Just remember though, you have 12+ years of this! How do you get a handle on all of their 'special papers'? Don't let clutter overtake you. It's easier to bite the bullet and get it done now and be able to enjoy the summer without having to look at the clutter for the duration.
One box per child: There are a number of ways to go about this, but here's our favourite. Get a sturdy plastic file box and insert hanging files, one per grade. Together with your child, choose a set number of masterpieces to keep. Let your child determine what are the most meaningful pieces to keep.No less than five, no more than ten is generally a perfect number. Fyi: 'food art' ~ think macaroni pictures ~ does not store well.... Put all of their awards and report cards into the hanging files as well. Do this at the end of every school year so that you are not overwhelmed when they are finally going away to college and you decide it's 'finally' time to clear out their stuff.
Check for broken items: Take a look at their backpack and see if it is still in good condition for next year. If it is, clean it out and store it. If it's not, throw it out. Go through all of their school supplies and get rid of anything that is broken. Sort all of the 'good' supplies into a box for next year, and make a list of what you have left over that can be reused so that you don't end up re-buying.
Organize the school paper influx: Take advantage of the slower inflow of new paper and get on top of what's accumulated over the past school year. Clean out your reference files and discard papers that pertain to the past school year's teachers, schedules and assignments. Discard paperwork from sports teams and seasons that have come and gone.
Relax! Now you can relax and enjoy your summer....that is until it's time to 'get organized' for the next school year! But, that's another article....