Simple Solutions: What to Do With All That Artwork

The first few pieces of artwork that come home in your child’s backpack are like precious gifts from your baby’s heart straight to yours. You immediately throw them up on your fridge, tack them to the wall in your office, and gush with pride every time you glance at them. But then the artwork keeps coming home. And keeps coming home. And keeps coming home. Soon, pulling new drawings and projects and sculptures out of your child’s wee bag become a daily activity. And once you have more than one child, your house begins to look like Hoarders might swoop in and tape a segment about you for their show.

But, throwing out artwork is like throwing out pictures of your children—you just can’t do it without feeling THE GUILT. So, what can you do with all of it without allowing it to take over your entire house?

Photograph it. You can take a digital shot of each and every piece of anything that comes home, from the sheet of construction paper with the yellow and red lines across the entire sheet to the paper mache representation of your entire family. Once you have photographed everything, you can recycle some of it without feeling guilty, as you have now preserved every single scribble for all eternity. (The first few tosses are tough; they do get easier.) Obviously, you will want to keep the things that are truly special. You know, those are the ones that you want to bring out at dinner parties and exclaim “Isn’t my daughter the most amazing artist on the planet?” to all of your friends.

Now here is where you get to use your creativity and get down to business to both clear up the endless amounts of artwork clutter and keep every single precious gift your child has made for posterity.

Make a photo book. These are relatively inexpensive to make nowadays – and really easy to do, too – and if you make one for each school year, you will end up with a stack of “Aaron’s Artwork: Grade X” books that barely take up room on a bookshelf, but allow you to forever look back and reminisce on how Aaron’s coloring progressed from stick figures to life-like people and how cute his superhero phase was in grade 2. Check out sites like Kodak and Photobook Canada for details and prices.

What about you? Do you have any solutions for what to do with all that artwork?



One response to “Simple Solutions: What to Do With All That Artwork”

  1. Chris says:

    I only keep the “milestone” pieces, the ones I think show a good example of a new developing skill. I write my child’s name on it and the month/year. I put all of these in a drawer in a cabinet reserved for all their drawing/art/play dough stuff and I expect to have to transfer it to a larger box some day but not so big that it can’t be kept in a closet. I’m thinking ahead to the day we can pull it all out when they’re a lot older and see how they’ve grown through their art.