This is an issue every single parent will deal with sooner rather than later: how do I organize and store my kid’s endless amounts of artwork? Good question. Here are four different methods that I’ve seen friends of mine use to solve this problem:
Method one: In clear tubs/boxes, labeled by grade year. This is probably the fastest way to organize the artwork you want to keep, which means you’ll probably stay on top of it better. This method also allows for all the awkwardly shaped art pieces that will inevitably come home. Gone are the days of the simple scribbles on perfectly rectangular white sheets of paper. Now your kindergartener is bringing home a life size, poster cut-out version of themselves that you will somehow need to fold and store. A big enough box will contain the normal-shaped pieces of art, along with all the oddities as well. The trade-off for this method is that storing boxes can become a space-taker, especially when you have multiple children. I’m sure Marie Kondo wouldn’t approve but at least it’s convenient!
Method two: a filing system. This method will help save space and can be easily organized by grade year as well. And since you’re probably already filing important grown up paperwork of your own, what’s a few more minutes to file and sort your kid’s art, too? Although with those awkwardly shaped pieces (like that bulky Christmas snowman made of paper plates), you may have to be more creative in your folding and squishing skills to fit it into a file slot. If you want some inspiration for this method of organization, check out what Jen did at iheartorganizing.com!
Method three: art portfolios. These are a step up from the version of buying your own three-ring binder and sheet protectors, which also works and is a more budget-friendly way to create your own art portfolio. But if you’d rather go with pre-made, something like this from Amazon works nicely. Moms will love them because each page is top loading and will help protect the art, while making page turning easy and storage convenient. Larger portfolios are available as well, for those oddly shaped pieces you’re going to want to keep. Label the portfolios with your child’s name and year and viola! Art stored!
Method four: photograph (or scan) the art and use an image-publishing website/app to make an all-in-one book of your child’s art. This method is great for those of us who can’t stand too many things lying around or those of us living in tiny houses/apartments where space is literally zero. It’s simple to take a picture of each piece of art, upload it to a site like Shutterfly or Chatbooks, caption it with your child’s age and maybe a description (in the artist’s own words), and store the book on a shelf. This method also makes it easier to go back and enjoy your child’s art much easier than looking through files or boxes. However, making these books can get kind of pricey, so keep that in mind. If you’re going to try this method, can I make a few suggestions on how to photograph the art? Maybe you’d like your child to hold the pieces, one by one, as a fun way of looking back at all ages and stages your kid went though. Or if not, try photographing the art on a big piece of white poster board. That way, the background won’t interfere or distract from the artwork!
I’m sure there are a million other equally great methods of storing and organizing artwork out there and a simple Pinterest search will yield results for you. But these are four of my favorites that I’ve personally seen work for real mothers I know.
What are some other ways you store your child’s artwork? Leave us a comment below!