yearly memory box

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If you read my last post you’ll know I’m on a bit of an organizational kick…so here is a little project I knocked out last night that I wanted to share.

The great thing about this project is I have to say it came about out of actual necessity. Often times, (I am learning from my read–A Simplified Life: Tactical Tools for Intentional Living),  people rush out to buy grand organizational tools then bring them home to find a use for them….and it flops.

In this situation, the opposite is true. I realized I had a need for something and because the need actually arose ( I felt unsure of where to stick a newspaper clipping…first world problem) the solution just might stick!

If you have even preschool aged kids I know that you know the struggle of the sheer amount of paperwork they bring home. Some are forms to sign or flyers to hang onto or calendars. These live on my kitchen counter…unfortunately.

The others are art work of some sort but not the “best of.” Sam doesn’t really like to color, so a coloring book page with two scribbles is just not getting saved. Other people disagree but I look at it, tell him how much I love it, maybe display for a while, but ultimately do not keep it.

Then there are hand print projects (my weakness!) or art where you can tell a lot of the kid’s effort went into. Recently I got a laminated bookmark that was a picture of Sam. These are keepers.

And even still you may have certificates, diplomas for preschool or kindergarten, awards, first communion paperwork, programs from plays or talent shows, ribbons, Christmas lists, stories or book reports they are proud of, or in our case, our first newspaper appearance! All worthy of saving!

So where do you put it all?! I really want to know the answer from those people in the “never throw away anything camp”! I skimmed Pinterest ideas and settled on a simple filing system. I ran out of tabs so my kids are currently set til high school 🙂

There are some pretty fancy ones out there with custom labels and tabs, as well as vinyl names personalizing the boxes…the opportunities to make this cute are endless!

But at the end of the day I’m always trying to save money and I am happy to say I executed these two boxes for $22 total. Around $5 each for the boxes at Walmart and another $10 for the hanging files. I went with 20 folders for each kid to cover: baby, daycare, prek 3-12, college (okay I won’ helicopter over their college work, I was thinking more for college entrance essays and scholarship info) and a misc. or two.

I love having a school picture each year (you know you always wind up with extras of the wallet size ) and the teacher/school/year info.

And, one of the best things about this project is that it’s theirs to keep. You don’t need to find a home for it in your office or storage or kitchen. This belongs to the child, so put it up in their closet or on their desk–goodbye clutter!


I tried writing their names in paint pen and it was not pretty. I think I’ll just print off a word doc with their names and tape to the inside front so it shows through. I’m so happy I took an evening to put these together and hope the boys will appreciate looking back on them some day.

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