Hi – I’m Kati and I am very excited to be guest blogging here at Kuzak’s Closet today. I keep my own blog about our family shenanigans and home DIY projects at Kataydee.com. These two little Picassos are my giggle monsters.
Aren’t they adorable? They are also helping out the economy by keeping the paper factories in business. See what I mean:
It warms my heart to see what they work on at daycare (and home) and how proud they are of it. But that also means we’re managing an influx of papers on a daily basis. We’ve come up with a system that makes the overwhelming amount of paper manageable. Here is the four step process in our home for storing kids artwork:
1. Recycle it. It’s very possible we brought the next Monet into the world (really, I’m crossing my fingers) but I don’t keep it all. In fact, I toss probably 90 percent of it. Shocking I know! Call me cold-hearted, but I don’t feel the need to keep every last piece of scrap paper that comes home. When my daughter learned how to use scissors they literally sent home the scraps she was cutting. That’s a lot of paper. Here’s the criteria the artwork must fit to make it past the garage:
- It contains a hand or footprint
- It shows them learning how to write or some other skill
- It’s colorful
- It has a picture of them
- It’s one they’re really proud of
The key to recycling those that don’t make the cut is to do it when the kids aren’t around. I know they don’t want to take an enormous tub of their artwork when they move into their own home someday but I’m also very aware to not hurt their feelings now. Of course, we love to…
2. Display it. Kids artwork brings so much color into the house. Of course many of their masterpieces make it onto the fridge while others are given to grandparents. We also tape it to the walls of their playroom for some added color. When their friends come over they also love to add to the wall.
Displaying it is the quickest step that doesn’t happen on a daily basis. The majority of the time it is…
3. Put it in a drawer. Sorting and organizing is the last thing I’m worried about as I walk in the door at 6:00 with dinner and activities on my mind . Our secret? A shoe cabinet. This Ikea Hemnes shoe cabinet sits in the entry way and helps keep our drop zone organized but it doesn’t hold shoes—it holds the kids artwork.
The cabinet is super thin so it doesn’t take up much room in our small entry. Each giggle monster has their own drawer where their art goes into a holding zone. The drawers are quite large and hold several months’ worth of artwork. Having the two drawers means it’s already separated. Putting it in a drawer means that we don’t have to look at it stack up on a counter until we get to organizing it. They simply go in the drawer to be dealt with later. Once the drawers fill up…
4. File it. The very last step for hanging onto artwork involves putting it in a file bin. At this step I realize even what we’ve hung onto up to this point doesn’t need to stay. I make another pile of ones to be recycled and put the rest in these file boxes I ordered a while back from SpaceSavers.com.
To identify and dress up each storage bin, I put a picture of them on a piece of scrapbook paper and taped it to the inside. Inside are hanging file folders from Target labeled by grade level. With both kids still being in pre-k, there is a lot of space for this box to grow with them. Once they get into high school I know there will be less art and more essay papers. I can’t wait to save those for them to look back on. I still have my own small box full of things I wrote way back when that are pretty comical to read now.
The bonus to these plastic file boxes is that they’re larger than the typical file box so I’ll be able to include other memorabilia items like school pictures and little mementos with the artwork on down the road. I’m anti-hoarding so I believe giving them a box to fit those things into will help make it easier to decide what they really want to keep. Thanks Amanda for letting me share our kids artwork storage tips! Check out my organizing board on pinterest to see other home organization ideas. How do you decide what to keep? Am I the only mom that tosses more than I keep?
Thank you so much Kati! This was an awesome post with so many fun tips for parents out there wondering what to do with all of the artwork. I love the idea of using the shoe cabinet as temporary storage and the nice clear bins for long term. Please make sure to come back tomorrow for another great guest post!