Should it stay or should it go?
If you've got creative kids in your house, you probably ask yourself this question on a weekly (or daily) basis! Kids art poses a tricky problem for moms. We kind of want to keep it all because their work is amazing, but we also kind of want a clean and organized house.
There's an easy solution!
Whether you're the type who usually tosses everything, and then wishes you had a few pieces to frame later, or the type who keeps everything, but you never get to appreciate it because it's all piled up in boxes and bins, I've got suggestions that will help you to sort, store, and display all of those mini masterpieces!
Step 1 – Sort it out
Gather all of your kids art together. If you have multiple children, I suggest working on their art one at a time. Go through and make 3 piles: Love It, Like It, Let It Go.
Step 2 – Put away the 'love it' art
Love It – Storage ideas for the best pieces of art
The most sentimental masterpieces that you'll want to save forever will need a safe home. I personally use large rubber made bins, and I like this method because I can store large easel paintings as well as smaller works. The only downside is that it does use up a lot of space. We have an art closet where we keep our "save forever" art alongside all of our art supplies. The system I've found that works for us is to keep a pile in our art area, and sort through/transfer them to our big bin at the end of each week. If you're short on space, or your little artist makes smaller sized art, I'd recommend an acid free box used for storing photographs. You can find them at places like the container store, art stores (like Michael's), and on Amazon. They come in various sizes, and are a great way to preserve important paper items.
If you'd like to take it a step further and organize their art as well, you may also like one of these great storage ideas:
- Real Simple always has great organizational ideas.
- I absolutely LOVE this portfolio idea from A Thoughtful Place.
- If you like to store things in file folders, Honey We're Home has some great ideas.
- An Artful Parent has great ideas, as well.
I've made a helpful checklist of the organizing process, and you can access it in the Art History Kids Resource Library. Sign up here with your email, and a link to the library and password will be sent to you. You can find lots of helpful printables, games and no-prep project ideas. I'm constantly adding new material, so check back often!
Love It – Display ideas for the best pieces of art
There's only so much room on the fridge. What else can you do? This question was made for Pinterest... the fabulous home of everything DIY. I've curated a board here of some of my favorite display ideas. Have a look and see what you think will work in your home. There really is something for everyone from elaborate framed gallery art walls to a DIY you could do in 30 minutes using only a yardstick, a bag of clothespins, and a little glue and paint. If you'd like to see more ideas as I find them, be sure to follow me on Pinterest while you're browsing around.
Step 3- Photograph the 'like it' art
Technology makes it so easy to keep the memories without creating clutter. Snap a photo of the art in the "like it" pile, and then put it all in the "let it go" pile.
Canvsly allows you to store photos you've taken of your children's artwork. You can also share an account with your spouse, your child's nanny, grandma, or whoever else you wish, making it easy for everyone in the child's life to help share memories. You can safely repurpose or recycle their art knowing you'll have a digital version to refer to later.
Artkive is another great choice. It's a free app without any frills, but it gets the job done nicely. They have great feature that lets you easily make a book out of the art you upload.
Keepy is a similar app you can use to save photos you take of your child's art. The special thing about keepy is the ability for you to add a video of your child talking about their artwork.
Step 4– Let it go: giving old art new life
It's always fun to turn artwork into thank you notes, or just send them to Aunts, Uncles, Grandmas, and Grandpas in the mail. You can also get a little more creative. I have another Pinterest board that's dedicated to fun ways you can repurpose your artwork. Projects include turning them into abstract artwork, which you could keep or give as a great gift, turning them into gift wrap or gift tags, etc.
You can also just go ahead and recycle it. (Just make sure the little artists don't catch you in the act!)
Let me know what you think! I love to hear from you. Have you recently organized your child's art, or is it on your list of things to do eventually. I hope you find some helpful ideas here, and if you have any other suggestions, I'd love to hear about them. Leave me a comment below, find me on social media or send me an email, and remember to sign up for your free guide and checklist.
And remember to join our fun and free Facebook group for a supportive and friendly place to hang out and chat about all kinds of fun kids art ideas!