Ideas for Organizing Kids' Schoolwork Papers

It doesn’t take long once the new school year starts for parents to feel overwhelmed by the amount of paperwork that kids bring home from school. Try these clever ideas for sorting and organizing so that sanity reigns and missing assignments are no more.

Related To:

Use a system of revolving folders and clipboards to stay on top of all of your family’s school paperwork throughout the year. If you keep it up, by the time summer rolls around, you'll have only the things you want to keep and save.

Filing Kid's Schoolwork in Plastic Boxes

Filing Kid's Schoolwork in Plastic Boxes

Photo by: Tomas Espinoza Photography

Tomas Espinoza Photography

What You'll Need:

  • file box with space for hanging files
  • file tabs for labeling
  • plain manila and colored folders
  • photos and decorative items to personalize the boxes
  • (3) clipboards with labels
  • wall file holder with labeled tabs

Day by Day

Start by creating the system you’ll use on a daily basis. We like a three clipboard system that separates ‘work to do’, ‘work in progress’ and ‘work complete’. Not only does this help with organizing papers, but it also helps organize your student and gives parents a good way to check up on homework before it is turned in. Hang these in a convenient location where homework is most often done so that organizing daily papers becomes an easy part of the routine.

Week to Week

Create an easy system to move those daily papers to a weekly (or monthly) space so they can be sorted and filed accordingly. Label file folders as ‘art to save’, ‘work to save’ and ‘miscellaneous’ for any catch-all items you may want to keep, such as special notes or awards.

File Folders to Sort Kids Homework

File Folders to Sort Kids Homework

Photo by: Tomas Espinoza Photography

Tomas Espinoza Photography

Weekly Set Up

Hang the weekly file folders in a central location where family members can easily access the system. You don’t need much space; here we used the back of a door to hang the three folders vertically. To make the folder holders, we used leather straps, craft rings and adhesive hooks. To keep it easy, a different color of strap was used for each child.

Make the Cut

At the end of every week, make it a point to have your kids edit their daily paperwork into the weekly folders. Encourage them to decide if something is worth keeping. Recycle or throw away anything that didn't make the grade.

Throwing Away Unwanted Paper

Throwing Away Unwanted Paper

Photo by: Tomas Espinoza Photography

Tomas Espinoza Photography

Annual Review

At the end of the school year, pare down all of that paperwork to only the most special and memorable pieces that you know you’ll want to keep. Start with a clear, lidded plastic file box with an interior lip for hanging file folders. Personalize the outside of the box for each child in your family. We added decorative washi tape to style it up.

Labeling Kids File Box for Schoolwork Papers

Labeling Kids File Box for Schoolwork Papers

Photo by: Tomas Espinoza Photography

Tomas Espinoza Photography

Level Up

Inside the file box, create a folder for each grade level. We suggest a colored folder for every academic year to make it easy to see and separate. Use the front of the grade level folders to display class photos, sports pictures and other mementos that represent that school year.

Attaching Child's Photo on a File Filled With Schoolwork

Attaching Child's Photo on a File Filled With Schoolwork

Photo by: Tomas Espinoza Photography

Tomas Espinoza Photography

Only the Essentials

Inside every school-year folder is where the real magic happens, with corresponding folders for art and schoolwork, plus dedicated spaces for report cards and awards. All those weekly papers that you have been editing along the way can now be neatly filed into the school year box, leaving only the most prized and precious memories.

File Folders of Child's Schoolwork

File Folders of Child's Schoolwork

Photo by: Tomas Espinoza Photography

Tomas Espinoza Photography

Next Up

25 Back-to-School Organizing Essentials We Love

School will be back in session soon, and we're sharing 25 of our favorite products to help keep your home and life organized so your kids can focus on schoolwork.

The Best School Backpacks for Students of Every Age

Send your kids and teens back to school with backpacks that can handle everything they throw in it.

The Best Lunchboxes for Kids and Teens

Get those peanut butter sandwiches and bananas ready! It's time to start packing lunches again. Grab one of these top-rated lunchboxes to kick off the new school year.

DIY Reusable Back to School Photo Frame

Send your kids back to school in style year after year with this colorful and customizable first day of school photo prop.

The 10 Best Desks for Kids

Create a dedicated place for your kids to do their school work. A functional and comfortable worksurface (that's kid-sized!) is key.

The 10 Best Desk Chairs for Kids

Help kids stay focused and sit up a little straighter while tackling schoolwork at home with the just-right desk chair.

How to Turn a Closet Into a Homeschool Workstation

Need a dedicated space for online learning or homeschooling? See how we turned a standard closet into a roomy, well-organized workstation.

16 Dorm Room Organizers You Need for College

Back-to-school season is almost here! Get ahead of the game and see which organizers are essential for students living on campus.

The 7 Best Tablets for Kids

Enhance your kids' screen time with a tablet designed just for them. With kid-friendly apps, safe web browsing and protective cases, these tablets are ready for your youngest and oldest.

The Best Places That Offer Student Discounts Online

Score amazing deals and even freebies just by being a student. See the best deals to get you ready for the school year and beyond.

Go Shopping

Refresh your home with stylish products handpicked by HGTV editors.

Follow Us Everywhere

Join the party! Don't miss HGTV in your favorite social media feeds.

Related Pages