I received this question on Facebook this week. You’ll find my response to her below. However, I told her there is a wealth of information from the thousands of moms (and some dads!) who hang out here in the blog world.  What suggestions would you have for Karen?
Hi Jill,
I was wondering if you might be able to make a suggestion to help me. I am a stay at home mom of four great kids, ages 8, 10, 13 & 15. I have accumulated a ton of school papers, artwork, etc over the years, as well as my children’s school pictures, and am wondering what to do with them all. I was wondering what YOU do with your children’s items that you have chosen to keep. I am so overwhelmed and could use a suggestion or two. I don’t know if I should compile an individual scrapbook for each of the kids with all their items inside, or put everything chronographically. I am lost…please help!

Thanks so very much!


Dear Karen,
This is an issue I think EVERY mom deals with! 
I’ve kept ONE medium sized Rubbermaid container for each child. I let the kids keep one or two items from each year of school in their “Keepsake box.” This becomes their box that they take with them into adulthood and they can decide to do with it what they want. (Right now my three older married kids Keepsake Boxes are in our attic because they all live in small apartments and don’t have a place to keep them. But when they get their own house, they will get their keepsake box.)

For the most part, I have tossed all school papers, unless there’s a really special project that they’ve work on very hard…then that goes in their Keepsake box.

I know some moms who take pictures of their kid’s special craft projects and then discard them. Others send some artwork to grandma and grandpa if they live far away.

For pictures…oh my goodness, I’m just about where you are. It is overwhelming. As far as school pictures go, I am working to make a small chronological school picture scrapbook for each of them so we can see their growth and change through the years. I know you can also buy a mat that goes in a 16×20 frame that allows you to put all of their school pictures into one frame on the wall.

Here’s the key Karen, though. I can tell you that I’m throwing away alot of stuff! I’m keeping small memories from over the years and carrying a lighter load these days.

Simplifying is freeing!


Now here’s your opportunity to help Karen and every other mom out there. What are YOU doing with all of the school papers and artwork coming into your home?

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