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Guide to Kid's Keepsakes

Updated: Feb 6

Kids and papers. The two go hand in hand. From school worksheets, art projects, to the plethora of report cards, awards, and memorabilia, it’s easy to feel like we are drowning in the paper clutter of our children.

I’m not going to beat around the bush. Chances are, in the long run, your children will appreciate if you keep a "less is more" philosophy when it comes to their prized creations. Personally, I follow a "when in doubt, throw it out" mentality, but I am probably a bit more iron fisted in the matter than most!

Some Background ...

When I was just 16 my mom passed away and I inherited a TON of paper. All my school work, my sisters' school work, my mom's school work, and a lot of my Grandma's school work. I can’t even recall how many boxes and boxes of papers I had to sort through over the years. Deciding what to keep and toss was gut wrenching. My feeling was that my mom had obviously kept these things because she thought they were important. I didn’t find hundreds of my toddler scribbles a necessity, but throwing them away caused me so much guilt because I felt as if I was denying my mom the things she had deemed valuable.

What I learned from these years of sorting was that I would never want my children to be in the same position I was in. I would never want them to inherit the burden of guilt I did. I decided from the beginning that I would curate their creations into a system that cherished each and every milestone without sacrificing storage or my sanity.

What to do?

Each of my kids have a keepsake filing box. I use basic plastic filing bins you can buy from Amazon with these hanging files. Throughout the year I file away things that might be worth saving and at the end of the school year I include the kids in determining what to keep and what to toss. What we are left with is about 20-30 examples of their accomplishments throughout the year in a neatly organized bin that I can one day pass down to them.

For larger keepsake items like special toys, larger art projects, or clothes, they each have one storage tub and that is it. I can’t tell you how many boxes of clothes my mom saved from my baby and toddler days, but it was sad throwing away so many things that had been destroyed by time, mildew, and poor storage. I would rather my kids inherit a handful of quality items that they can pass down to their children one day rather than a storage unit full of toys and clothes that require hours of sorting through. Quality over quantity is your friend especially when it comes to keepsakes.

How do you store your kids’ keepsakes?

For my local friends we make and sell these bins for $50 each. As a mom I know how difficult it can be to get this system created so I want to make it as easy on you as possible! Alternatively, we also offer the DIY kit on our Etsy shop which includes the printed hanging file tab inserts and a personalized vinyl label for the front of our your bin for just $15.