Organized School Memories Box: Gallamore West

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Hello to all of you Here Comes the Sun readers!  My name is Laurie and I blog about cute crafts, sweet treats, and real life as a Mama of four boys at Gallamore West.  
I’m all about creating family traditions and making memories that my boys will hopefully carry in their hearts, and carry out with their own future families.   Since we’re a busy family of little ones and trying to save for four sets of braces and college educations, most of my projects are simple and affordable, and if I can find something that helps me keep this house full of cute little monkeys organized, I’m on it.  And that’s exactly what this Organized School Memories Box is-  organized, simple and affordable!

I like to think I’m fairly good at getting rid of clutter in general.  I keep a garage sale pile organized in my basement, and I routinely donate items, purge junk, rotate boys clothes, etc.  But for the 1st couple years of our oldest son being in Preschool and Kindergarten, I just couldn’t seem to keep on top of all of those adorable little papers and art projects that were coming home from school.  I really wanted to be able to save just the really, really cute stuff {I finally stopped trying to hide that fact that I DO have to throw away a lot of the regular papers}.  But I needed a way to organize it all.  So, last year I went to Staples before the school year began and bought 3 clear tubs with grooves for hanging files- because even though our youngest was years away from starting Preschool I figured I would just get it organized for all of the boys at once {and right after that we got pregnant with Bryce… so I still need one more!}

I typed up labels for Preschool, Kindergarten, 1st Grade… all the way to 12th Grade, attached the labels to letter size file folders, and hung them in hanging file folders.  At the front of each grade level folder I keep their report cards, class pictures, and awards.  Then I just add in all of those adorable-can’t-possibly-throw-this-away projects that they create throughout the year. 

I think of the file as “A Year in the Life of…” so I also include any special awards or things that the boys do outside of school {karate certifications, stories that our oldest types and illustrates himself, special birthday cards received, get well letters from when our oldest son had his tonsils removed during 1st grade, etc}.

And have you seen that fabulous idea of having each teacher sign the same copy of Dr. Seuss’s “Oh, The Places You’ll Go!” book for your child and surprise them with it at their high school graduation?  I absolutely loved that idea when I saw it featured on Tip Junkie, so I bought 3 copies of the book {yep, I need to buy a 4th one now!} and I keep it stored in the front of each boy’s box.  It’s a great way to keep track of that important book from year to year!
One more important thing I keep only in our oldest son’s box, right in the very front before the first file, is this adorable set of Lauren McKinsey prints that the boys hold up for a picture on the 1st day of school each year.  Again, this school box is a wonderful place to store them because I can use them again year after year for each of the boys {and since they’re always in different grades I only need the one set}, without having to scramble around for them, or search online and re-print them each year.  With four little guys to constantly chase around, little things like this are sanity-savers for me!
 {1st day of school last year… a hot, humid morning!}

Right now it seems like Preschool-12th Grade can’t possibly fit all in this one box since Preschool -1st Grade take up so much space, but as they get older, sadly the number of cute projects they bring home will dwindle so I think it actually will all fit.  And what a treasure this will be when they are grown adults and will someday {hopefully} appreciate seeing their works of glittery art, their wobbly handwriting, and their precious memories stored for them.  I know I would absolutely love to have a box of memories like this from my childhood to look back on.  {Don’t get me wrong- my own Mama did a fabulous job and I have lots of childhood memories stored, just not in one central place like this.}  If anything, I think their wives and kids will enjoy it, right? 

Oh, and one more thing… I thought that I would be so organized that I would open each box and add the projects continually throughout the year.  But I found that it’s actually better to add the projects just a couple of times a year because sometimes a project seemed soooo cute at the time, but later I realized that it was actually something that we didn’t need to hold onto.  Since I keep these files in the closet in our rarely used guest room closet, it’s convenient for me to just make a neat pile on top of the files, then spend a little time at Christmas break {or sometime partway through the school year} to file the projects.  I did it again at the end of the school year too. 

{the pile building up during the last few months of school before I added these to the files}

I absolutely LOVE our Organized School Memories Box, and I hope you find it helpful too!  
I’m  grateful to Kelly here at Here Comes the Sun for putting together such a fun Back to School Series, and I’m super glad to be a part of it.  I’d love to have you come visit and follow me if you’d like!  You can find me on my blog, on Facebook, Pinterest, Instagram, and Twitter.  I hope all of your little ones have a great school year, and that you do too! xoxo, Laurie 🙂

One Comment

  1. Laurie- you are simply too smart- You must have been a teacher before! 😉 This is great, I need to do this!!

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