If you have kids, chances are you know how REAL the struggle is when it comes to their artwork. Year after year, the volume of art they create only multiplies. For obvious reasons, we become sentimentally attached to much of it- that is up until we finally reach our breaking point and can't deal with the sheer volume of every single 'masterpiece' taking over our homes.
We get A TON of questions about how to best manage children's art work, and the answer is not 'one size fits all' - some people want to hold on to every scrap or scribble, while others are fine to observe each piece while on route to the recycling bin.
Wherever you find yourself on the kid art spectrum, we have a few creative ideas to store, document, or preserve this season of your child's wildly creative life.
THE ROTATING GALLERY
Perhaps the most common strategy is a rotating gallery wall. The idea being you display some of the best pieces for a duration of time, and then rotate new pieces in as they are created.
This method can be simple (tape a few drawings to the wall or designate your fridge as your art gallery zone) or more complex (a set of photo frames used to showcase each piece) - Whatever look you like best is what you should go for.
We are fans of this IKEA curtain wire hack - inexpensive, simple, streamlined, and easy to swap art out when the time comes. It also allows for three-dimensional projects to be displayed.
THE YEAR LONG PORTFOLIO
A really simple way to tackle art is to have a designated spot to keep it all - either a box or portfolio case work well. As the year goes on, toss any and all art into the box and at the end of each school year, go through everything and keep only a few pieces that you really love. A good rule of thumb here is select a designated number of pieces you will allow yourself to keep BEFORE you start digging through, ensuring you are able to walk away with a manageable pile. Once your 'keep' items are selected, add them to your child's keepsake box and begin again.
THE PHOTO BOOK
An awesome way to document or preserve your child's art is by taking photographs of each piece. You can use these photos to make an annual art photo book, create a yearly slideshow, or make a photo collage of some of your favourite pieces to be added into the family photo album. This system does take a little bit more time and energy to initiate, but the end result is perfect for those that are a bit more sentimental or have a harder time deciding which projects to keep.
THE RUTHLESS ART CRITIC
The fact is, some kids simply create much more art than others. If you find yourself being inundated with multiple projects on the daily, this might be the tactic for you. Utilize the 'Year Long Portfolio' system noted above, but ONLY allow the single best piece from each day to be added to the box. The rest of the artwork can be tucked away somewhere out of sight, and discretely recycled when the child is not around. I will speak from experience - make sure you bury the art deep in your recycling bin - there is nothing worse than trying to explain to your child how their 400 drawings of Lightning McQueen ended up in the garbage.
Of course, a combination of any of these systems works well too - The end goal is simply to streamline the process and end up with a well curated and edited collection of your child's most beautiful creative pieces.
And if all these ideas still feel like too much effort, and you secretly aspire to be the person enjoying artwork while walking to the recycling bin, have a peek at this article about why throwing out all our children's art is totally ok!
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