With the school year in full swing, it might seem like kids’ papers and artwork are starting to take over the house, especially if you’ve got a budding Picasso with abundant offerings. You might have been saving things over the years and now that your children are grown you’re wondering, “now what?” No matter your situation, I’ve got a few ideas to help you get it all organized! The most important thing is to keep what feels best for you, and have easy access to your memories for later.
Carve out a space for incoming papers, and set limits on how much to keep.
I’ve suggested a small file box like this one from the Container Store, and where you house it is up to you. It could be near the entryway if your child has their own spot in the mudroom, or near their homework space. Really, the easiest location that makes sense for your family is the way to go. Depending on your child’s age and what they’re bringing home, you can set up 1-3 hanging folders in the box. One for art, one for school work, and the other for permission slips/notices for parents to take a look at. Or no folders at all. The less complicated the system is, the more likely it will be implemented! It’s best to make it part of their routine when arriving home each day. When this small box fills up, it’s time to sort through and make some decisions.
Share it with family and friends: turn art into greeting cards.
Have a birthday, holiday, or other special occasion to celebrate? Your child will likely be more than happy to gift a piece of art. This can be especially fun when going to a classmate’s birthday party. You can encourage them to choose from their collection, with the option to spiff it up some more with a To:/From:, some extra stickers or other fun embellishments. It’s a win/win/win - children feel important when they’re involved, the receiver of the card feels special with a unique card, and it’s one less piece of art you have to deal with later.
Make a digital photo album to share with friends and family.
Keeping the physical copies can feel like a burden, especially if there’s a large volume of art or other projects that you or your child don’t want to throw away. It can be as easy as snapping photos using the Google PhotoScan app, and making a digital album out of the photos. They can be stored in the cloud, shared with loved ones, and your child will still have access to their hard work. Scale up and use a higher quality scanner if you prefer.
Get the papers bound into a book.
This is a good option for people and families who prefer to keep the physical copies. Simply put the projects/art in an order that makes sense to you or your child, and send it off! The fastest and most inexpensive option would be to get the paper spiral bound at Staples, FedEx Office, or even better - your local copy shop. If you’re looking for a hardcover book, 4everbound can bind all your original papers into a beautiful keepsake. Another option is to go with a service like Artkive - you send the pieces in a box, they’re professionally photographed, and turned into a beautiful hardcover book. Artkive is a great option if you’ve got large, bulky pieces like posters and really want to get the volume down. The photos are available digitally as well!
Do you have a child in school? If so, is there a sudden paper overload, or are things under control? What methods do you use to display their masterpieces at home? Share in the comments down below!