Tips on how to organize and store kids’ artwork and other treasures

Tips on How to Organize and Store Kids' Artwork and Other Treasures
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Are you drowning in your kids' artwork?

Every parent knows the experience of their kids’ constant flow home of artwork and other treasures. What to do with all of it? It’s easy to get very attached to that VERY cute drawing of Mom, that colorful picture of flowers in the garden or the creative story carefully printing by your six-year-old. The fridge or your office whiteboard can only hold so much though, right?

I understand how overwhelming it can be while your children are young. However, it does get easier as time goes on and your children are bringing less artwork, stories, etc. home.

I have a fun story of going through the treasures I saved with my son one year when he came home from University. We spend a very enjoyable few hours going through everything. My original intent was to see if there was anything we could let go of. However, after a few hours of laughter and fun, he decided that it was all staying! We closed everything up and it will be his to move to his own home at some point in the future.

The key to getting control of all the treasures is to set up a storage system. You may find that you keep a lot of items in the early days of your child’s school career. Your attachment to some of the items you keep may wane over time so even though you want to keep a lot right now, don’t fret. You can go through things a few years (or many) down the road and perhaps feel less of an attachment and find that you are able to edit more easily.

Another important point is to label everything. You don’t want to put your saved items into a system without knowing who created it and when.

6 Tips on how to organize and store kids' artwork and other treasures

01. Create large "folders" with big construction paper

Much of the artwork you want to keep probably won’t be the same size. One method that works well is to go to the Dollar Store and purchase two large pieces of heavy construction paper and make your own “folder”. Taping or stapling the edges works just fine and you can even write your child’s name and grade or year on the front of the folder. Create one for every year and you have a perfect place to put those treasures you want to keep.

The folders can easily be stored in a large, flat bin that may fit under your child’s bed or they can be tucked behind a dresser. You just want it somewhere it is easily accessible so you wont’ feel like it’s a chore to put items into it.

02. file folders in a bin

Purchase a bin for each child in your family that holds file folders. You could use hanging folders or regular file folders. They could be colored to be even more organized and fun. Create separate file folders for artwork, written stories, certificates, etc. Label each item or folder with the child’s name, grade/year so that if the folders are later moved to some other storage system, you will have the pertinent information to go along with the collection.
Tips on how to organize and store kids’ artwork and other treasures

03. take a picture

If you don’t have the room to store a physical collection, take a picture of the creations you are most attached to. If you’re storing the pictures on your computer, use a file name so that you are able to identify who created it and when. If you are using some other system to store your digital photos (eg. your phone), you could create photo albums with names that indicate the child’s name and year. Then make a photobook of your favorites. These would make nice presents for grandparents as well!
Tips on how to organize and store kids’ artwork and other treasures

04. Use binders

Another really great way to store certificates and anything that is letter size is to use a binder with clear page protectors that you can put the items into. For certificates, you won’t have to worry about labeling anything because all the pertinent information is probably already on them. For anything else though, write the child’s name and the date created on the page protector or directly on the back of the paper being saved.

05. Large flat storage bins

I mentioned in Tip #1 that you could store your homemade large folders in a storage bin. However, you don’t have to use folders to store the items in a large bin. The key though, will be to ensure that every creation has your child’s name and grade or year on it. You could write it on the back so it’s inconspicuous.
Tips on how to organize and store kids’ artwork and other treasures

06. Use a trunk

This is what I ended up using for my son to store his treasures. I put everything into the homemade folders I mentioned in Tip #1 and I kept the current year folder in his bedroom so I could easily access it. At the end of the school year I put the folder for that year into the trunk. Now all the folders are in the trunk (with labels of course!) so that I could just give the whole thing to him when the time comes. Another really cool thing about this idea is that the trunk was his great grandmother’s!
I hope these tips will give you some ideas on how to store all those creations.

What would you like to learn more about?

Let me know if you’ve tried one or more of these ideas and how they worked for you. Or maybe you have some ideas of your own that you could share. Just contact me through the contact form on my website.

Also, download my 34 Organizing Tips PDF for lots more ideas on how to declutter and organize!

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