored in their file folders.
When it comes time for my daughters to permanently leave the nest, I will hand them their Tiffany box, their plastic container, and their file folders. At that point, they can decide what they want to hold onto, but hopefully, they will look back fondly on the memories.
How do you store your kid’s papers? Let us know in the comments.