Picture this: it’s back to school time again. Your house is fluttering with excitement thinking about the new teachers, friends, sports, and concerts. But there is one lingering thought on your mind…what will we do with ALL THE CLUTTER!?! Soon your kids will bring home papers, art projects, report cards, and the list goes on and on and on. You start out with the best intention of keeping it all organized, but eventually, your fridge is covered with art work, your counters are plastered with papers, and you submit to the clutter yet again.

Not this year my friends! I have an easy and fun way to control the clutter! I call them Memory Keepers.

Memory Keepers are simply binders we put together at the start of the new school year. Then, whenever something comes home from school that either you or your kids want to keep, it goes in the binder. It’s that simple!  Here is the Facebook Live Video I did with my girls that did that shows step by step what to do.  (They are so cute in this video.)

What you will need

1” 3-ring binder with pockets on the cover

Letter Protectors

Scrap book paper

Paper cutting board

Favorite pictures from the summer

Washi tape

Colored pencils/markers/paint

Glue

Directions

Step 1: Buy the binders. When you are in the midst of your back to school shopping, pick up one extra binder (per child) and a pack of letter protectors.

Step 2: Print out a page with your child’s name and the school year. (Ex: Anna: 2017-2018). You will put this in the binding of the binder, so you won’t want it to be bigger than 1”.

Step 3: Cut the paper with your child’s name on it so that it fits in the binding.

**Pro Tip: If you lay the binder flat, it is easier to slide your paper in the binding.

Step 4: Pick out your scrap paper. Let the kids rummage through and find the perfect piece for their personalities!

Step 5: Cut the scrapbook paper to fit the binder. It’s easy! Lay binder flat and place the paper on top. Grab a pencil and mark where the binder ends. Then, using the paper cutter, remove any excess paper.

Step 6: Decorate the scrapbook paper! This is where the washi tape, pictures, and colored pencils come in (along with any other decorating items you enjoy)!

Step 7: Insert the decorated paper into the cover of the binder.

Step 8: Fill the binder with letter protectors. (This is perfect as it allows your kids to keep items that you don’t have time to hole punch, or might be an odd size).

That’s it! Make sure to place the Memory Keeper in an easily accessible location so that you won’t forget to use it. Remember, not everything makes it into the binder. Anything that doesn’t, goes straight into the recycling bin.  However, yearbooks, art work, programs, report cards, and anything that has sentimental value now has a place to go without adding stress to your life.

You’d be surprised at how much work you can fit into one binder. And if you have a high school student, so much is done on computers now that you might even find yourself printing off items to save!

At the end of the school year, place your Memory Keeper in a box in your storage area. If you do this each year then you will have an incredible keepsake to give your child at his or her graduation. Not only will you cut out the clutter in your life, but you’ll present an organized and stress-free way to walk down memory lane.

Happy decluttering!