Children’s artwork is a bittersweet thing. It’s beautiful and can represent a glimpse into the world as seen through a child’s eyes. It can also be a great indicator of your child’s development. However, artwork can add up. Before you know it, artwork can over whelm your counters, refrigerator, and walls. By implementing the following steps you will make sure your memories are kept in tact, and decrease the clutter.
- Before you do anything with a piece of artwork, decide what it means to you. Is it the best piece your child has ever done or is it just another piece they drew while waiting for dinner at a restaurant? Be honest with yourself.
- Do you have family members that live far away? Have your child sign pieces of artwork, then write a quick note and send the artwork to friends and family who live far away. It may sound silly to you because you have dozens of pieces, but to them it may be the only piece they have!
- For three-dimensional pieces of art, the easiest thing to do is take a photo of your child with the piece; keep it for a little while, and then dispose of it. I usually suggest moving it to another area of the house, such as the garage, after a period of time. If its not missed, you can easily get rid of it.
- Use frames that are easily changeable to house artwork. Job tickets are small plastic sheaths that are designed to house contractor’s paperwork on dirty and wet job sites. They are inexpensive and easy to hang on your wall. Papers slip in and out quickly and easily. Changing artwork is a snap.
- Pizza boxes make great artwork storage. Ask at your local pizza place to give you some unused boxes. Most restaurants will give them away for free. You can group artwork by date, child or academic year.
- For artwork that is flat, consider scanning it in and storing it digitally.
- Take photos of your child with their artwork. Then you can print them and put them into an album or you can print a digital photo book. This gives you a printed record of your child’s progress. Print multiple books and give them to family members.
- Set limits with your child on just how many pieces of artwork you will keep. Stay within these boundaries and it will help them learn to determine which pieces have meaning and which pieces do not.
- Combine storage with display. Use a string and clothespins to display a large number of items in a small amount of space.
- Make sure you hold yourself accountable to sit down and sort through artwork. It will build up as the school year progresses. Putting a date into your calendar to make those difficult decisions will make sure it gets done and make sure the artwork doesn’t pile up too high. For the pieces you have determined should be kept and are important, take the time to have them laminated and to protect them in clearly labeled plastic containers.
Bonus Tip: Have a professional create a work of art from your child’s art. I love Lea Lettering’s designs. Send her something and she will create an heirloom piece.
Your Turn: Which one of these tips do you think would work best for you? Let us know what you try and if you send us a picture, we’ll send you a thank you gift!