What to Do with the Piles and Piles of School Artwork?!

Updated on October 25, 2010
N.C. asks from Tucson, AZ
53 answers

I'm desperately trying to get a handle on the chaos in my house that has gotten out of hand since my fourth baby was born in September. I am able to organize most things pretty efficiently, but the one thing I have never been able to figure out how to deal with is the artwork and school papers that come home every day. Now I have 2 kids in preschool, so they are coming home with completed cut and paste exercises, paper bag hand puppets, painted masterpieces, and a ton of projects that relate to the current season or theme of the week. Right now, my "method" is to sort out the non-artwork and dispose of it discreetly when my boys aren't looking. The best ones get hung (scotch taped) up on the playroom wall. But I still constantly have a big pile on my kitchen counter, my laundry room counter, and the final resting place, the loveseat in our office which cannot be sat on because it's so covered! I'd love to hear how other mommies deal with this issue. Thanks in advance for your input!

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K.C.

answers from Phoenix on

I would suggest a banker box like others have suggested. The best works could be framed there is a company called Graphic Dimensions that sells art frames for cheap prices-Micheals is way over priced to get a custom size frame. Also, I agree with taking digital photos. There is a website I use for my school called artsonia.com. You can upload the art on their it it will file it by year and you can build a nice online portfolio where family all over the world can go online and see the art and write comments. It is really cool! Good luck with all the art work.

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M.E.

answers from Anchorage on

Hi N. -

I bought each of my children a Rubbermaid tub and after their art work hung on the fridge for a few days, we took it down and put it in the tub. They still have them.

Blessings,

M. M. Ernsberger

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J.B.

answers from Denver on

From one fellow collector to another~ my idea( not that i have done it yet) is to take the art work and cut it into 8x 11 pieces and make keepsake books for relatives that maybe don't live close.

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H.M.

answers from Phoenix on

You make me laugh - I have the same "problem" - there are always piles everywhere. Here's how I try to keep it under control. When the girls come in, they have to empty all folders, notes artwork etc. into a folder tray and then hang their empty backpacks up. I then go through the folder that evening separating everything into either the recycle or keep pile. In my laundry room, I put up the largest bulletin board I could find (one for each child). All their artwork goes up there until it gets full. Then it comes down and gets kept in the baby book bin or recycled. They love seeing their artwork as we go through the laundry room to the garage every day and it's not all over the house. Hopefully these ideas help although I have to say it's not so effective during prime artwork time on the weekends!!!

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Y.M.

answers from Phoenix on

I totally know how you feel about all that artwork and throwing it away. I scanned my daughter's artwork from school and then made a book that included her artwork, along with pics from her first day, her class picture, pictures of the friends she made, a picture of her teacher, etc. I am a consultant for Heritage Makers, which is an online storybooking company. Our software allows you to design your own storybooks, cards, calendars, etc. using over 30,000 pieces of art. I was able to use papers, embellishments, quotes, text, photos, etc. to create a kindergarten book for my daughter, so she will be able to see it when she gets older and rememeber those fun times. I will be making a book for her for each year. So if you're interested in creating your own book of your daughter's artwork, please visit my website at www.designastorybook.com or e-mail me at [email protected]____.com for more information. Thanks!

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T.N.

answers from Phoenix on

I suggest you display the artwork proudly for a time and then toss most of it. Less really is more. If you keep all of it, it will just be overwhelming to them as the pile grows and will be of little value to them when they are grown, not to mention the fact that it's already overwhelming you right now and taking over the house. You'll be doing them a favor by not saving every little thing, so don't feel guilty. So grab those piles that you mentioned that are covering the counters, etc, and do the liberating thing of tossing them!

Multiply all this artwork times the 14 or so years they each are in school, then multiply that by 4 kids and it can REALLY get out of control. I know because I went through and decluttered and organized the piles and boxes of photos and keepsakes my parents kept for us kids. And my mom is pretty organized and didn't keep every little thing, but it still adds up. I threw away 3 garbage bags full of stuff and sorted it all. I recommend having a box for each child and sort it as you add to it instead of having several boxes with everyone's stuff mixed up. I know that's easier said than done because kids like to get into their keepsake boxes, but it can't hurt to try to keep it under control.

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P.F.

answers from Phoenix on

Hi N.,
I absolutely know what you are going through. What I ended up doing with all of our artowrk, was laying it out and taking photos of it. I made photo scrapbooks of their art. Each of my children now have a photo scrapbooks to show their children someday. Honestly, they will not want to "move out" with a box of childhood artwork, but they will appreciate the scrapbook.

P. W
Ahwatukee

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K.H.

answers from Phoenix on

Hi,
Our system for school work is as soon as they come home they take their water bottles and school work out of their backpack and hang it back up on hooks near the garage door. they put the school work on the counter in a pile. I look at it right away reading letters from school and the teacher. I put all work into a pile for my husband to look at when he comes home. Both kids have a tub in their closets where I put most of the school work and art. The practice sheets go into the trash (secretly). At the end of the year, we look through the tub and they get to choose 2 items to keep and to put into their "School Keepsake" box, which I have labeled and in their top shelf in their closet. As for art they do at home, or in an art class, or at school - we have a piece of wood (chair rail type at Home Depot) that goes across a wall with clips and we hang and rotate art there. I have also seen (which I will do in the future) a metal bar going across the wall or walls and you can use magnets to hang art. My kids do so many drawings that I also have a regular notebook with page protectors. When they are finished we put the drawings into the notebook (write date) and they have a keepsake since their first drawing at age 1!

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E.B.

answers from Phoenix on

Hi N.,
Yes the school stuff does pile up! You could try laminating some of the best and turning it into placemats. Get some file boxes and label with each child's name. Put the best in their box and then at the end of the school year decide which of the best should be kept. Share some with grandparents. My daughter-in-law turns one piece of artwork each year into a magnet which gets posted on the fridge. One year, that one drawing got turned into a tote bag for me, a mouse pad for my husband and magnets for everyone else. There is a company you send the drawing to and they take care of the rest. At the end of each school year, you could make a scrapbook and have each child decide what goes in. Then whatever is left discreetly gets in the discards. If the other side of the paper is usable, use it for their coloring at home before you decide to get rid of it.
Thanks,
E.

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T.T.

answers from Phoenix on

I take a picture of the ones that are important and save them in a file on my computer. The really special ones I keep in a box for them. As far as home work goes I keep a few pages from each month and toss the rest. My step mom saved tons of my work from when I was little. I had no idea she had done this. When I called her to ask what she thought I should do with all my kids creations she laughed and gave me the advice Im giving you. The next time I saw her, she surprised me with a box of my works of art. It was so much fun going through all of it with my kids. Especially my 7 year old who thought it was the coolest thing that I did the same kind of stuff she is doing now.

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D.M.

answers from Phoenix on

I started to experience the same problem when my daughetr turned 3. When I went through the art I had to decide if it was a milestone piece or just something I felt I needed to keep. My thought is if it doesn't make the wall in the playroom it needs to go. I then went to an art store and bought an art portfolio for both of my girls. When the art comes down from the wall I then decide do I really want to keep it. If I think they will want it in the future it goes into the art portfolio which is very compact. The key is to keep what you think is important to show them in the future. Hope this helps I know it has helped me.

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J.K.

answers from Albuquerque on

Discreetly toss anything that you don't really love and then you can make a large portfolio out of two pieces of poster board taped together. You can store most flat projects and it easily stores under a bed, behind a book shelf etc. I bet relatives would love to get some of those extra projects or you can make cards out of them.

My sister made some really cute christmas cards by cutting out snow men, christmas trees and other cute drawings my nephew made. She also framed a really great peacock drawing he did. Have fun! Martha Stewart.com also has great ideas on how to use and store your children's projects.

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D.B.

answers from Phoenix on

What we did when our kids were little was to give each of them a file and a banker box. Each week we would put their favorites up on the wall or refrigerator and then at the end we would take pictures of everything and put them in an individual photo album and let them keep one item to either put in their box or their file...it's still fun to go through and look at all their pictures and projects and they are now 19,20 and 23:)

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M.G.

answers from Phoenix on

These are all great responses!

I have three kiddos and my oldest (6yo) likes to color ALL the time and I, too, have more artwork than my house can handle. Here's what I've done...

- I had a portfolio case from when I was in art college which I have donated to the cause. Any artwork created at school gets put in. We also have "Emma's Art of the Week" where we collect all of her artwork for the week and she selects one piece to hang in a frame on Sunday, this also gets tossed in the portfolio bag.

- I keep a folder of "one-sided" pieces handy for when they miss Grandma; we write letters on the back and mail them off... this is great for out of town relatives.

- I hung a strip of metal around three walls in my playroom and purchased small round magnets (you can get similar ready-made items from IKEA) to hang the really awesome, yet awkwardly sized ones.

- I have a box full of random pieces of art (some cut to size) and at the end of November, I create Christmas ornaments, gift tags, and lots of wrapping paper out of the rest. This way, nothing gets tossed and it all gets recycled ;) Very green...

Good luck! Let us know what happens :)
M.

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D.S.

answers from Albuquerque on

I feel your pain. I also have that problem. I am a Creative Memories Consultant and what I've done is take pictures of the artwork and print them when I'm ready to put them in their albums. For those special pieces that you want to put in their albums, have a box that you can slip these into until your ready to put them in albums. We have a wonderful Memorabilia Box you can purchase to keep these items safe, so if your interested in learning how to preserve all of your memories in albums instead of letting them pile up, along with your pictures, contact a Creative Memories Consultant. Go to www.creativememories.com and do a search in your zip code.

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S.G.

answers from Phoenix on

N.,

I know how hard it is to rid ourselves of the creations of our children. So one way I do it is a plastic expandable folder, this way each child has one. I can sort the important notices for each of them, math, language arts and art and not to forget the awards for this or that. Every 2 months I go through and weed out things just leaving samples of progress that has been made.

I have a Holiday bin that I keep art projects from previous years for Valentines, St Patricks, Easter, Halloween and you know the rest. So each year I bring out the old and add the new and decorate with them. That way we can say" Do you remember when you made this?"

The one thing is when your children are adults are they really going to want to have you handing them boxes of their stuff from preschool to high school. Save what you cherish and let go of the rest.

At our grade school they have a folder that they send communications and homework back and forth. So at the end of the year I only save samples and awards that fit into the folder and put it away to revist later.

If you don't want to part with all of it. You can scan the artwork to your computor and save it on a Disc. Or go to Walmart.com or Shutterfly.com and make there art work into books for yourself or give them as gifts to grandparents. Or for Fathers Day as a gift for dad. You can combine all the childrens work or make seperate books for each of them.

Shutterfly also has a DVD disc where you can use the art to make a slide show. It can take like 400 pictures depending on size.

Hope this helps, just some thoughts off the top of my head.

S.

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E.D.

answers from Tucson on

Try buying some really cheap frames, like 8 of them...hang them on the wall in the playroom and explain to your kids that that is their new art gallery. each child gets to pick their 4 favorite peices of art to display, and the rest are "disposed of". you can explain recycxling to them, maybe that will have them be more excited about disposing of art, knowing it's going to make xyz...
Whenever they brinng home new art they get to choose which will replace the ones hanging, and which will be recycled. You can take the ones that you especially love and file them away for a memory book.
this way, they get to choose, it teaches them to let go of things (to help with clutter when they are older), and helps them feel extra special about their artwork.

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S.D.

answers from Phoenix on

I have a couple of ideas. One, you could let the kids start a scrap book of their favorite projects. Buy a few inexpensive 12x12 albums and let them decided which ones to keep and which ones to throw away. My second thought it to take pictures with a digital camera of everything and again let them pick their favorites to keep. Then you could use the pictures of their art as your screen saver at home. This way they can see them on a regular basis, even the ones they decided to throw away.

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R.V.

answers from Phoenix on

Hi N.,
I have 3 beautiful children so this is what I did. I got 3 old fashion suit cases, one per kid. I loved the look of them, I have them displayed in the house with a plant on them. When the kids come home with something that is a keeper I take a picture of them holding their art to scrapbook later and then I let them put it in their special suitcase ( remember to date it). The kids love to look threw it occasionaly and oooo and aaaah over their art. This is great fun for them and me! My plan is when they have their first baby I will give them the suitcase. So this way they can show off their art to their kids.:)
No time and no mess ... easy easy I hope this helps.
R.

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K.B.

answers from Yuma on

I got my son one of those big portfolio cases at Michael's (plastic and pretty cheap). We would put all of his artwork in that so he could have it handy. It fit under or behind the couch so he could always get it. At the end of the year he picked his 4 favorites (because he was four at the time) and we kept those.

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D.K.

answers from Phoenix on

Each of my girls have there own tubs & all the good artwork (creative stuff), grade reports, concert flyers were there name appears etc. goes inside of it. When they were younger they never seen what I put in it & what I discarded when they were not looking (older now they understand not everything can be kept)but they now come to me with certain items they would like to keep & we put it in there together & they know when they get older they will be able to have there box & show there kids all the memories.. Keeps it all safe but managable ( I hate clutter)

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C.S.

answers from Albuquerque on

Since all of our friends and family live out of state, I mail my son's artwork in birthday and holiday cards to them. Also, you can use the artwork as a card too. One easy craft I found that you many be able to use is to take the artwork and cut it according to a pattern (if it is generically painted, cut out a large star or heart; or if it is a house, then cut out the house) then get some plain paper and cut the same pattern out and then staple the artwork to the paper....TADA a little note pad to use for yourself or to give to family and friends. You can also use that craft idea with old cards. Hope this helps.

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C.C.

answers from Phoenix on

This may work it did for me. Purchase a large plastic container. All art work that is undecided as to wheather you keep goes into the container. Have one central place to display a limited amout of art work from each child. When new work comes in to be displayed the old goes into the container or in the garbage. Go through the container as it fills up and get rid of what you know will never be displayed again, or to fragil to last. If you try to keep everything they bring home you will need a storage unit. good luck

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D.P.

answers from Tucson on

You can give some to their grandmas as gifts of your kids art work. I do that quite often. My Mom hangs then for a while and then puts it away somewhere. Make cards out of it for Birthdays and Holidays and such so your child can give artwork as a card with the gift.

D.

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K.H.

answers from Albuquerque on

Oh I too used to have that problem and kinda still do but it is more controlled theses days thanks to my aunt Veronica who is in heaven right now. She gave me a beautiful accordian file that had flowers on it. It was supposed to be for me for school but I kept a years supply of artwork and other papers for 2 children ages kindergarten and 2nd. Imagine that a years supply in one accordian! I couldn't believe it. So now I have 3 accordians in storage. I buy one every year. If you need to buy 2 depending on your size of artwork and whatnot then do. Get the fun ones that are decorated or just a plain cheap one. I like to go to Office Depot. Stuff that doesn't fit in file I find another place like underbed or behind dresser but the best thing is you just can't keep everything. Folding stuff to fit in file is okay too. Don't feel guilty throwing away because you just can't let things get crazy. It is either keep clutter no one sees anyways or enjoy a loveseat. The loveseat has more value and purpose. Just only keep the very good art. But the accordian is so nice because it is saved in such little space.
I plan when my kids move out of the house and I am bored or alone that I will pull these accordians out and really enjoy the treasures and memories. Maybe I will have the time to buy frames and even put some up! Good luck. I am a married mother of 3 precious kids.

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G.D.

answers from Flagstaff on

I've set up a plastic tote for each kids work...as you have a sixth grader, you've probably realized that the art work slows down beyond the first grade. After I hang things for a few weeks, I remove and throw in the bin with name and age. When I 'spring clean' I will go through the bin and realize that I can let go of some of it.
I've taken the small art work, handwriting, some math and journaled them along with events and other big happenings in a small album. It's kinda like making those big photo scrapbooks but smaller and with the kids work instead of just photos.
I'm planning to give them to the kids as wedding gifts or when they have their first child....
ps. it's a lot of fun to make the little books...

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A.R.

answers from Flagstaff on

I don't have any advise because I'm in the same boat...sinking under all the artwork my kiddos bring home. I look forward to reading all the suggestions.

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D.D.

answers from Phoenix on

I may have an idea for you. Cut a piece from each masterpiece and start putting them in a scrap book for each kid, maybe date the piece and make collage pages and then put pictures on top from around that time or age that they were when they created their masterpieces. Or if you don't want to put pictures on them just cut the pieces, date them and make the collage and put them in a scrap book for when they get older.

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E.T.

answers from Tucson on

I think someone mentioned it below - TAKE PICTURES. Keep your favorites around the house for a while, take photos of the rest, and drop them in an album. You can even spread a bunch of drawings out on the table and take one picture of three or four or five of them at once (depending on how big). Then you get a nice album for each year and can look through them before the next school year.

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D.E.

answers from Phoenix on

Oh my goodness! I read the best idea years ago! You line it all up or set it out in some way, and TAKE PICTURES! There! You have a record of it. You can look back and see how sweet it all was and prove to them that you loved everything they ever created. I love it. Good luck with your 4. How very exciting! I am home with 5. I love it. :)

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K.T.

answers from Denver on

I have 2 artist kids and can relate! Check out www.gathersortstore.com. Their kits include everything you need to gather, sort and store your loose papers and go beyond just kids' stuff: organize recipes, articles and documents of any kind. For the puppets, well take a picture and donate them when they have outgrown them. :0

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M.M.

answers from Flagstaff on

Hi N.,
I can feel for you. At one time I had all five of my kids in grades K-7. We had pictures and projects every where. I got a box for each child to put all papers in and each month take out a favorite sample of each type of work, art, writting, math, ect. We put these into a large envelope with the child's name on the out side. They helped decide what to enclude. Then at the end of the school year we boxed it up like a time capsule to look at later. We also encluded a school photo for that year.
I have heard some mom's take a picture of the school work all laid out and just save the picture of the pictures to put into an album or scrap book.
good luck, M.

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E.S.

answers from Flagstaff on

I am a Grandmother with 4 grandchildren who are in school. They bring their work and art home for me. I put them under a clear table cloth in the kitchen and change them out every so often. This is a great conversation piece with the children and other family members. This also help with reinforcing good studies skills and behaviors at school as the conversations usually center around school issues.

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D.S.

answers from Phoenix on

I share items with grandparents and aunt that live out of state. So everyone has a bit of my daughter (almost 3) artwork in their house.

I take pictures of others, especially those that take a lot of room and then let it go.

I plan to buy the frame that lets you keep a large number of flat items and you just keep putting the current one in front - for those that I want to keep for her.

It is helping, but still overwhelming since she goes to such a creative school and comes home with very cute art.

D

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D.M.

answers from Phoenix on

Hi N.!
I most definately keep all the ones with hand or feet prints on them, then the rest I let them decide. I tell my girls that "we have to fit your art work into this folder, but there is too much! How about you guys pick your favorites (after you've chosen yours of course) and those are the ones that will go in the special art folder to keep forever and ever! The ones we don't choose, will go in the over flow pile." The ones in the over flow pile you can throw away when you can part with them. But at least you have their input as to which ones they love. I know it's hard to throw them away, but it will keep piling up if we don't! :.) Hope this helps you a little!
D. :.)

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B.B.

answers from Tucson on

I have a friendwho scanned in all of her daughter's artwork and school work for the year and then put it on a cd. She then scrapbooked a case for the cd. Now she has a cute display that takes up very little room. I thought this was a great idea.

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C.H.

answers from Flagstaff on

I saw something about this on one of my craft shows. I think they scanned all the pictures and artwork and scrapbooked it into a book or something. Then you have the reduced size and still have the artwork to show them in the future. I believe you can go to a copy shop and get the larger items scanned as well. I would take pictures of all angles of any 3D items. That way you will have the memories and not the clutter. I hope that helps.

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S.J.

answers from Albuquerque on

I have a 14 year old and a 10 yr old. I also got tired of looking at all the piles. So, here is what we did. I went and bought 2 3 ring binders. I had them scrapbook the front page with things that describe themselves. Then for each grade, i had them get a colored paper and we would decorate it with their individual school picture and then with their class, and then put some different stickers on the page describing their grade that year. After the decorated page, i would get the sheet protectors and choose around 5-10 of my favorite pieces of art or written work and slide each piece into their individual sheet protectors, i would do this for each year. They loved helping do it, and now when we have family come into town, they pull out their scrapbook of their school years. If you need pictures of how i did it, just let me know. good luck!
S.

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A.T.

answers from Phoenix on

I keep a box for my daughters larger pieces of work, I bought a set when they were selling stuff for college students. I also have a photo album for her smaller pieces of work, which I put in the day we bring it home.

I have also thought about spending day and scanning the artwork and making a screensaver with it.

My mother has also mentioned taking pictures of the artwork.

Good luck!!

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T.D.

answers from Santa Fe on

Hi N.,
I'm an empty nester:( also, my husband has been retired for 3 yrs.
We have two kids 23yrs and 20yrs. When they were young they played every sport all yr around. We were getting all kinds of art work that you already know about. What we did was we went through the art work and some you will want to toss. But, others you will want to keep. Okay, now you have two piles: toss and keep.
The toss pile you toss. I would suggest not tossing in front of the kids, they might question your actions. "Mommy you don't like my (ten thousand Picture of the house and dog that I colored for you)
The keep pile you put in those handy dandy Big plastic walmart containers. This comes in handy when the kids are grown and gone. You also can scan pictures and keep a container just for pictures. Your kids might want them when they grow up and are gone. But, it will also be fun to go through them and bring back some memories:) You will only have one big container for each child:) It really is fun going through and seeing their names in programs, pictures of them and their dates for special dances etc.
Anyway, I hope I helped:) I think I'll go through those containers myself to bring back a smile on my face:)
By the way, My oldest,Liz is a Art/Photography major:)
And my son mike, is in his third yr of college, Journalism/Art Major:) They love going through their containers when Home. Have fun, T.:) (46yrs old and waiting to share their containers with their spouses)
P.S. I would save some art things and put them on our christmas tree, so I would store them with christmas items:) we still put them on our tree this many yrs later:)

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D.W.

answers from Phoenix on

Could you just keep some items and take a picture of the others? Store it digitally and maybe make the collection your screensaver or make a calendar for yourself or the family with teh art on one of the picture sites. How about sending some special originals to grandparents who might be intersted of having a piece of original art from the grandkids.
I did a calendar last year and it was a big hit with the grandparents.

D.

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B.K.

answers from Albuquerque on

I've wallpapered my hallway with it.

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M.M.

answers from Phoenix on

Take unused Pizza boxes, fold them inside out so you can decorate them and use one for each school aery. They stack great and can hold quite a bit.

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C.C.

answers from Flagstaff on

You have some great responses here! Besides keeping a box for each child, what helped me the most was asking my kids what was important to them. If they are old enough for preschool, they are old enough to start to make decisions about what they might want to keep. You might be surprised at their responses! We also got a corkboard for each of them, and they chose what to hang, and when they were done with it, they threw it away (except for my favorites which I stashed away).

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A.Q.

answers from Phoenix on

I keep an manilla envelope on the counter that everything that comes home from school gets stored in. When it gets full, my daughter and I pull out her scrap book and decide on 5 things that will go into it. The rule is we have to agree. Then the rest gets tossed. I know, wasted memories, but it's better than the insanity that would ensue should I try to keep everything.

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E.C.

answers from Phoenix on

You could give each child a notebook and get those clear pages and put their artwork in those, once it gets full take some out and keep the ones you really enjoy...I just started doing this because our play room is wall to wall pictures!!

Plus they can decorate the notebook!

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K.O.

answers from Phoenix on

I have two boys in school and one thing I have always done is place their artwrok out and let them decide which one they wanted me to keep. that way they chose which one was the most special to them. It has seemed to worked and it keeps my pile way down. I also get rid of nonart papers. We are a military family so we have no room for clutter considering we move so much. This has helped us keep the paperwork to a min. I hope this helps

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M.S.

answers from Phoenix on

You got alot of good advice. I am very busy and do not have time to scrapbook. I have gotten the scrapbook envelope 12.75"x13" (dollar store) or something similar. I fill it with the art and all records for that year inside, close it and file it in a closed container with all the other years. I have to limit the amount I save. When my children were younger, I would ask them about it-If they responded well--I kept it. otherwise I would put in recycle bin when they were not watching. As they get older, you have to fish for their work and it is a real challenge to get anything in there.

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M.S.

answers from Albuquerque on

Use a small box with each child's name and save them for one school year. Then choose the one you like best and put it in a scrapbook. If you make your own Christmas cards, you may be able to utilize some for a special card to family members. At least the box will contain them and then you can ditch the unused balance and begin anew in the fall.

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J.C.

answers from Phoenix on

I heard a great idea not too long ago which is a little expensive (maybe a good Christmas present from Santa). You can invest in one of those digital picture frames (and a digital camera if you don't have one) and take a picture of each one. Involve the kids in "displaying" their framed artwork and file away the hard copies in a keepsakes box out of sight. They get a kick out of seeing their artwork and you get your counters and chairs back :)

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K.R.

answers from Phoenix on

Hi, N. -
My daughter is 4-1/2, and I've had this issue, too. We put one or two up on a rotating basis, and I have a huge manila envelope marked with her school year that I use to keep those that are extra special. The rest get thrown out without her knowledge. At first it just tore me up to do that, but I finally came to think of it this way... making it educated and entertained her, giving it to us made her happy and proud, and receiving it touched our hearts as we witnessed her developing skills. Knowing that those precious pieces of art have completely served their purpose makes me know it is OK to let them go.
Good luck with your budding artists!

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D.L.

answers from San Francisco on

Try www.ShareMyKidsArt.com - I love this website! It's free and lets you store and organize your children's art. The thing I like it about the most is it has these little buttons so that you can email or upload to your facebook wall pieces of art; this is really nice for us because we live in California and my parents live in Hawaii and my wife's parents live in NY. If one of our children create something we want to share with the grandparents, we simple press a button.

The only thing is you need to scan or photograph the art, which seems like a hassle but it's actually fairly easy. Good luck!

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J.J.

answers from Phoenix on

i got an office storage box with a lid. i had the kids decorate it , one for each kid. when they bring stuff home, put it up for a week then it either goes in the box or to grandmas or gets thrown out. choose together. if the box is getting full, have them go through it and pick out what they want to keep. i put them in folders for each year and yes i had several boxes but they came inhandy. when my son got married i put some of them in a scrap book and gave it to them. when the baby was born i had had enough time to put all of his elementary work in scrap books along with pictures. and i gave his baby, daddys book. i am not working on high school stuff but that is going to take some time because he was in a lot of sports andihave tons of newspaper clippings. i also put all of his awards in thebooks. the kids really love going through them. my oldest son ended up marrying his girlfriend form 4th 5th and 6th grade. and she is in a lot of pictures. her mom didnt save anything so it is fun watching them go back and comment on some project they worked together in or a feild trip. and... i dont have boxes of picture anymore. each of the boys can take all fo their stuff and store them intheir homes. i am so glad i lugged around those memory boxes through the years.

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