Creative mamas foster creative kiddos. And although we truly treasure the masterpieces our budding artists create, let’s face it…without a way to organize and store our children’s artwork, it adds to the clutter in our homes. Here are 5 tips to help all curators of kids’ art.
Accumulate. The first step to reigning control over your child’s creative clutter is to set up a single spot to collect completed artwork. The ideal scenario is to establish one container—a collection bin—placed in a convenient location in your home. This could be a bin that you store on a bookshelf near the front door, a lidded wicker basket or a canvas box on a console table in the entry way, or a vertical file box on the kitchen counter. The key is to have one spot for each child’s artwork that makes it simple to file items away.
Appreciate. Whenever your child comes home with a new piece of artwork they’re particularly proud of, appreciate it by putting it on display in a special place in your home. Create a gallery wall in your child’s room, or frame favorite pieces using inexpensive acrylic box frames. Or, establish the refrigerator door or an oversized magnetic board as your home’s art gallery. As new favorites come in, cycle the old pieces into the collection bin and put the newest pieces out on display.
Incubate. Let your child’s collection bin accumulate artwork over the course of several weeks or months. This incubation period will make it easier to cull through the artwork and make decisions about what to keep permanently.
Edit. As soon as your child’s collection bin gets full, edit, edit, edit. Keep the truly special pieces—those your child is especially proud of and those that tug extra hard on your heartstrings. You don’t have to keep it all and you’ll actually be more likely to enjoy the pieces you do keep if you edit the collection down the very best and most special pieces.
Organize + Store. Finally, organize and store the keepers by age or grade level. Here are a few ways to approach this step.
• Artwork books. Your child’s artwork book can be as simple as a 3-ring binder with sheet protectors. Or you can 3-hole punch artwork and place it directly in the binder. For over-sized artwork, turn the paper sideways, punch holes and then fold the art to fit in the binder. Or, look for oversized books such as the Original Digital Printer Album from Itoya. These books come in a variety of sizes up to an 18” x 24” poster sized album, making them a perfect solution for oversized pieces.
• Photo books. If you don’t want to keep original artwork here’s an alternative. Snap a photo of each special piece of art and the artist. Then print photos and put them into a traditional photo album or photo book. This is also a terrific solution for 3-dimensional projects as well as art made with food. (Think fruit loops glued onto construction paper and macaroni art.)
• Collages. To create your own artwork collage, start with a whole lotta’ artwork you love, an artist canvas in the size of your choice, scissors, decoupage medium, and foam brushes. Then, channel your inner child, get messy and create a masterpiece you and your child will both be proud to hang on the wall.
• Artwork boxes. Perhaps the simplest storage approach of all is a box or portfolio. You could go as simple as a clean, unused pizza box, or invest in archival safe boxes designed just for artwork—even oversized pieces.
Just as our kids experiment with their art, don’t be afraid to experiment with your organizing process! Pick and choose the steps that work best for you and your family so you can better appreciate and collect those works of art.
Aby Garvey is the founder and co-owner of simplify 101. Her passion is helping people create real and lasting change in their lives by getting more organized. Aby believes organizing is a fun and enjoyable process, which is why she developed a whole new way to get organized—simplify 101’s online workshops. Get a taste of simplify 101—and the organized life—with their FREE, simple-to-follow guide How to Create a Command Central Binder. You’ll put together a home reference binder that will help you get organized, save time, and minimize paper clutter and the stress that comes along with it! For more great organizing tips and information, visit simplify 101.com or follow their blog, Facebook, or Pinterest.