There’s no denying that when your child comes home with a great painting or abstract sculpture it warms your heart, however your next thought can also be where are we going to put that? You want to cherish and preserve your children’s creations, but there is only so much space for their diorama of the solar system or weekly to sometimes daily paintings. Here are a few tips on how to honor your children’s art without the art overtaking your home.
1. Involve your child about the process:
It is important to let your child know what your plan is and get them involved. This is not only an exercise in keeping your house in order, but also a chance to teach your child valuable life skills in organizing. Show them where you will store their artwork between sorts so after they show you the piece and it has been displayed for a time they can return it to storage to make room for the new pieces.
2. Start with a sort
As the pieces come into your home have a quick sort – pieces you want to display and keep and pieces that you want to see, oh and ah over then let go. I would suggest doing this twice durning the school year – once at Winter break and once at Summer break. If you find it needs to happen more often create your own schedule. If you’re up to the task once a month – even better!
3. Assign a storage container
Assign a storage container to hold artwork between the sorts. A flat plastic box that fits under the bed is a great idea!
4. Take pictures of larger items
It’s not practical to keep every 3-d creation your child dreams up, or every painting, watercolor, pastel drawing etc. Digital storage is unlimited and a great way to preserve your child’s work. Take a picture before letting anything go and keep it in digital files by school year or age.
5. Keep a rotating gallery
Whether this is the fridge or a small collection of frames in your child’s room or another area of the home, it’s a great way to display your favorite pieces. Once a month remove items from the frames to make room for more. Put the “old” items in the storage box for sorting.
6. Keep a 3-ring binder for flat pieces
Once items have been sorted keep the flat pieces in page protectors in a 3-ring binder. This is a fun treasure for your child to flip through as they get older. For larger flat pieces a poster tube works well or frame it! Try to keep a goal in mind when sorting – maybe your 10 favorite pieces from the school year – five from each sort. Remember you have the pictures of everything else!
7. Remember the family
Family members like grandparents or aunts and uncles love to receive your child’s artwork so pass them along. Send them in the mail as a surprise or have your child hand deliver them at your next family dinner.
Enjoy your little Picasso’s! Art is important so encourage their creativity and don’t worry about how much they’re bringing home because now you have a system! Happy organizing!