Now that the kids are back to school, you’ll see endless amounts of artwork coming home. We’re all guilty of letting it pile up into a heaping mess. Stop the madness with the help of these genius tips, apps, and resources and keep your children’s masterpieces organized all year long.
Determine what to keep and what to toss
Kids are coming home with art and worksheets nearly every day. Clea Shearer and Joanna Teplin, owners of a celeb-favored home organization company, The Home Edit, recommend holding onto anything personalized like portraits, handprints, or holiday-themed work. Toss half drawn doodles or scribbles. If you’re feeling unsure, keep it for now.
Give the art a “home”
“Establish a plan at the beginning of the year,” says Jessica Litman, North Shore professional organizer and creative director of The Organized Mama. “Determine a space where the kids can easily put their pieces; a place near the entrance of the home that the kids use is usually best.” Many organizers refer to this as the “bin method” with labeled bins for each child. Parents can then sort through the bin when it’s most convenient for them. The Home Edit favors The Container Store’s clean, white Stockholm Storage Boxes or Target’s clear Under Bed Storage Bins. Both options are large enough to keep bulkier projects and can easily be stacked. Make sure the boxes are accessible since you’ll be adding to them weekly.
The artist’s way
Some parents use a real artist’s portfolio to store larger scale artwork. You can even involve your children in this project from Modern Parents Messy Kids and let them decorate their own portfolios. At the end of the school year, move the art from the portfolio into a storage bin so the portfolio can be used again for the next year.
Blogger Davonne Parks uses a three-ring binder with sheet protectors. Create a binder for each child and label it with the school year. These keep everything in one place and don’t take up too much room on your shelves. Your kids can then look through it whenever they feel like it.
Get Creative With Your Display
Show it off
There are umpteen ways to show off your kiddo’s portraits, collages, and projects. For a gallery wall that looks polished, you can’t beat Target’s “art display and store” frames that allow you to interchange the art whenever you’d like.
Draw and dine
Let your child choose a few of their favorite pieces and have them laminated at an office store for keepsake placemats.
Add some color
Colorful vinyl frames can be peeled on and off the wall or door without any mess and will make any kiddo’s art feel like it’s museum-worthy.
Perfect for a playroom or basement, hang a clothesline along the wall and dangle art from the line with clothes pins or clips. It’s an easy DIY and your children can be involved in adding their art to the clotheslines.
Do It Digitally
“At the end of the year, sort through everything with your kids, take pictures, and create a book or large print of all artwork,” suggests Litman. If you’re short on time and would rather let the experts do it, there are fantastic apps to conserve artwork and transform it into a special keepsake.
Artkive sends you a box and prepaid shipping label, you fill it up with your child’s art, and Artkive sends you back a beautiful hardcover book of your child’s work. Additionally, parents can access the artwork on any device or computer. Likewise, programs like Canvsly and Keepy are digital portfolios that organize and save artwork and provide options to “share” with family members and friends.
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Turn art into objects
This month, Artkive debuted their newest way to preserve children’s art with a custom framed mosaic print featuring 25 pieces of artwork, a special way to honor your child’s creativity.
*Use code MAKEITBETTER for a $15 discount off your Artkive box purchase
For a meaningful memento, transform your favorite art pieces into things you or your child can use. Bebe Artiste has more than 100 product options from an iPhone case to pillowcases to leggings, all derived from your child’s art. Snap a photo of your child’s art with your phone, upload it to the site, place your order, and wait for the coolest personalized keepsake or wearable art to arrive. These make extra special grandparents gifts, too!
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Jenny Muslin has been writing for Make It Better for eight years. She has also written for publications such as Chicago Parent, NS Modern Luxury, Red Tricycle, and Stroller Traffic. When she isn’t writing or researching the latest beauty innovations, she’s having a dance party with her husband and two kids. Jenny proudly supports Moms Demand Action and The Chicago Lighthouse.