Tips to Help Organize Children’s Artwork and Encourage Your Child to Let go

Tips to Keep and Organize Children’s Artwork

And not to feel guilty throwing some away

Whether you are an art enthusiast or not, chances are your children have accumulated a surplus of artwork over the years. From finger paintings to construction paper crafts, to stylish sketches, it’s easy to find yourself in a place where you’re not quite sure what to keep and what to… (subtly dispose of). While some may find it easy to discard these pieces of art, others want to hang on to them. Their art is a constant reminder of their children’s growth and development. However, the latter set of parents quickly learns if they hang on to every single piece of artwork, their house will be taken over with art. This begs the question, what can parents do to organize children’s artwork?

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Artwork portfolios for organizing children’s artwork

One of the best ways to store kids’ artwork is to keep a portfolio. This allows the parents to keep their children’s artwork in one place and also pass it down to the children when they are older. Parents can either purchase a portfolio or make one at home, like a scrapbook, a photo album, or even a file folder. Storing the artwork in the order in which it was created is a great way to keep track of the child’s development and progress, as a parent can both physically and mentally appreciate what their kids have created over time. The idea of having their own portfolio will help kids take a genuine interest and pride in their own artwork.

Watch this video where I talk to Anne Gomez, a productivity specialist, about how she stores her children’s artwork:

Ann Gomez is a productivity consultant and founder of Clear Concept Inc.

How to store kid’s art

Parents also have the opportunity to get creative with how they store their kids’ artwork. Keepsake boxes with lid are an excellent option, as they offer the correct amount of protection from regular wear and tear. Anne suggests utilizing a big accordion folder to help store and organize the art. Each slot in the accordion is designated for a specific school year. This makes it easy to locate artwork at a later date. This system is also great for when grandma comes and wants to take a peek at your little ones’ work. Having an organized system makes it easier to locate and show off their creations.

A little girl drawing a flower on a paper surrounded by art supplies

Digitally capturing artwork

Scanning the artwork is another great way to preserve and organize children’s artwork. This allows the parents to transform the two-dimensional drawings, into a snapshot, picture, or digital file that can be stored in hard drives or the cloud and shared with relatives and friends around the world. Additionally, it can be used to make custom items such as clothing, cards, or posters.

Using a smartphone to take a picture of artwork

Create personalized gifts

Turning artwork into personalized gifts is one of the most rewarding ways for a parent to preserve their kids’ artwork. Many online retailers now offer options such as artwork printed on aprons, mugs, hats, T-shirts, and pillows, and all the parents have to do is upload the kids’ artwork to the website. Artwork can also be printed onto cotton paper, so the proud parents can frame it and display it on their walls.

Parents Organize Children's Artwork by hanging their child's art on the wall in a frame.

Dealing with kids’ artwork can be overwhelming for parents, particularly due to the sheer amount of artwork they receive. However, it is important for parents to find the most suitable way to store and preserve these special pieces, as kids’ artwork is a reflection of their growth and development over time. With a few simple steps, parents can keep the artwork and decorate their homes with these beautiful pieces of art.

Here are my top 10 tips to gently encourage children to let go of some of their art:

1. Explain that there is only so much room to display artwork, and that it’s ok to take down the pieces that are no longer favorites.

2. Stress the importance of creating something new to help keep their creative juices flowing.

3. Make it a bonding opportunity to both go through the artwork together and choose which pieces to keep.

4. Talk about the process of making art, focusing on the fun and the excitement rather than the finished product.

5. Offer rewards for completing artwork and for taking down the old pieces.

6. Help them to see the value in letting go of their old work and appreciate the skill and creativity that they have already shown in it.

7. Ask them to select a piece that they really like and have it framed as a keepsake.

8. Involve them in the decision-making process about what to keep, store and share.

9. Get creative with organizing the artwork- take pictures, or turn them into magnets, cards, coasters and more.

10. Encourage your child to set a goal of a certain number of pieces they want to discard each month and reward them with treats and compliments when they reach their goal.

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