Do you live with a budding artist? You know, the one who always has a picture for you to hang on the refrigerator? The art (and the artists) are mighty cute, but you can’t keep all the art so what do you do with it?
Let’s begin with the end in mind. What is your plan for the art in 15 years? 20 years? Hmm, have you decided? Are you going to hand all the artwork and school work over to your adult child in a big box. If you are, then here is a little insight…they most likely won’t want it.
So, you need to have a plan to help honor, store and preserve the work.
Honor the Artwork: Have a place to immediately post pictures. This can be on the fridge or you can use a clothes line with clothes pins in the child’s play area. Bulletin boards also work well. You can even find hinged frames that open up easily so you can put artwork in and take it out very easily. Any of these will work, just pick which one will work best for your home.
Store the Artwork: Have short term storage available to store everything you want to keep. This can be a drawer, shelf, under bed box or plastic bin for quick deposit of artwork. Plan to clean this out once a year. Set a goal of keeping 10 items for each school year. Yes, I know, that isn’t a lot but if you collect their artwork from 3 years old to 15 years old, that is 12 years of art. Multiply it out and you have 120 pieces of art and/or schoolwork. That should be a very good representation of your child’s school years.
Preserve the Work: One of the easiest ways to preserve a child’s artwork and schoolwork is to make it digital by scanning or taking a picture of each item. Now this doesn’t work for everything, but it does work for a lot of the items. After you preserve it, you can make things like photo books and calendars. You could also upload all the pictures to a digital frame for a grandparent’s gift. The photo books are great to use for your child’s graduation. Throw in some pictures of your child and their school work, add some scanned award certificates and the photo book will be a memento they will want to keep forever.