Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Keeping School Gems in Place

I don’t know about you, but with school letting out so late for the summer, I haven’t completely organized the gobs of paper, completed journals and of course, art, that is in piles and displayed in various rooms around my home. What I recommend is having a few display weeks (past that now) to keep journals, best work, awards/certificates, and pictures prominently displayed to show off, and then together with your children, make some decisions about what to do with it.

I always tell my clients, that it is important to imagine your kids grown up and moving out and their reaction when you hand them boxes upon boxes of their childhood work. They probably aren’t going to be thrilled, and they won’t be as sentimental as us, but they will want some of it. So, how do we as parents make those decisions? Here are some ideas and products to consider.

1. Have two memory boxes for each child that can be stored on a top shelf of the closet in their room. One box should contain precious early childhood memories such as first tooth lost, favorite baby outfit, 1st baby cards, etc. The second box should contain more of the keepsake art, special papers and other school memories that don’t fit into each child’s school album.

2. Shop around and find a school years album (I like the kindergarten through high school type) and make sure it has pockets to put report cards and some space to write highlights from the year. One I like is Lakeshore’s School Days Keepsake Album. This one has two pages for every year from preschool through 12th grade. This kind of album can hold the class picture, awards, and other school mementos.

3. Together go through all of the school papers with your kids and pick out the gems to keep in the school years album. The rest discretely recycle/toss.

4. There are great storage/display frames available that hold up to 50 pieces of art in one frame. They are available on-line as well as in Target now. Another way to handle the art that is precious, but takes up too much space, is to take pictures and then create a digital photo book. You can also have your child describe when they made the art, how they were feeling and what their art is about. It is a way for you to capture this history in a small package, which the whole family can enjoy easily.

5. Decide how you want to organize your family’s photo memories. If you are pulling photos during the year to include in your child’s school album, keep a fluid, separate on-line folder that you copy photos into that you can print out if you want, or have on-line by year . Most people are handling photos digitally, myself included. However, digital photos still need to be organized and given some thought. This is a whole separate blog and I will plan to write specifically on this.

We will all be creating memories this summer and now with the school year’s work and art processed and contained, we can focus on capturing those memories. Have a great summer!