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How To Decide Which School Papers To Keep

02/10/2016 11:23am ET | Updated December 6, 2017
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I have so much fun taking kids' school work and putting it into binders.

Last year, I had the pleasure of taking over 100 bins of memorabilia and putting them into binders. Every. Single. Spelling test. Phonics paper. Math worksheet and Newsletter had been saved.

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I was surprised, but then I started asking around. And MANY, MANY mothers I asked have saved EVERY. SINGLE. PIECE of paper their child has brought home from school.

Huh.

This one shocked me. So, I really pressed into why you would keep EVERY paper. And here's what I gathered.

#1 It justified a mother's place as the mother. Multiple mothers said it showed they were a good mother because they had all their child's papers.

#2 They LOVE everything their child does. Each line on the page is a creation of a child they LOVE, and these moms LOVE to look at their child's work.

#3 They are PROUD of their child.
My child has all 100s one mom said. She was beaming.

My incredulity was hard to hide. I mean, I am pretty good at saying, "Yes, you can keep all the paper clips," and mean it, on the job. But I was just in SHOCK. Why would you keep EVERY paper?

By the time I got to the third mom who had EVERY single paper, I kept pressing. And she said, "I just don't know which ones to keep and which ones to let go."

That I understand.

Here's how I decide which school papers to keep:

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1. I keep ALL art.

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2. I keep ALL stories.

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3. ANYTHING with a hand print stays.

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4. Binders are perfect for certificates.

Pretty much anything else I let go. All worksheets, tests, newsletters (unless the child is named in it), notes, planners, workbooks.

Here's the real point. When you have hundreds of bins of papers...do you or your kids enjoy them?

Making these binders freed up LOTS of space at my client's home. But more important than that... her children have been looking at their books over and over again. The memories she saved are being shared and remembered and are now helping to build new memories.

So, no matter how much you save... ENJOY it all!

Now I HAVE to know... do you save all your kiddos' papers?

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