Your No Fail System For Keeping Kid’s Artwork Under Control
The school year is officially underway, and what’s also official is that if you don’t solidify a plan for managing all your kid’s artwork, you and your home are going to be drowning in paper creations faster than you can say “first bell.”
For the time being, don’t worry about artwork of years past that may not be as organized you’d like (read: a hot mess). Start with what’s incoming now, get a system in place, and we’ll deal with the backlog come winter break.
Hey mom, look what I made!
First things first: you (or they) will want to display whatever creations are hot off the press. Your display system will not serve you if it is myopic in its design; to be successful, it needs to acknowledge there is going to be a tireless production line where that first piece came from. It needs to be a flexible, transitional display system that allows for easy swapping in and out.
Hey mom, look; I made so much more!
For seconds, you need to have discipline when it comes to cataloging and archiving children’s artwork. You should be collecting any artwork that gets retired from your display in one place. And, here’s the key, you need to establish a regular occasion for processing all those collected works.
Commit to a regular schedule of sitting down with your children and selecting one or two favorites from the whole bunch which you plan to save for the long haul. (Tip: this task is a whole let less daunting if you do it more frequently than once per school year!)
It’s more than appropriate to get children’s input on this; it will not only be more meaningful in the future for kids to look back on the artwork they considered their best, but it will also alleviate all that parental guilt that otherwise can comes with trashing your babe’s babies.
Hey mom, what are you doing with all this stuff I’m making anyways?
Your final step is to move those championing works of art into your long-term storage system. This is your chance to label them with age/grade/date and outfit them in a system that’s designed to last the test of time.
Note: another perfectly wonderful alternative is to go the virtual storage route; there are plenty of apps and websites (like ArtKive) that assist you in digitalizing, miniaturizing, and generally condensing children’s artwork and to those of you interested in pursuing such a route I say huzzah!
Real talk time homies.
A word to the wise: you really aren’t helping anyone if you’re amassing bin after bin of artwork. Truly, you’re not. I know that by holding onto artwork you’re holding onto their childhood in some way, and I know you’re counting on the fact that they’ll want to see what they made as children later on in life. And both of these things are still possible if you keep just a few pieces. Just a few to peruse through at a later date. Just a few to pass on to grown children so that you won’t be burdening them. Just. A. Few. Got it?
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