Thursday, September 12, 2013

Organizing Kid's Keepsakes

I've been asked many times over the years how I organize my kid's keepsakes, school papers and art work. I have a little system that works well for me.

When something comes into my house that I know I, or the kids, want to keep, I put it in one of two places.

If it is something that I know I want to include in their scrapbooks I put it immediately into a box-this box is easily accessible (right next to the kitchen), and on top of the armoire that holds my kids scrapbooks.


The box has six clear folders in it for each child.


When it is time to assemble my kid's scrapbooks for the year (I usually do this when I have a burst of energy at the end of the year), I get out each of their folders and decided what I am going to include in the book. (You can read about how I scrapbook here.)


If the keepsake, paper, artwork is too big-or not 'scrapbook-able', I have big plastic bins that I keep up in a closet in a bedroom.  This is where I throw the fancy art work, special t-shirts or clothes, baby keepsakes, special little toys or books, school journals or notebooks, trophies, medals, postcards-I think a few of the boys might have a cast or two in there-lots of special mementos.  I just bought really heavy duty bins for the attic since Abbey's and Isaac's and Matt's were full-I emptied out their closet bin and filled up their heavy duty attic bins.  

I am careful about what I choose to keep.  With older kids, they let me know what they want to put in their bins, but I try to keep in mind what they would love to see in 10, 20, 30 years.   



I also hang special art work on the walls:



(I love that I have a red superman cape hanging on my coat rack.)

I save special t-shirts in their bins over the years so that at high school graduation I can have a quilt like this made from Jane.  She also makes quilts from baby clothes.    Here is Isaac's-he chose which 12 shirts he wanted to include.  



20 comments :

  1. I love this post. I have a box for each of my kids too. I need to organize it all a little better, so this is inspiring. Maybe on a rainy day... :)

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  2. I love this post - you are so organised!! I really must store my memories (and the children's) better. This has brought the subject front of mind again - thank you.

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  3. Thank you!! I have needed ideas like this for a long time!! Now I guess I'd better get to work organizing!

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  4. Sarah, thanks so much for mentioning the blanket! I can't believe how much stuff my kids have. We periodically thin things out into giveaway or memory. We have large plastic bins in our attic where the kids can save special clothes and/or memory items. I was never organized enough to make scrapbooks. I saved all the photos and school-type memories in legal folders. I put the school year and their school photo on it. These are then saved in boxes. Most of these stay in their bedroom closets. The girls took the initiative to make scrapbooks periodically. I probably should have done it for the boys....but I didn't. Once they hit high school, the mementos are fewer and they take more control over what they save. But, boy, do they have a lot of t shirts. Joey has enough in his closet to come home from college and not have to pack! And that's after thinning down every time he starts school.

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  5. I have a similar system! I use a big " my art" folder( it has several inner pockets so I can separate per child plus it's big enough for the large pieces they sometimes do). Then everyone and the. When I feel a burst of energy I sit down and arrange it in their respective binders. I also have a plastic bin per child for the too big mementos. As you said, I try to think what they might want to see in 10, 20, 30 years, etc.
    Great idea fortheblanket!

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    1. P.S.: and I currently have a super hero cape hanging on a hook by our entry door too( never know when one of these might become handy).

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  6. Coming out of lurkdom to thank you for this post. The t-shirt blanket is wonderful.

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  7. I love those scrapbooks; I need to start something like that so I don't have 18 years worth to do at each graduation! :) I have a single bin where I put stuff for all 4 kids, but individual bins sound good--less sorting in the end!

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  8. What kind of binders do you use? I need to do something like this, foe now everything is just put in a big clear box.

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    1. Those scrapbooks are Pioneer Albums...they use to sell them at Michaels and Hobby Lobby but now they sell generic versions.

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  9. I love all of these ideas, especially the blanket made out of shirts/baby clothes! Love it!

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  10. I absolutely love your blog. Thanks for being so "real." Where do you get the frames for all of your children's artwork? I would love to do something like that, but can never seem to find the right frames.

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  11. I LOVE, Love, love when you post about how you do things! You give me inspiration and ideas! Thank you, Sarah!

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  13. This is very similar to what I do, too. I've also started taking photographs of projects I know won't keep well (or are too bulky or large to store) and then include them in the photo books I make but they would work great in scrapbooks, too. What I've struggled with in the past is what to do with all the pictures my girls draw for me all the time. Currently I put them on the fridge then occasionally clear it off keeping the most special ones in a box upstairs that includes special cards, notes from the kids and my husband, etc. These are for me:-). I can only imagine how much this box will make me cry one day!

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  14. The cape melted my heart.

    I can't wait until I have enough artwork for a whole wall...

    Thanks for sharing!

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  15. This is the post I needed!!! Love it.
    Going out to get the folders tomorrow.
    Genius, I tell you! You are the best.
    Thanks Sarah!

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  16. I really appreciate your tips. Thanks for posting, if only I could be as organized with you.

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