May 13, 2014


From the moment children learn to put crayon to paper, we start collecting their creations. It can be difficult (impossible) to decide what to keep and what to throw away. Over the years, paintings, pasta necklaces, dioramas, and pipe cleaner trees can take over your home! Here are a few ways to decide what to keep, how to keep it, and how to let go of the rest.

What to keep
When your child comes home with a new piece, the first decision is to display it or store it. If you’re not going to display it, put it and others like it temporarily in a cardboard box in an accessible spot. Then every month or so, go through the items in the box, choosing a couple of favorites that you would like to keep. Be sure to label the work with your child’s name and age. Go ahead and review the items on display, too. There might be newer pieces you’d like to choose to replace them.

How to keep it
Store items you want to keep but don’t want to display in acid-free boxes. Place boxes in a temperate location to prevent exposure to insects or excessive moisture. This way they’ll last for ever! Another great way to keep a record of your child’s art without taking out a storage unit is to take photos and create a photobook. There are many websites that make this easy. Artkive is an app that is specifically for creating books of children’s’ artwork. Tell your child you are archiving their artwork in a book like they would at a museum! Framing extra special pieces will also make your child feel special. The DaVinci Frame is a visually clean way to display and store art without taking up too much space.

How to get rid of the rest
At the end of the school year, (or calendar year if your child is not in school yet) review all remaining art and make your final decisions. Be considerate of your child and discard any pieces you decide aren’t keepers in a bag and throw it out when your child is not around. You will have one unhappy child if they see one of their drawings in the trash.

No matter what you decide to keep or discard, make sure you properly store and display the keepers.

Alternatively, you could encourage your child to express themselves through song and dance so you don’t have to make these tough decisions. Instead, you’d probably have tons (more) of video, which we’ll save for another day. :)

This also appears on the SPARKBOX Toys blog!

Tags organization organize organized clutter sparkboxtoys parents kids art kids reblog