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Organizing: Children and Household Papers

Several months ago, after we organized the office and put in the Office Desk, we started tackling papers. I think I can honestly say, that if it weren’t for all the paperwork, bills, school papers, etc. our house would be really organized. But, instead, papers seem to take over…at least in our house, and I’m guessing in many of yours as well.

Doug worked and was able to get all the current paperwork up to date, but we still had boxes and boxes of papers for each of the boys. Report cards, school certificates, sports awards and more, so with a little work and some help from organizing materials from Walmart, we organized each of the boys papers.

Organizing the boys papers didn’t take long, but could have if I would have let myself look at all the awards and photos. My best advice…be strong and don’t look at every paper. In case you are wondering about the photo, I blocked out the boys full name for security purposes. So let’s get started…

This is where we began, boxes and boxes filled with all sorts of papers, awards, photos and even quite a bit of household and business paperwork as well.

First thing was to divide everything, I made 3 piles…boys, house and business, then separated all of the papers into each pile. Then each pile was separated, first the boys papers.

I find it best to divide the papers first, then create the files that you need. Every person or child will need different files, but the main files we created are…

  • Documents – any special documents like birth certificate, copy of social security card, etc.
  • Health – any health records that need to be kept
  • School – report cards, awards, etc.
  • Sports – awards, certificates, team photos, newspaper clippings, etc.
  • Photos – school, sports, friends, etc.

Many years ago, I created a box for each of the boys that holds there art work and school papers. I will keep these boxes as well, but the main boxes will hold all of the important papers that they will want to take with them when they leave the house. While artwork made in Pre-school is great for parents to look back at, I’m guessing most young adults won’t really need a box of them.

Now that the boys papers were organized, it was time to work on a new filing system for the house and business.

We bought a filing cabinet, hanging and file folders. And Doug set out moving the files he had worked on a few months back that were in my desk

to this…

Doug was really excited to find that the hanging folders were cut down so that the file folder actually shows. No reason to make the labeled tabs like we used in the boys boxes.

The top drawer is perfect for storing the folders and the label maker, which we bought several years ago.

The file cabinet found it’s new home right next to my desk, and now I can store supplies in the baskets under the desk.

So tell me…do papers rule your house? Are you ready to get them organized?

New Year…New You…New Home

Resources: {all from Walmart}

  • File cabinet – $39.88
  • Storage boxes – $5
  • Hanging folders – $7.87 for 25
  • File folders – $8 for 100
  • Printed folders – $2.50 for 12


  1. Please don’t store the kids artwork! Take a picture of your child holding the artwork. Hang it on the fridge with magnets and take another picture. Get creative, use the “letter” magnets to put the date and age of your child above or below the artwork. Or in the case of a clay sculpture, or cardboard building, etc. place it on a white poster board on a table and then take a picture. Then upload the photos to a “photobook creating” website. This would also work on other mementos that you need to purge. Be faithful about uploading them. Ask yourself, do I want to lose the photos if my computer crashes? It only take a few minutes.
    I’ve also scanned in my important papers like birth certificates, marriage and divorce papers, my high school diploma, title to vehicles, etc.
    I have all these on one website and though I have never created one of their books, I know I have the memories in a safe place and when I have the time and the money (when the kids are grown, lol) I can have fun turning all these photos into cool books for myself and gifts for them when they are adults.
    Hope this helps!

    1. Thanks for the tips April! Is there a reason why the artwork should not be stores? Other than to save space?

      1. Space. We are dealing with this here. The boys are all grown up but MIL saved everything. They dont want the old artwork or x-mass tree decorations. Its just a hord. After it has been saved for so many years though no one wants to throw them out. I agree with April. She has a fantastic idea. You can easily make an album for the kids later each there own. With photos and old awards ect. Heck even letters from you that you can write now and store to be placed in before you give it to them.

  2. This is just what I was looking for when I got on Pinterest this morning. Empty nest with only mounds of paper left to store until the little birds come back to collect it. This post just saved my sanity! Already have cabinet for business but will have to find something light weight, movable for school keepsakes, report cards, etc.

  3. I took the liberty to pin this to our 2013 Resolution/Solutions pinboad for organizing ideas. Hope you don’t mind.

    1. Thanks so much Linda! Sure, I love when readers pin my posts! Your Pinterest Boards look great!

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