I’m usually 20, 30, or 40 years ahead of the times. In this instance, it’s well worth it! I have tips for all you parents who want to keep your children’s artwork without it occupying a massive amount of space in your closets, basement or garage over the next 20, 30 or 40 years. I decided to write this post after seeing how much children’s artwork from YEARS ago forms part of boomers’ keepsakes.
Be clear, I’m not advocating disposal of the artwork immediately after it leaves the fridge door (although some disposal would be extremely beneficial). Rather, I want to provide alternatives to keeping them forever, or to keeping the original version.
- In the here and now, the simplest solution is to set a limit – artwork stays on the fridge or table for one month; or when something new needs to be displayed, something old must be retired – then snap a pic of the piece being retired with your phone. But don’t just leave the photo on your phone! Upload it to your picture editor and then move the photo into the appropriate album, “Johnny artwork age 3-5” “Johnny artwork age 6-7”, etc.
- Decide on a quantity of art that you will save each year. Then choose how you will store that artwork – in an accordion folder, an art portfolio, a box? Try to be consistent with the type of storage so that it’s easier to store the collection as it grown year-on-year.
- Take photos of the art and use an app such as Shutterfly, Blurb or Artisan to create a digital scrapbook.
Having focused on reducing the art you collect, I acknowledge that some of you will not want to part with any artwork. For you, I offer a way to organize the artwork so it’s easier to store:
- There are companies that specialize in creating keepsakes. 4-Ever Bound binds your favorite artwork into a hardcover book. It can even include pocket dividers to hold mementos too small to be bound.
- Alternatively, you can make your own version of an album using a 3-ring binder and protective plastic sleeves designed for ring binders.
If you simply have too much to keep but don’t know where to start winnowing down, I would be able to help you through either an onsite or a virtual (remote) organizing session. Contact me at Ellia@ThePotentialCenter.com to arrange an initial conversation.