My kids come home with so many papers and so much artwork that it can quickly get out of control. I have devised a system that Works For Me and wanted to share.
I found this fabulous set of drawers at The Container Store, but you can use a rolling cart, some boxes or any system that works for you. As the kids bring things home from school, I go thru them that night. Things I think I might want to keep go into the drawer labeled with their name. I keep things like good test papers, award certificates, my favorite artwork. A lot of things are immediately recycled. The kids understand that I cannot keep everything they make. If there is a larger art project that is cumbersome to store, I take a photo of them with it and it goes into our picture album. We keep the memory without the clutter!
At the end of the school year, I purge back thru the drawer and pick the "best of the best" from what I saved. I look for good examples of their handwriting, what they worked on that year in different subjects, poems or stories they wrote and some of their best artwork. I put these items into an album for them that is divided by year and include their school photo, class picture, ribbons and other memorabilia from the year. I place their sports and extracurricular activity memorabilia in here as well within that school year. You can get a simple package of acid-free page protectors and a binder from the office store to duplicate my system.
I hope that my kids will have a wonderful book of memories to look thru with their own children someday!