Is your artwork pile growing? Does it look like this? Or, worse?
This mess was making me crazy. I have a really hard time throwing anything that the kids make away because I love it all (what can I say? I’m their MOM). But I really needed to get it under control. Part of my Sanity Plan is to create systems to be better organized and efficient. I wanted to organize their artwork in a way that allowed me to preserve it, but also still enjoy it.
I did a ton of research and finally landed on using professional artwork folios and a second flat bag to capture the larger, unusually shaped items. Most of the artwork is on letter sized paper (8.5×11 inches), but I wanted to be able to store pieces that might be a little larger than that.
I chose these because of the following features:
- Ability to add extra pages
- Safe for archival storage
- Multiple sizes available (I chose 11×14 portrait size, but there are other variations)
I wanted to personalize them for each child, so I ordered these vinyl letters. Just their names looked a little plain, so I made the label into “NAME’S ARTWORK.”
I started with my daughter’s artwork because she’s four and I’ve accumulated the most artwork for her. I sorted it by date and once I saw everything I had, I was able to eliminate pieces that were hard to identify or didn’t demonstrate a skill she’d gained.
NOTE: One thing I’ve done that’s proven to be really helpful was to label each piece when it came home.
I typically put the child’s name, date or age, and the place or activity where it was made.
Another thing I love about the ability to add/remove pages is that I can always pare down even more artwork as we go along, especially as newer pieces come in to replace them. I can’t wait to show the kids their portfolios when they are older and give them their collection one day.
Once they were set up I put them in a drawer where I can easily access them to add additional masterpieces. While I don’t see myself filing as they come in, I will collect new artwork throughout the year, choosing what I want to keep and file once or twice a year.
It was such a relief to complete this project (it was one of my goals). I love having a system and feeling more organized with their artwork. I’ve already gotten a few new pieces and knew exactly where to store them!
This setup would also be a great gift idea for parents of a one-year old or two-year old, you could even decorate the cover a little more or add a special note on the inside. Everything I used is below:
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