School Papers Storage Organization Idea

School is almost in session around these parts, and it means that soon a plethora of papers will be heading my way.  Many of those are my kids’ “treasures”–artwork, papers, pictures, and other keepsakes from their school years that I want to keep forever.  They can pile up really fast, and I’m excited to share with you my School Papers Storage Organization system–one that I’ve used for many years to organize all those special papers!

Easy School Papers Storage Organization

It’s super easy.  Easy to put together, and easy to maintain, which are both important, and vital to success.  I bought a plastic filing tote for each child (the kind meant for filing–it has edges on the side of the tote for the hanging files to hook on to), then added a hanging folder with a file folder inside of it for each year they’re in school–preschool up to 12th grade.  I labeled each folder so it’s easy to tell where papers should go.  I also added a cute label on the front, so I could easily tell which child it belonged to.  And ribbon for good measure.  :)

School Papers Storage |

Now all I have to do is slide in papers I want to keep inside the coordinating file folder! I love these totes because they have a lid, which makes it easy to store, and keeps the papers safe from dirt and dust.  They can stack in a closet, on shelves, and they don’t take up much space, which is another huge bonus.

You might be thinking that the box is small for ALL those papers. Well–I’m here to tell you that it will most likely be plenty of room. With my oldest son, I kept EVERYTHING. Seriously, everything.  I think I had two totes for kindergarten alone, lol.  That’s really saying something, because that’s not what I do–

I’m usually a throw it away kind of girl, but I just couldn’t bring myself to get rid of anything. I might want that scrap of paper with an unidentifiable object on it one day.  Well…a couple of years later, as the totes were piling high (and that was only with one child), I went back through them to clean them out, and realized that I had kept way too much.  I learned a huge lesson that day, and as a went through and chose the things that I loved best, or that he loved best, I was able to condense it all into one file folder, and still feel like I had kept the treasures. So, I started this filing system, and have never looked back.  I LOVE it. It’s made school papers storage easy!!

School Papers Storage |

Artwork Storage

Now…what about artwork?  It’s a good question, because you probably have had giant artwork come home, and have put it proudly on display.  I take a picture of the art I want to “keep” then save it onto my computer in a file labeled with that child’s name, i.e., “Kate’s Artwork”.  I have sub-folders with each grade, so I can easily recognize when it was done.  I get the pictures developed once a year, then file them in that year’s folder.  It’s an easy way to keep the art, but without it stacking up.  A few of the originals I have saved–those that are small enough to fit in the tote, but it seems like when they are in the younger grades (at least for my kids), the art has been over-sized.

This has worked so well for me, for multiple kids, and over many years, and I really wanted to share it with you, in case you were looking for an idea for your own kids’ school papers.

School Papers Storage |

School Papers Storage System Labels

I have the labels for you to download if you’d like them, too!  :) I made a pink set and a blue set, so you have your choice! 

**You can also purchase the digital name labels from Etsy Shop HERE!!!

*If you make your own labels, print them on to full sheet white labels, 8.5 x 11, then cut in half.  



Print onto Avery 8593 file folder labels!

School File Labels: WORD DOC

School File Labels: PDF

School Papers Storage |

Where to purchase supplies:

You can purchase the hanging files and file folders:

  • on Amazon, and at Office Max, Staples, Walmart, Target, etc. 

You can also find the plastic totes online at these places:

If you’re at the store, look in the office supply section AND the plastic container section for the plastic totes–it can be in either one! Oh, and if you like them all to be matching like I do, I would go ahead and buy some for future children.  :)

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School Papers Storage Organization Idea

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  1. I wish I had known about this 8 years ago lol. I was just thinking about making a scrap book of all the girls report cards and awards and such but I’m not sure I have them all. We’ve moved so much and have lost a lot along the way. If I had known of an idea like this along time ago I might not have lost so much.

    1. Well, it’s not too late to start!! I know you’ve lost some, but this will totally help you keep track of the ones you still have, and the ones you’ll get in the future. I know how it is to move a lot, so I feel for you!! Good luck!! xoxo

  2. i love it. my children r grown with children of their own and i still have their paperwork everywhere. i had decided to sift thru seperate and deliver to them and let them store it and this is going to make it a whole lot easier! i passed it on to them as well. and im using the system for my work at home files thank u so much for sharing! have a blessed day you and yours! annie

    1. Thank you so much! I’m so glad it’s working for you, and that you stopped by!! Have a wonderful day! xoxo

  3. Hello! THANK you for sharing your amazing artwork with us! I spent way too much time converting the name labels into a Word template so I wouldn’t have to learn to use picmonkey, something I’m not used to! It obviously allows for less creative license than the design software, but it was good enough for me. I would be happy to send it to you to share with others who need a simpler solution if you let me know where to send it. =)

    1. Sure, that would be great! Thanks for being willing to share!

  4. I love this idea – so simple, and yet you made it so adorable too! For the bins that you purchased, would you mind telling me the depth measurement? I’m trying to figure out how large of a filing box I would need for each of my children; I don’t want to run out of space when hanging the folders, but I also don’t want to have regular-sized filing boxes if I don’t need to. Many thanks!

    1. Hi, Kana! I would love to measure them for you, but they are in storage until we move at the end of the summer. :( If I had to guesstimate, it’s about half the depth of a regular file box. I don’t keep a ton of stuff, so that has worked well for me, but if you tend to want to keep more, you may want to go ahead with a regular size box. Good luck!!! xoxo

  5. This is a great idea, and such a thorough post! I only have two in school, and feel like I’m drowning in papers! They get EVERYWHERE!!! I am totally doing this. Thank you so much for sharing!!!

  6. Just thought of a question: exactly how do you print out pics of the artwork? 8x10s? A big collage of tiny images? 4x6s? TIA!

  7. I am trying to print the grade labels from both templates and the color is off. It’s a new cartridge. Any ideas how to fix this?

    1. Hmmmmm…I’m not sure! I haven’t had this happen before! It may be that your computer screen is showing an inaccurate color, so that when it prints off, it looks different to you. Computer screens vary so much that it’s hard to know sometimes what the actual color is. I can always try emailing you the file, in case that makes a difference!

  8. So excited that I found you on Pinterest. You are incredibly talented! Quick question: Can I edit/change the colors you used in the labels to coordinate with my folders? Thank you so much!

    1. Thank you! You can definitely create your own labels with the directions I gave in the post. I included the fonts that I used, and then you can use whatever colors you like! If you have any questions as you get started, let me know!

      1. Thank you for responding. I should have been more clear. I was asking about editing the colors on the file folder labels. I downloaded the files you provided, but haven’t figured out how to or if I can change the colors to coordinate with the file folders I am using. Thanks again.

    1. I don’t right now, but I should be opening my etsy shop again later in the summer/early fall.

  9. i am looking for the Name labels to purchasae for this School paper filing system also. Thanks!

    1. ok, i figured it out. It wasn’t letting me click on it before but once reloaded I got it to work. sorry!

  10. Love this storage system! Only problem is in Nova Scotia, we have primary not kindergarten. Any chance I could get a copy of the file folder labels that say primary instead of kindergarten?

    1. Hi, Krista! I would love to make one for you! Will you please remind me after the holidays? It’s so busy right now that I won’t be able to do it quite yet. You can email me at xoxo

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