There are two kinds of people in this world: the Retainers and the Releasers. I’m a Releaser by nature — I heart throwing things away. There is almost nothing more satisfying to me than getting rid of “extra” things that clutter my space.
But when my son began drawing and painting at home and pre-school, I found myself holding his artwork over the trashcan and not being able to let it go. I don’t know what it is. Maybe I think he’s the next Picasso (which, of course, he is y’all). Maybe it’s the realization that this stage of his life is fleeting and I want to hang on to every thing about him that keeps him little.
This new-found self clashes with my Releaser-self and so I had to find ways of keeping all the artwork without the clutter of it driving me crazy. Because that stuff just keeps coming home! Here are a few ways I’ve found that make it more manageable for me.
1. Frame the good stuff.
Not everything is a masterpiece. But every once in a while something comes home and you know it’s beautiful by any standard. Those are worth showing off. I trimmed these pieces down to size and found them a home in these simple and inexpensive IKEA frames.Can you imagine how it makes my son feel to see his art displayed like this in our home? And those nice clean lines keep momma happy.
2. Hang it, Dang it!
I’ve found these hanging wires (also from IKEA) are perfect for the 3 Dimensional pieces. These are displayed in my editing office upstairs and serve as sunshine on a rainy day.
3. Rubbermaid box with hanging files.
So not everything that gets created is frame-worthy but might still be special to you for some reason. These kinds of pieces I save in my rubbermaid box that fits legal size hanging files. You can also find premade storage pieces like this at an office supply store. I categorize by age but you can get all kinds of crazy with the labeling if you want.
Ever heard of this app for iPhones and Androids? It allows you to photograph your child’s artwork and save it digitally forever. But the real bonus? You can turn her artwork into gifts like books, pillows, phone cases, coasters and more.
What grandparent in his right mind would not love this? Need I say that once it’s uploaded digitally forever, you can feel free to let the original go?
Stay sane out there!
What is your favorite way to preserve your child’s artwork? Are you a Retainer or Releaser?