13 Jan
2014
Posted in: photography, projects
By    2 Comments

Organizing Kids’ Artwork

Organizing kids’ artwork was a huge dilemma for me when our oldest started preschool. I didn’t want to forget what he created, while at the same time, I didn’t want to keep it all either. There isn’t space for all the artwork my children make, and it’s just not necessary to have every scrap of creativity stored away in a storage container.

It took me quite awhile to decide what was an acceptable compromise between saving memories and doing away with clutter. What I began doing 8 years ago still works well for my family today.

Using clothespins to hang artwork on a line

In my laundry room, I have a small storage cabinet. Each child has a shelf where artwork is kept until the end of a school year. I date all artwork as well as making sure names are on each piece, then place it on the respective shelf. Some artwork is hung in the basement and rotated out as new artwork arrives home. I have two strings nailed to the wall to hang artwork using clothespins and four office clips nailed to the wall to hang artwork. There are small doodles and assignments I don’t keep all year, but will dispense of shortly after they’re brought home.

Piece of artwork hanging by an office clip

At the end of the year, I go through each child’s pile and take a photo of each piece. I keep my favorite pieces of art or the artist’s favorite pieces, and ones that show growth. For example, mastering coloring within the lines or drawing more detail on people and animals. I have a soft-spot for any artwork using a hand print or foot print, so I keep those. This is the hard part: I throw away what I don’t keep. I know. I know. How can I do that? Decluttering is a learned skill. There really is no need to keep EVERYTHING. I have one storage container for each child where I keep the selectively chosen artwork.

Photo book of kids' artwork

This is where the photos become important. I upload all the photos to either Snapfish or Shutterfly, depending on which company has the best deal. I use the photos to make a 5×7 or 8×8 photo book containing all the photos of art for each kiddo. The kids like flipping through their art books to reminisce about what they created. I do take the photos at a high resolution, just in case I want to use them for another project later. So far, I haven’t used the photos for anything other than the photo books, though.

Photo book with smaller photos of artwork

Organizing kids’ artwork takes a small time commitment with this system. I’ve never regretted throwing away a piece of art because I know I have a record of it.

I’m linking this post to:

exploring Domesticity The Purposeful Mom

 

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2 Comments

  • What a great idea! I always feel guilty when throwing away artwork, but this is such a clever alternative.

    Thanks for sharing at the Babies & Beyond Link-Up. I’m featuring your post this week!

    I hope you’ll come back and link up some more great posts!

    • I’m glad to be featured! I hope this helps with the abundance of artwork at your house.

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