How One Keepsakes Container Can Teach Your Child 6 Important Life Lessons

by Vanessa Hayes

in Around the House,Organizing,Quick Tip Videos

In today’s quick tip video you’re going to get a special bonus. Not only am I going to show you a really cool product on how to organize kids keepsakes, I’m also going to share with you how getting organized can help teach you and your child some great life lessons.

This product is called the School Days Keepsake System created by Karen Meade and Francesca Creamer of Let’s Get Organizing. It’s basically a drawer with hanging pocket file folders that are broken down by school year starting from Pre-K thru 12th Grade. The idea is to keep only what you and your child absolutely love and would cherish (or giggle at) years down the road. Things like: report cards, school schedules, homecoming or graduation announcements, student of the week honors, certificates, awards, great essays, your favorite pieces of small artwork, a couple of birthday cards from friends, etc.

Now keep in mind, the hanging file folders aren’t very wide which is done purposefully, so that you limit yourself to what is absolutely the best of the best! No need to keep every single piece of artwork…or every Valentine card…or every test and homework assignment. If you do that, chances are you’re going to end up with 18+ bins of kid keepsakes to pass off on to your child when he or she reaches adulthood, which they in turn will have to decide if  they’re worth keeping AND storing in their home taking up valuable space.

So how does this storage bin teach you and your child valuable life lessons?  Here’s how:

1. It teaches the importance of setting boundaries. By only having a set number of folders (one for each year) you are establishing a healthy boundary of how much stuff to keep. You’re also teaching the art of discipline and respect…respect for your most valued keepsakes and respect of your space.

2. It teaches valuable “decision-making” skills. Getting your child involved in the process of deciding what’s worthy of keeping really teaches them how to sort, analyze and make tough decisions…key principles in learning how to organize.

3. You and your child will learn the real meaning of “value.” If everything is valuable, then nothing is valuable. When you have so much, then nothing ever stands out or is given the respect it might deserve. Take for example a refrigerator that is so cluttered with papers and pictures that you can’t focus on any one thing. But take away all the extra clutter and have only one or two special photos or just a couple of pieces of art…and suddenly….those items are not lost.  Less is more!

4. You can learn about alternative solutions to a problem. You don’t have to throw away every keepsake.  Instead there are alternatives: you can repurpose or reuse old artwork and make it into a card or use it as gift wrap…or take photos of keepsakes and create a digital album for them. Your memories can be saved!

5. You’ll learn to be good stewards of the environment. Instead of trashing your kids keepsakes, recycle old artwork and papers.  It’s awesome when I see my 5 year old get excited to put her stuff in the recycle bin and say, “I’m helping the Earth, Mommy!”

6. Involving your child will teach him/her the importance of ownership and instills a sense of pride.  Your child will feel like:  “This is my keepsake box…with my favorite stuff…that I keep in my room”….you get the point.

So, who knew a little drawer with some folders in it could be such a great teaching tool too?!  So…are you inspired?  Are you ready to take charge of your kids’ keepsakes and teach them how to organize and learn some life lessons? Go for it! You might be surprised at what they (and you) will learn!

{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

Chasity February 16, 2014 at 7:14 AM

Where can I purchase the school days organizer shown in the video?

Vanessa Hayes March 3, 2014 at 9:24 AM

You can contact someone at
I believe they still have some of these systems for sale but you may have to consider shipping. If price point is an issue, you can probably replicate this system using the concepts in the video ;o)

Elizabeth October 13, 2015 at 9:31 PM

Wow! What an absolutely perfect video. The tips and messages are spot on. I have boys ages 11 and 8 and have been trying to think of a way to get a grip on this. I have found it – after trying so many other “solutions.” I already feel as though a weight has been lifted off my shoulders.

Thank you so much!
Elizabeth in Albuquerque

Vanessa Hayes October 20, 2015 at 11:14 AM

Yay Elizabeth! I have to give credit to my professional organizer colleagues for creating the Kids Keepsakes system. I’ve been using it for a few years and love it! Good luck to you!

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