We do a lot of crafting, drawing, sign-making and general art in this house. Not to mention all the things that come home in the backpacks. Displaying and storing these artworks means a lot to me and to the children, but you can’t save everything. Here are my tips for deciding what to toss ASAP.
- It’s not done and they don’t care to finish it.
- It’s not their best work.
- You can’t tell what it is, and they can’t either.
- It’s too big and bulky. (If it really means a lot to you, take a picture and save that instead)
Now that you’ve culled out the best items, it’s time to display them. Choosing a few designated spots to display items will keep your house from becoming over-run with kiddie art.
We use the door to our basement and the shelf in the eating area. As you tape things up, label them with the child’s name and date. If you have the time, ask them about the drawing and write their comments right on the front of the picture. Kids love to be listened to and you might be surprised at what those pictures are meant to be!
We change the display monthly. My children get very attached to their work and having a set time to take things down (first of the month) helps them feel more comfortable about making space for new things. Most of what goes up on the door goes into the Saving Bin but if I go to take it down and I find that I’m not feeling an emotional tug, out it goes.
Save with care! If you want to save something, do it right. Tossing things into a drawer or random bin will all but guarantee that they are damaged and/or never seen again. Each year I start a new Saving Bin for their work. Once it’s full, I can’t add any more things without removing something. I use under bed storage bins that keep things safe in the basement or attic and don’t take up too much space.
I also allow each child a drawer in the craft cart to store things they are attached to or working on, but that just aren’t display type pictures. Every few weeks I go through it and toss out random scraps that I know they won’t miss.
My last storage tip for budding artists is an actual art portfolio. We got one for Liam this year because he is very serious about wanting to be a “real artist.” He is so careful with it and really only chooses his very favorite pieces to go into the book. When the book is filled I will get him another and just put this one into the Saving bin knowing that these valuable works are safe!