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Handling the influx of kids’ artwork

In the U.S., the beginning of the school year is just around the corner. For many parents, that means an influx of artwork from their young artistes. It can be challenging to figure out what to keep and how to keep it.

Here are some things to keep in mind:

The fewer items you keep, the more special they are. Go ahead and let go of the pieces that aren’t truly special.

Hang on to any that you’re on the fence about–for now. Special is a relative term, isn’t it? It can be easier to identify the treasures when you have a year’s worth to compare them with. A portfolio is a great way to store the accumulated art work until you decide to evaluate it.  At the end of the school year, go through the art work and choose the items that you think merit keeping.

Consider framing. You can have the creme de la creme framed and displayed in your home, or give the framed pieces to grandparents or other relatives.

Or create a book. Send your favorites to a service like Plum Print and have a hardcover book made from the art.

Scan the art. If you have an appropriate-sized scanner, you can scan the artwork and create collages or even stickers from them. Or use the digitized images to have mugs or other items made through a service like Snapfish.

When it’s time to evaluate the artwork, involve your child in the process, if possible. It gives you the opportunity to teach him or her a valuable skill (and an important lesson that you can’t keep everything). This could become a last-day-of-school or first-day-of-summer ritual that you repeat yearly.

Photo by Emma Craig via Flickr.

Janine Adams is a messy professional organizer who loves helping others create order. The co-founder of Declutter Happy Hour, she believes in having as much fun as possible in the organizing process. Check out her web site at Peace of Mind Organizing!

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