Organizing Kids Art Work
Every mom shares the same dilemma. What to do with all the wonderful art your child creates! Without strategies for displaying, organizing and editing regularly, these delightful treasures will just pile up and become clutter. Even worse, they may get damaged!
Here's my top 10 neat ideas on how to keep your kid's beautiful art work from becoming damaged clutter.
- Set policies on how much you are going to
keep. For example, you might decide you
want to keep only the top 10 – 20 pieces per year.
- Edit regularly. Keep only the very best or most meaningful pieces. Every week or month, pick your top 5 favorites. Then, every summer, go through the best of and pick the top 5-10 for the year. Those are the ones that get put in a scrapbook or in
a special memorabilia box. Involve your child in selecting his or her favorite.
This helps your child learn to prioritize and get used to the idea that not everything is worth keeping - a VERY valuable organizing skill to learn early on.
- Go digital! Take digital photos of the artwork you really love and recycle the paper! This preserves the art much longer anyway! Plus you can make electronic scrapbooks and slideshows to share with relatives over the web.
- Create an album or scrapbook for every 2-3 school years and include photos of the best art along with other projects and photos.
- Label the artwork. Mark the back of artwork with your child's name, the date and the reason you kept it. So many people keep the artwork and then can't remember which child made it or when. Taking this extra step is worth it if the art really means that much to you.
- Create a revolving art gallery. Create a space on a wall or other area that becomes a revolving gallery of your child's art. You can use magnetic boards, cork boards. etc. Provide one spot for each child and hang their photo or a name marker above their spot. Each time to you change the art, ask yourself if the old piece is really worth saving.
- Repurpose and recycle artwork. Find creative uses for art work you don’t want to keep. For example you can use it as:
- Gift wrap
- Inserts for greeting cards
- Drawer/shelf liners
- Decorate containers to use as organizers for arts & crafts supplies
- Creative disposal placements for a meal. Or, if it’s really good, mount it to construction paper, laminate it, and use the art as place mats for a longer time.
- Invitations! One friend of mine used her niece's artwork to make her wedding invitations! It was so cute! Everyone raved about them!
- Get funky with clipboards. As an inexpensive and fun alternative to frames, use colorful clipboards mounted on the wall to create an art gallery for your child’s room. Let them decide what they want to hang and when they want to change it. Clipboards allow them to easily change their art display easily and frequently.
- Draw the line. Hang a clothesline across a wall in an area where you want to display art. Then hang the artwork with clothespins. This makes it really easy to change the art whenever you or your child want to!
- Make gifts. Create unique gifts for relatives with the best art pieces. You can make little books, puzzles, calendars, and more. Encourage your child to help think of ways to transform art into fun gifts.
© 2007 Ariane Benefit, M.S.Ed.
Ariane Benefit, M.S.Ed, Coach, Author & Blogger is the founder of www.NeatandSimple.com professional organizers and www.LotusBridge.com: Coaching and Learning Resources. As a Life, ADHD and Organizing Coach, she specializes in working with creative people, ADD and the chronically disorganized. She guides people in clarifying priorities, gaining insight, setting up systems, and making the difficult decisions needed to conquer clutter, change habits, and take charge of their lives. She is the author of the home office organizing book "Neat & Simple Guide to Organizing Your Office", and the popular organizing and decluttering blog, Neat & Simple Living.
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