Even in the digital age, children’s art, mementos, and paperwork can easily overtake even the most organized of homes. These tips, tricks, and organizing solutions for kids art storage will help you keep the memories, minus the mountain of paper.
Well, it’s official—school is back in session! And with it comes all the papers. While every sheet of paper your child produces is precious (well, okay, most of them are), not everything needs to be kept.
Paper is deceptive—it looks quite thin, but the stacks grow quickly. That’s why it’s important to have a plan of action for how to organize kids’ memorabilia as early as possible. (Preaching to myself here!) Here are some ideas to consider.
How to Start Organizing Kids’ Art
Many mothers can easily oooh and aww over a folder full of scribbled art, then smoothly slide the entire pile into the recycling bin. For those of us who are more sentimental, however, this doesn’t come with ease.
Give Yourself Permission to Let Go
If you (like me) have a hard time letting go of your child’s artwork, the first thing to do is give yourself permission to let go. Your child will not remember what they drew a month ago, let alone a year ago.
The worst thing you could do is hoard it all up and have boxes full of art and memorabilia sit in your garage.
This is exactly what happened to a friend of mine. Her parents downsized and gave her not one, not two, but three massive boxes filled to the brim with artwork she had drawn. My friend has spent countless hours organizing, sorting and tossing ripped, damaged and stained pieces. Don’t do this to your child!
If you see it as an act of love to cull through and select the best momentos, your entire perspective shifts. It truly is better to have 10 pieces you love, treasure and protect versus thousands piled in an old box.
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Involve Your Child in Your Organizing Process
Children aren’t as attached to their own drawings as we are. Try asking your child to pick his or her favorite from a series of art projects—I bet they will easily be able to narrow it down.
Rather than toss worksheets and stories away, let your child decide what is important to them, and hang on to those pieces. Of course, mama gets a vote too, so feel free to also hang onto your favorite in a stack.
Go Through Paperwork Daily if Not Weekly
Again, paper is a tricky beast that can add up quickly! If you wait until the end of the year to cull through paperwork, you will never get to it. By that point, the memories and the fun will be completely gone.
Instead, sort through your child’s papers daily if you can. You have to be pretty ruthless about what makes it in the “keep” pile. Here’s more info on how I got rid of paper clutter for good.
2 Main Ways to Organize Kids’ Papers
There are two main ways you can decide to organize kids’ papers: digitally and physically. Personally, I like a combination of both!
These are a few of my favorite ideas from bloggers who have successfully tackled the paper beast.
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How to Organize Kids’ Artwork Physically
A shelving system doesn’t have to be anything fancy. This one from Living Well Mom is made from cardboard but does the trick. A system like this keeps your kids accountable and is simple to implement.
Another brilliant way to organize kids’ artwork is to hang it up on the walls. Again, there are many ways to do this, but this post from Rachel at Maison de Pax manages to display her kids’ artwork in a beautiful and thoughtful way!
Another super simple solution from Make Life Lovely is to stock up on some binders and fill them up with gorgeous artwork. You will need to have page protectors as well. I really like the simplicity of this system also.
How to Organize Kids’ Artwork Digitally
For many people, digital is the best solution. It keeps your home clutter-free while also preserving all the sweet memories, cards, photos, and designs from your child. There are so many ways to digitally organize, but here are a few of my favorites.
If you are looking for major organizing inspiration, you’ll find it in this post from Just a Girl and Her Blog. There are some great tips in her post about what to save and how to get the best photos for your memory books.
You can do this with either a scanner (I LOVE this handheld one!) or by using your smartphone to take pictures of the artwork. If you opt for photos, make sure you have a solid white background to take the pictures on. Also, make sure you either have plenty of natural light, or a small lighting kit to ensure the lighting is perfect.
If you want to keep a LOT of artwork organized and sorted digitally, try an online app. I have to admit, I hadn’t heard much about these until I read this post from Refined Rooms, but it’s totally brilliant – kind of like a Pinterest of your kid’s artwork.
Which one of these will you use to organize kids’ papers? If you have a different idea for kids art storage, I’d love to hear it!