Ideas for Storing a Child's School Work

Updated on October 24, 2010
C.D. asks from Cordova, TN
16 answers

I generally try and save some of the work my kids do during the school year and any art work that they do -- my question is does anyone have any good ideas of how or what to store this type of stuff in? I've been storing it in some plastic storage containers with lids but not sure if this is the best thing for long term storage. Also, trying to figure out if I need to store this type of stuff inside the house or if it can be safely stored in the attic.

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So What Happened?

Thanks to everyone for the wonderful suggestions on storing school & art work. All the suggestions were great and I think I am going to try a combination of the suggestions -- I like the idea of using yearly filing crates as well as scanning the work and not to mention framing some of the best projects. I probably just need to be more selective and save only about 1/2 of what I am currently saving. I have been putting some of their work in their scrapbooks but obviously I have saved more than I will ever need for that project. Again many thanks for the wonderful ideas.

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answers from Wheeling on

Probably only keep 30 or less papers per year/per kid.

You can keep them under a bed, in a drawer or closet, or in the attic. We've used large, thick shoe/boot boxes (one that opens on one side) for storing sentimental things short-term. Attics are usually dry and safe, but over many years, papers can get brittle. Being in an absolutely air-tight container might help with that.

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answers from Raleigh on

I am a professional Fine Artist (with 2 small children). Storing artwork is a life long challenge for anyone.

The top challenges are acid, sunlight, moisture, extreme temperature & pests.

Most children's art is NOT done on "acid free" paper, therefor will eventually deteriorate regardless what you do. But you can extend it's life considerably if it is stored properly.

If the work is flat, like drawings and paintings, and you are storing it stacked together, then the best thing to do is put GLASSINE paper between each piece. This paper is PH balanced and is designed for this purpose. It is inexpensive & easy to find. (Michael's Crafts, or any art supply store)

I think Plastic bins are fine.
For absolute favorites, scan them & keep them digitally or have them framed professionally. A professional framer creates an air-tight seal that protects the work from moisture. You can ask to be sure UV glass is used & you will have some protection against sunlight as well.

Avoid storing in attic or basement due to moisture & temp changes. If you have little choice, go with the least moist option. (probably the attic)

Avoid hanging work in or near direct sunlight, it will fade and accelerate deterioration.

Avoid storing in cardboard boxes. Silverfish & other pests will eat the work gone. Especially if there is glue on it.

Depending on the amount of work you are storing, you can also get inexpensive paperboard portfolios with the ties on the side (great for flat storage, like under a bed) this will keep the work flat, but do not store these in attic or basement (or garage). Again, use glassine to separate the work.

Good luck, I hope this was helpful!

P : )

4 moms found this helpful


answers from Charlotte on

I have a friend who takes pictures of her kids projects. then uploads them to snapfish and has them put into one of their premade scrapebooks and it is awesome! They are so cool looking and space saving. Plus, their stuff is immortalized. of course, she keeps some of the stuff, but this cuts down on lots of clutter! I plan on doing this as well! However, my 4 mo doesn't do much art.good luck!!!

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Louisville on

We magnet all school work to the door in the kitchen for a week and then it goes in a plastic tub on top of the refridgerator. At the end of the year I scan in our favorites to store on the computer and recycle the rest. At their birthday party's I make a slide show that plays on the t.v. as ambient background mixed in with the photographs of them growing up.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Nashville on

I bought a filing crate for each child and then bought hanging file folders (one for each year) and placed the art work/pictures/crafts in the coresponding year. At the end of the year my plan was to gift out the art work to grandparents and family and just keep a few key pieces. I can't seem to get rid of it though, I don't know which to give up! :)

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Memphis on

My sister-in-law started scanning most of the pieces and only saves the "special" ones.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Knoxville on

I haven't tried this, but I have heard of people laminating their child's artwork. My friend bought a laminator and said it was the best thing he had done. It protects their pictures, etc.



answers from Nashville on

If you truly have an artist you will know--by looking at the work and art teachers will tell you. How you handle their art work is a little different than how you handle the school work that you are proud of. You have had great suggestions on school work. Here are my suggestions on art work.

Go to a real art supply store like Plaza in Nashville or Jerry's Artarama in Antioch and get an art portfolio. They worked really well for my son's art and they come in a variety of sizes. We buy my son art supplies and a new portfolio every year for Christmas.

I would encourage you to frame your favorites because you will end up with so many that you want to frame and it becomes expensive if you wait.

I would also suggest that you start now photographing your child's art. When my son applied to college he had to submit an art portfolio to be accepted into architecture school. There were so many pieces of art that he had sold, given away as gifts, and lost that he would have liked to have had to include in his portfolio. Photographing makes them last forever and it works especially well with pieces of art that are not flat--like sculptures.



answers from Louisville on

i do scrap books.(the kind with sticky pages) and it works great!



answers from Greensboro on

we do it one of two ways. the first is with a 3 ring binder. we get those clear protector pages and just slip the artwork in. as they get older they weed out some of the stuff so they can add new stuff. the other way we did it is to scan or take a picture of the artwork and then put it in an olnine album (you can later print them) this also works wonders with toys they have outgrown, but aren't really ready to part with. we take pictures before passing the toy onto another child and then they can always look in their books if they want to "remember" things. good luck



answers from San Francisco on

Try - I love this website! It's free and lets you store and organize your children's art. The thing I like it about the most is it has these little buttons so that you can email or upload to your facebook wall pieces of art; this is really nice for us because we live in California and my parents live in Hawaii and my wife's parents live in NY. If one of our children create something we want to share with the grandparents, we simple press a button.

The only thing is you need to scan or photograph the art, which seems like a hassle but it's actually fairly easy. Good luck!



answers from Nashville on

I scan all my kids stuff in and make a photo copy of it for the scrapbook. If you want to save the origional, I would put it in a ziplock bag, take all the air out, then put in a box.



answers from Raleigh on

Hi C.,

I really like the scanning ideas other moms put below. I thought I'd share something I saw on TV and that I'm going to do for my boys (they're in preschool now, so I'm just starting my collection). This mom got a wooden box for each child (sort of looked like a treasure box) and decorated each one differently, and had the children help (handprints, painting, stickers, etc...). The boxes were big enough to hold file folders. She then used these to file away special papers, projects, etc... and her kids got to keep them when they became adults.

Good luck!



answers from Nashville on

I don't keep much myself. I go through all the papers and keep a variety, som not good and some good and put them in sheet protectors and keep them in a 3 ring binder with dividers marking hte grade. But, I read somewhere that a nice way to do it is to keep unused pizza boxes or medium sized mailing boxes for each grade that way you know what was doen each year. I don't have the storage in my home or storage building though to keep 12=13 boxes for each of my 4 kids, os i chose the method best for me.



answers from Goldsboro on

Hi C., I have 2 school memories albums for my girls school work. I believe I got them through or the magazine Miles Kimball. It has pages going through Preschool-12th grade. Each page has a place for their school picture as they grow and what grade they're in. They can write their name on the pages, tell what their favorite story is (preschool), best friends names, etc. It's really neat. My oldest daughter is only in the 2nd grade this new school year and it is already full. I am a pack rat. It holds a lot of stuff too. I hope this helps. J. A.



answers from Charlotte on

If you can scan the artwork and save it as pictures, you can upload it to a service such as snapfish and make a book out of it.

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