Weekend Assignment: Edit & Organize Kids’ Artwork
You might be wondering why I’d prescribe the assignment of editing and organizing kid’s artwork now, as opposed to any other time of year, say, around summer break.
And I’ll tell you, there’s no good reason other than now is always a better time than later, and since I’ve been tackling the project with quite a few of my clients recently it’s top of mind.
Besides, further on down the road you’ll only have more materials to sort through, making the project seem even more daunting.
But picture this: if you tackle your children’s artwork and school creations now, come June you’ll get to feel like Parent of The Year when you so effortlessly slip the latest editions into whatever system you’ve already put into place.
There, I’m satisfied I’ve given that intro my very best efforts of persuasion and justification.
The Live Simply Method
Spend no time shaming yourself for how pathetically you’ve stored and/or sorted your small humans’ art and schoolwork in the past. The situation is going to be improved henceforth.
Gather all the books and paintings and collages and so on into one central spot. Depending upon your children’s age, you may want to invite them to be a part of the editing process. Any artwork they, themselves, choose to keep will ultimately be more meaningful for them later on. If you feel you can’t be ruthless enough in their presence, go on a solo mission.
So long as you realize that not keeping every creation not only doesn’t make you a bad parent, but a good one, since your children will be able to look back at their work later on without being burdened by it, you’re a-okay.
Keep the best from the rest. Choose the ones that are dated, that contain little quoted explanations from your kids about what the hell their pictures are depicting, choose the most elaborate. Select a few from each grade or age so that later on your kids will be able to have a sense of their development (READ: they do not need 5,000 things to get this sense. 50 would probably convey the message much more clearly and succinctly, for example).
Let go of the extras. That’s right, I said let go. Not photograph. Why? Because in this case photographing every item for fear of is merely a virtual equivalent to physical cluttering/hoarding. More on this later, but the bottom line is: how many photos of your own artwork would you have the patience to scroll through 20 years from now?
(Note: whether or not your preferred method of preservation is virtual, it’s crucial that you first edit the creations to be preserved.)
Then, you’ll want to get a little display system for hot of the press items (if you don’t have one already), as well as implement a proper storage method for the long-term keepers.
If you choose to go the digital route, there are plenty of apps, websites and services that specialize in capturing and preserving kids’ artwork, like ArtKive, Artifact Uprising, Blurb books, and Pinhole Press to name a few.
If you choose to keep the originals, you can easily store them in standard art portfolios or storage boxes.
Psssst: Tips on specific artwork systems over here.
Look at you: Parent of the Year.
P.S. No kids? Organize your own art. Or, hey, I’ve got plenty of other non-child specific weekend assignments, so, please.
P.P.S. If you decide to take on the weekend assignment, be sure to pass the urge on to others by sharing on social media using the hashtag #MYLIVESIMPLY.
Image credits: Young House Love, Sawyer Berson, Photography by Jamie of The Paper Deer for Artifact Uprising, Clare Scholes, Mondocherry via life instyle
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