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Simple Steps to Organize Your Kid’s School Papers for Good!

One of the things I looked forward to most as a mom is when my kids, in their younger days,  would run off the bus and come storming through the door to show me what they made at school. They would take out their pile of tests and artwork they did throughout the day, and by the end of each year I was left with a never ending stack of school papers! Each of my boys had a large box of papers we have collected over the year. I finally decided I needed a quick and easy way to organize these papers fast!

school paper organization | free printable organizing labels | how to organize your kid's papers | organizing school paper ideas

School Paper Organization


With the help of my boys, we got to work sorting and organizing. The school paper organization was an easy and fun task for the kids because they got to walk through memory lane as they sorted through papers and put them in piles by grade.

The Steps:

I bought some file folders, hanging folders and a file storage box from Amazon. If you have multiple children, I suggest choosing a different color for each child to make organizing a breeze! Included in the download are labels with different colors for each child.

To make it even easier I labeled each of the files by grade, including pre-school and pre-kindergarten. I usually hold on to any important tests they took, report cards and any other paperwork that shows a milestone in my child’s life. I also like to save both their and my favorite crafts that they made while at school.

Your end goal here is to place about fourteen hanging files in each file box. One for pre-school through 12th grade. I like to include an extra for their toddler years as well, but this is totally optional!

Next, print out the labels and put one label per file. I printed out the labels on address labels (template 5160) and then attached them to each of the file folders.The large label for the front of each folder is perfect for easy identification! There is space to showcase a school portrait from that year, but totally optional. If you are not going to use the photo, cut that half of the label off.

school paper organization | free printable organizing labels | how to organize your kid's papers | organizing school paper ideas
school paper organization | free printable organizing labels | how to organize your kid's papers | organizing school paper ideas

Finally, put all of the things you want to save, sorted by year, in each of the file folders! It’s that simple–school paper organization at it’s finest! You can even add a label to the front of the file box with your child’s name!

school paper organization | free printable organizing labels | how to organize your kid's papers | organizing school paper ideas
school paper organization | free printable organizing labels | how to organize your kid's papers | organizing school paper ideas

Organizing your kid’s paperwork ahead of time will make sure you have a consistent look for each year, and makes it easier to keep up with down the road. You can store these bins in your child’s room or on a shelf that you have easy access to so they’re out of the way until you need them again. School paper is probably one of the hardest things to organize, but it doesn’t have to be anymore!


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  1. One year my daughter came home with a 3D art project that broke my heart to think of recycling, but at the same time the thought of pieces flaking off left me knowing I couldn’t keep it. I decided to take a picture before disposing of it! It gave me such peace I find myself continuing this practice. And the storage space is minimal compared to all the papers.

    1. I like to see the grade level sticking out of the top of the folder..just easier to find! Personal preference. You could definitely get away with just the hanging folders with the tabs that come with them!

  2. What is the font you used? I’d like to create the label for the front of the box, but I’d like it to match the other printables. Thanks!

  3. Sorry if this is a crazy questions — but how did you print the PDF on to labels. I have the correct size labels, but when I print it, none of the text lines up on to the labels. Any advice you have would be greatly appreciated!

    1. Annalie, I am having the same problem! Did you figure out how to get them aligned correctly? I am using the exact labels specified. Thanks for your help!

  4. When I try to download any of your printables, I get a pop up that asks me to enter my email and then it scrolls to 50% and stops. I have tried several different items without success.

  5. It look a lot of trial and error for the labels. You just have to mess with the settings and shrink the size etv. It worked for me after the 5th time lol.

  6. I would love this download…but have been trying over the last month and it wont download….stops at 50%. Any chance I could get it emailed to me???

      1. YES YES YES!!!! And couldn’t be more excited!!!!!! I already printed three sets for my kiddos and can’t wait to get it all done! THANK YOU!!!!

  7. Love this printable so much but I’m unable to download. Would you kindly email it to me? Thanks a bunch!

  8. Like so many others before me, I am also not able to download the printables through your link. Could you please email it? I’ve tried here at least a half dozen times. It only shows 50%. I even signed up for the emails and checked my spam folder. Nothing.
    Has the label pdf been corrected to align with the recommended labels also? I saw others mention that issue as well.

      1. Thank you! I now received your email but it is only the 2-page file for the tabs. It does not have the big printable you display on your main photo, the one where I would attach my child’s photo to the front of the folder. I tried with Safari if that is the issue but it’s the only link provided and just those 2 pages.

        1. Hi Annie- you should have received a zip file that had 2 pdf in it- one was the file tabs and the other was the big display with main photo. Did you check your the folder when you unzipped the file?

  9. Hi Heather,
    Your article is the best I’ve found, and would really like your Printables. Please email them to me.

  10. Hi there! I just finished making up a file box for each of my kiddos with your lovely school year printables – thank-you for sharing this with us! However, I found a mistake on one of them, though – you might want to update the file to fix it! Rather than ‘TENTH grade’, the label for that year says ‘TENTH school’. 🙂

  11. Hi Heather,

    Thank you for sharing! I had a question, what do you do with artwork that is not a standard paper/construction paper size, that will not fit in a file folder (for example, longer in length or 3D type. Also delicate work, as in pastel chalk artwork )? Thank you again!

    1. Hi Leana- I may this not be the answer you want to hear, but because my kids are years out of the younger “art” age, I have come to realize that folding it in half is ok! The reality is that years down the road, they are going to open these boxes, look at things and then put it back away. Keeping large artwork ultimately is not worth the hassle. I have also heard of people taking photos of artwork as a memorabilia and then tossing the actual art–basically because there is just too much to hold on to for years and years.

  12. I love this idea! Planning to put into practice within the next month or so. For those worried about tossing original art, take a pic of the originals and have a book made of those photos (with captions of grades & titles of work) and place in the back of the box. Thanks for your ideas!!!

  13. Hi! I would love to download the printables but I am unable to here. Would you mind emailing them to me? Thanks and love this design!

  14. Hi! This is awesome! I can’t wait to get this started for my girls who are in first grade and preschool! Will you email me the zip file with the downloads please? Thank-you!

    1. Hello,
      I received the email with the download but it doesn’t actually download anything. Is there another way I could get this from you? This is a great idea!! Also what are the hanging folders hanging off of? Thank you!!

  15. I have tried to download this several times and I never get the email for it . I get all the others I have sent for.

  16. For some reason I am not getting the “First day of school” worksheet in my download, just the Last day of school and the cover sheet and label. Can you send them to me?

  17. I have tried to get the download sent and it just hasn’t 🙁 I’ve been trying since yesterday. Would you be able to email this to me? I downloaded these many years ago for my kids and lost the files! Dang it :/

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