By John Odalen, Professional Organizer in Central New Jersey
Excerpt from his book "Real Value: New Ways to Think About Your Time, Your Space & Your Stuff"
We treasure our children’s artwork. But there is too much to keep it all. To avoid getting overwhelmed, the key is proper storage and continual review and purging.
Storage can simply be one dedicated plastic storage tub or cardboard box. Or a drawer in a dresser or cabinet. For larger, flat artwork, roll several pieces together and store in a poster tube.
At the end of the school year be sure to review what has been collected, scale down to a few important pieces, and save those selected items accordingly. Involve the kids by having them pick out their favorites. Explain to them that you can't save everything. Set a limit for each, maybe one plastic bin per child. This is a good way to start them on the habit of thinking about the value of the things they save and the things they buy.
If the items are important enough to save long term, they must be stored properly. Choose an appropriately sized sturdy container. Label with the child’s name and the years the artwork was created. Store this container in a safe space where it won’t get damaged. To take it a step further, store the artwork so it can be easily viewed.
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- For smaller flat artwork, create an art book using a binder and 8.5 x 11 plastic sleeves. Or buy an inexpensive artist portfolio. They come in sizes from 8x11 up to 11x17.
- For larger art or 3 dimensional projects, consider taking a picture as a memory then retire (trash) the original. You can make your own photo album or use an online service such as Shutterfly to make a photo book.
- Pick the best piece of the year, buy an inexpensive frame and hang it on the wall.