Hey everyone! It’s Laura Vegas here, and this week I’m going to be sharing with you how I organize and assemble my girl’s school albums. All of the papers, projects, school photos, class photo, programs, awards, report cards, etc. It’s all got to go somewhere, right? I knew I wanted albums set up to contain it all, so they could look back on their school years and reminisce and see how much they’ve grown and learned over the years.
Our children collect a huge amount of “stuff” during each school year, and I’ve found that if I don’t stay on top of it from year to year, it’s so easy to find myself buried alive in all of the piles. I know that so many of us are heading back to school in the next few weeks (we start back next week!), so it seems like the perfect time to get things caught up, before the next school year’s stuff starts rolling in.
I thought I would start out by sharing how I organize and contain everything throughout the school year. Or years, I should say. I didn’t start assembling these albums until my oldest daughter was in the 5th grade and my youngest was in the 2nd grade. So I already had quite a bit of school stuff accumulated that I had to weed through. Luckily, I had been pretty good about keeping their items from each year separated.
It wasn’t anything fancy. I took a large 12x12 clear bag (the ones that we often get our online orders in work great) and any school work and/or art projects went inside that bag. I stuck a post-it note inside each bag, labeling which child the contents belonged too, and what school year it was for. I also kept an accordion file folder for each of my girls, and inside I had a section for each school year where I filed away school photos, class photo, report cards, awards, and any special programs or notes. The bags contained all of the school work, and the accordion file contained all of the important info. All of these were kept in a large box and added to over the years.
Once I had previous years added into the school albums, and I was only needing to keep up with the current school year, I switched over to a single folder for each of my girls. I keep these black folders in the kitchen, where it’s easy to add to them as they pull stuff out of their binders and backpacks when they get home from school. I also have two 12x12 clear lidded boxes that I use for anything larger that needs to be stored, such as notebooks, larger projects, and/or artwork. These boxes are kept in my scrapbook room.
Anything and everything can go into the folders. There is no rhyme or reason to what order things are inside the folders. It’s really just a holding center for everything until I put aside some time to sort thru it all.
The typical things you’ll find inside are important school papers from teachers, report cards, awards, schedules, newspaper clippings, school/class photos, etc.
My method is to pretty much save everything from the school year up front. Then when I get ready to add it into the albums, I sort through and save what I feel is important to give a good representation of their school year. I have also gotten each of my girls involved in this process as they’ve gotten older, since what they feel is important to save might differ from what I feel is important to save.
As far as the albums go, I use 12x12 Modern D ring albums by American Crafts. I found that I can fit 3-4 years into each album, so I now have 4 albums for each of my girls, which holds their Kindergarten year thru their Senior year of high school. I use an assortment of page protectors within the albums. I use 12x12 protectors, 8.5x11 protectors, 6x12 protectors, and a variety of divided page protectors. The three main manufacturers that I use are American Crafts, We R Memory Keepers, and Becky Higgins.
I originally started setting up my school albums using the Becky Higgins School kit of the month, which was available years ago and can still sometimes be found on EBay. The main component of that kit that I still use within my albums are the pocket pages, each labeled with the school years (first grade, second grade, etc). I love having the 12x12 pocket pages for each school year, as they can hold a ton of stuff of varying sizes. Luckily, there are a few manufactures that now make these pocket pages that can slip right into your albums, both in the 12x12 size and the 6x12 size. You can find them from Becky Higgins and We R Memory Keepers.
Once I have all of the school years papers, photos, and other memorabilia collected and organized, and page protectors and pocket pages on hand, it’s time to get started sorting and assembling within the albums.
I hope to see you back here on Wednesday, where I will be sharing a peek inside of my girls school albums and how all of the piles and papers come together in a neatly designated place! ~ Laura
And now, a little more from the Bella Blvd. booth at CHA...
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