When kids are little, they seem to bring home a piece of artwork at least once a week, sometimes everyday. If there are about 34 weeks in a school year, then that equals 34 pieces of art to store. That doesn’t count all the art your child creates at home. So you might end up with 34-60 pieces of art per child to store each year. And if you save all that throughout their grade school years, you could end up with an overwhelming stack of papers!
I have a few ideas for storing all those papers. First of all, ask your child to sort through the papers to pick out his or her favorites. Then, it’s your turn to sort through what’s left. If you have a hard time deciding what to keep and what to toss, ask yourself: Is this artwork some of the best work little Jimmy has ever done? Is it really representative of who he was at that age? Is this a piece that will still be meaningful 20 years from now? Try to whittle the stack down to no more than 15 pieces of art per year.
Realize that if you start saving 15 pieces per year starting when your child is 3 and ending when he or she is 12, you will have 135 pieces of art in storage. So you may want to decrease the number of pieces you save as your child grows older.
To store them, I recommend buying a portfolio at an art supply store. This portfolio from Art Media in Portland costs $9.95 and stores pieces up to 20″ x 26.” It easily slides into a closet, under the bed or on a deep shelf.
You could also buy a wide, flat plastic tub that will slide under a bed and store the artwork there.
During the school year, you can display your child’s artwork on his or her bedroom wall. That way, it stays off the table or the counter. Here, fishing line was strung in three horizontal lines across the wall. Artwork is easily attached with clips or clothespins. It’s an inexpensive, quick way to decorate a bare wall.
It’s fun to look back at your child’s artwork and marvel at how he or she has grown and changed over the years. But it’s not fun to look back at 500 pieces of art after your kids have moved out, so whatever you do, stay on top of that art collection and keep only the best pieces each year.