1. First, sort through the artwork. If you have an older child, they may want to help you with this. Otherwise, it’s much faster to do this without your kids present. For my own child, I focus on keeping original artwork and writing that really showcases his best effort that school year. This means we toss all worksheets. When he was younger and did more coloring, we also recycled all coloring pages and activity pages.
2. Get 11″ x 14″ bubble mailers (one for each year of school) and place that’s year’s schoolwork inside each mailer. I used to use smaller mailers, but I found that the larger size accommodate notebooks and bigger pieces of artwork better, plus they can hold about a 2?-high stack of papers. I also used to use non-bubble mailers, but I found that the bubble mailers hold up better and don’t rip when you try to place a spiral-bound notebook inside.
3. Don’t seal up the mailers, but do stick a big label on it that says “Child’s Name — 6th grade.”
4. Store the mailers all lined up on the top shelf of your child’s closet.
5. For large, posterboard-sized artwork, large art portfolios from Michael’s Arts and Crafts work great. The nice thing about the portfolio is that it stores everything flat, so you can slip the portfolio behind a dresser or under a bed. Usually, one portfolio will suffice for multiple years’ of school.
6. For art “sculptures” (you know — all those 3D crafts made out of toilet paper tubes and craft sticks), a simple plastic bin works just fine.