Children’s Artwork – To keep, or not to keep? That is the question!

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I’m sure all of us parents have been in this situation. Our little darlings have worked so hard on creating a beautiful masterpiece and hand it to us with a huge, proud smile on their face.

Or, they come home from nursery/school with a huge painted daffodil/spaceship/cow/fish/squidge (please edit accordingly!!)

What do you do with them all?

If we kept them all, our houses would be overflowing with art and craft projects.(Well, mine certainly would be anyway!)

How do you decide? What do you keep? Where do you keep them?

I have come across a lot of clients who have boxes filled with their children’s artwork and it’s such a difficult area as to decide what should be kept and what should be recycled.

I can honestly say, I would never make that judgement call for a parent. It is such a personal thing and each picture/piece of artwork can summon up lots of emotions or memories.

I personally keep anything that has been drawn/made for a special occasion, such as Mothers day cards, Easter picture, Christmas painting etc. Unfortunately (or maybe fortunately?!) my eldest little darling has a full on obsession at the moment with drawing and colouring. She will draw atleast 25 pictures a day, and that is absolutely no exaggeration! After the fifth picture of a Rainbow Ogre, I know that although these are beautiful pictures for the moment, neither myself or her will worry about where they are in years to come and we really do not need to keep them all.

These pictures are enjoyed in the moment and then recycled each week.

Any that I find to be super special, or that my eldest darling is particularly proud of (these are mostly art pieces made at nursery) – I display them on my pinboard in my kitchen. (The same pinboard that featured in last weeks blog that I use for all my bills too – it makes it much prettier than just starting at “PAYMENT DUE” letters, that’s for sure!)

Anything else that we do keep, at the moment, is stored in a spare drawer in my dining room dresser.

I am still in the early stages of artwork and I know that as she and her sister starts school, these art pieces will become more special and not as easy to let go of.

The method that i will be putting in place is the following:

  1. Decide what to keep – as said, this is a truly personal process, but you do need to be as ruthless as you can, try to just keep the pieces that spark joyful memories.
  2. File what needs to be kept in a ring binder folder (Using clearly labelled tab dividers and plastic wallets) – this file can then be stored away in a cupboard and will not be taking up valuable space within your home.
  3. Store any incoming pieces together, whether that be in a magazine folder, my spare drawer (if it’s still spare by then!), or a pretty box. These will need to be looked at at the end of EVERY month. It will need to be put on a monthly to do list to keep it up to date and clear.
  4. The rest will be framed/hung and I will rotate this on a seasonal/monthly basis (depending on what the artwork is!)

Below are some great ideas as to what can be done with pieces that you really want keep.

  1. Art book – This is my absolute favourite idea and i will definitely be doing this, once I actually have enough artwork that we will be keeping! One of the best companies out there is Doodle nest – http://www.doodlenest.co.uk  They transform your children’s artwork into an absolutely beautiful coffee table book. You send them all the artwork (in a box they provide), they then have designers that photograph, edit and layout the book for you. The results are absolutely beautiful and will last a lifetime. If this isn’t an affordable idea for you, you could do something similar yourself. Using a digital camera, you could create your own photo book. It can be a fun project to complete with your children.
  2. Curtain Rod – This is a great way to display pieces that can be accessed by your children. Using a curtain rod attached to a wall in your children room, you can add metal clips and be able to display key pieces and interchange them. It means there is a constant change of decor in your childs’ bedroom (which I think they would love!), plus it’s less clutter in the rest of your home as it’s contained to one room.
  3. Art wall – embrace every piece that you want to keep and have one wall that EVERYTHING goes on. Really make it a feature wall, and be creative with it, (Pinterest have some amazing ideas!), but if you are after something more subtle, you could use the back of a door or a wall in a room that isn’t used a much. (I would personally use my utility room – it’s a room that I personally use a lot (thanks to my washing machine being situated in there!), so I as a Mummy can appreciate the little masterpieces, but it’s not showing as clutter throughout my home!

I truly hope that’s given you some inspiration and ideas as to what to do with your little one’s artwork. Whilst I’ve been writing this, I think I have at least 5 new pictures to look at now! (Thanks to my eldest little darling!)

If there is a subject that you would like me to blog about, please do comment or message me. I’m always happy to share my ideas.

As always, if you do need help to declutter and organise, please do get in contact. I cover The Midlands, Berkshire, Oxfordshire, London and beyond. If you need me, I can be there!

Have a great week everyone.

Rachel

The Declutter Darling x

 

 

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