7 steps to organizing your child’s art

April 23, 2012

Kid’s art work is a fun bonus of having kids.  Over the next few weeks I will be sharing some tips and ideas on how I keep my kid’s art work from taking over our home.  Some of these tips have been shared in the past.  However, last year when we switched from TypePad to WordPress for our blog a lot of images got deleted.  I have spent some time updating those posts with new images and hope you don’t mind revisiting this topic again!

Perhaps you have a little Picasso in your home, art work is created, amazing, priceless pieces of art, one after another. . . at some point you have to decide exactly WHAT you are going to do with it.  I am both a minimalist (I have no problem de-cluttering) but I am also sentimental.  Here is what I did to create harmony between those two seemingly incompatible personality traits:

1) Each time my kids create some art one of two things happen.  Those that are not going to be kept get recycled in the trash (DEEP in the trash where they hopefully will not discover it “Oh my!  How in the world did THAT get in there?” is my standby response).  Those that we wish to keep get labeled with their name and date on the back.

2) “Keepers” get hung up on our curtain rod art wall or our magnetic art wall where they remain until new artwork signals that their time is done.

3) When the art comes down from the art wall, I scan them into my computer (I have a ScanSnap and LOVE it for the art that is not 3 dimensional) or take a photo of them.

4) I have a folder on my computer for each child dated with the year so as soon as I scan the art I can save it in the correct place.  This is one of the most important steps for me because it makes all the difference at the end of the year which you will see in a moment.

4) At this point we pick out a friend to gift it to, use it for gift wrap or  I put it into one of a few a manilla envelopes pre-addressed (ideally) to one of the grandparents.  Once the envelope has a few pieces inside we send it on its way.  You could also simply email the scanned copies to family members if you wish to skip this step.

5) At the end of the school year, I upload the images from that year to a company such as MyPublisher and create a digital book with the photos I uploaded.  If I have done a good job of filing the art into the right folder on my computer this task is SO MUCH easier!

6) I order a copy of the book and send the digital version of the book to grandparents for them to view for free.

7) Enjoy the artwork for years to come!

Below is the front cover of the book we did of Hunter’s art last year.  It was the first time I did this project.  I labeled it and added the date.

The inside pages are a mix of both art and photos from his school year.

There are several benefits of organizing my kids’ art this way.  First, we are creating a book of THEIR work.  It is a special book that they enjoy looking at again and again and are proud to show friends and family.  Secondly, we are blessing others with their art by sending it on.  Third, we are keeping our home free of “extra” stuff while also placing value on their art.  Fourth, we have a back up should the book get damaged that we can easily order another.  I enjoy scrapbooking so this format also makes it easy to print of physical prints of their art for layouts or I can tuck their “art book” in a pocket page.

What do you do with your kid’s art?  Any other ideas to share?  Have you used sites other than MyPublisher that you would recommend?  Stand by for more ideas to come next week when we talk about creating an art wall to display your kid’s masterpieces and if you liked these ideas, consider pinning this post on Pinterest!

Mom 4 Life. Now that Ashley owns Mom 4 Life, I am focusing my energies in homeschooling and asking God to use me in other areas.

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