*This post is part of a series about getting organized in 2013,
from our new Moms On a Mission = M.O.M. project *
Kids - they come with tons of stuff, as we all know!
Tons of things we like to keep and cherish for years to come. It's important to have a system of where to keep those items like school report cards or Valentine's cards or baby's first hair cut curls, otherwise they will get lost.
For me, I use a plastic tub, see below. I wrote my son's name on a piece of paper and taped it into the inside. (purple was the color on sale last year, so purple it was!)
In the front are some things like all the ultrasound pictures we had from when I was pregnant with him, sealed in a ziplock bag, same with his Sophie the Giraffe (favorite toy ever!), and a pregnancy journal. There are also his hospital bracelets and the ruler they used to measure him at birth.
Then I got some hanging file folders from Wal-Mart. It cost about $2 for a pack of 10 file folders. I put one in for each year and then just put all of his favorite cards, pictures, etc. in the file. They hang on the side of the box no problem.
I have everything in here... cards he made at daycare for us for Mother's and Father's Day, his bear's birth certificate, coloring pages, baptism papers, etc.
My daughter's hospital hat from birth and all the cards from her baby shower.
These are easy to stack on top of each other, too, so easy storage is helpful.
Keeping up with these is pretty easy, too.
Whenever cards or artwork accumulate I just keep them stacked on top of these boxes, and then when I have a few minutes I'll go back and sort them into the file folders for each kid. It honestly takes no time at all. I'm glad I started doing this sooner rather than later, because already in my son's 3 years he's accumulated a lot of things we have kept. So my advice is do this sooner than later for your kids so you aren't bogged down with tons later on.
There are tons of other ideas on Pinterest, too, like memory binders. Do what works for you, whatever is easy to keep up with. Don't make it too complicated. Easy is best!
Kids are so creative and artistic! That's one of my favorite things about my son growing up... his artwork he loves do make for all of us. But I'm already seeing it accumulate fast!
We made this clothelines in our play room last year to hang my son's artwork and pictures my niece and nephews make for us. Pinterest inspired idea, love it! Super easy and cheap, yet looks adorable.
I also intend to take pictures of my son's artwork when it gets to be big projects we can't always hang on to forever (I see this type of thing when he's in big kid school someday), so we'll take pictures of those and then make a mini photo book on Shutterfly of them.
Someday when totally done with all the baby clothes I intend to take out my favorites for each kid and have them made into a quilt or something, or even just frame a few of them. There are great ideas online for this type of thing. What have you done with your old newborn clothes?
I also keep baby record books for my kids - to write down all of those big moments like eating Cheerios and milk on his own for the first time! The easiest way to keep up with these, for me, has been to do it OFTEN. I do it at least every other week or so, this past month I only did it once in the month but try to do it every week or two. It takes 5 minutes, honest. I go back through the photos we took that month to remind me of things I wanted to write down. I also write post-its of things I want to remember and stick that on top of the baby book for when I can really write it down later on.
I also order photos about once a month via Shutterfly (delivered in your mailbox at home!) or pick them up at Wal-Mart one hour photo when grocery shopping. These photos go in the spots in the baby book where they want you to put a picture of their first haircut, first Christmas, etc. Keep up with it as you go and it is easier than going back over a year's worth of photos to fill in the blanks.
Keep up with these! You WILL want to remember this stuff someday. I tell you that from experience. My first and second were only 2 years and 2 months apart, not a long span of time, yet I FORGOT almost everything that my son did and it's been so helpful to go back through his baby book to find out when approximately kids crawl or go from 1 nap to 2 or when they need more solids in their diet, etc. Of course every baby is different, but looking through his book has been helpful to us.
HAVE FUN with this one!
Organizing your kids' precious memories is a fun project to do, and I chose this as the second project because it's one of the EASY ones to get you motivated!
Post your ideas to the Mommy Stories Facebook group, share pictures, and ask for advice there, too. Don't forget our awesome Pinterest board, get organized, mama! at http://pinterest.com/themommystories/get-organized-mama/