What is this?
Add to My Yahoo!
Add to My MSN
Add to Google

Organizing Kids' Artwork -
The "Art" of Organization

Organizing kids' artwork can be just a crazy task. Their creative pieces come in all shapes, sizes, and materials.

My kids come home from school on a daily basis with a combined average of 6 pieces of artwork. Yes, that's 30 masterpieces a week - 120 a month. This also does not include projects done at home. So, organizing kids' artwork is a priority in my house.

I'm all for encouraging their creative side (I felt very creative as a child myself). The question is what do you do with all of those wonderful masterpieces? Well here are some great ideas that will help you answer that question and help you start organizing your kid's artwork.

Organizing Kids' Artwork

  1. Decisions! Decisions! Decisions!

    You know it is not practical to keep every piece. So,organizing kids' artwork starts here. It is time to make those tough decisions - which ones stay and which ones must make a graceful exit to the garbage. If you have the time to make these tough decisions with your child everyday - you are one step ahead.

    However, my kids like to savor their projects and I have learned not to fight this instinct. Therefore, when organizing my kids' artwork I let each child keep their art projects for 1 month in an artist folder - one for each child. This way they can show off their weekly projects to relatives (and siblings) by just pulling out the folder.

    Let me reinforce that after one month we pick out the favorites and toss the rest. After they have had the chance to look at them for a month it is easier for them to pick out their favorites.

    At the end of a year this is the final step in organizing my kids' artwork. The top winners make it to a flat file box for long term storage. See tip number 4 for more information on flat file boxes.

  2. Frame It!

    Do you have any extra wall space? Are you looking to decorate your child's room? What better way than with original artwork.

    Keep frames on the wall in a permanent place and change out the pictures periodically. One tip though is to make sure the frames you have are easily accessible and easy to change. Otherwise you probably will not change the art as frequently as you would like.

  3. Scan it and forget it!

    Organizing kids' artwork doesn't always have to be on paper! If you have a computer and a scanner use it to your advantage. Scan your pieces to a disc and keep them forever.

    If you are not a computer owner, take pictures of the artwork and save it to a disc for easy access and storage.

    This is a good idea for the ones that didn't make it to the top picks but were still worth remembering.

  4. Flat File Boxes

    These have to be my favorite! I chose to use these instead of just a filing system because most of my childrens artwork is bigger in nature and will not fit in a typical 9X11 folder. After we make our final cut for the year all the winners make it here.

    If you are really serious find one that is archival and protects the paper longterm. Store these in other areas of the house as decorative items on bookcases or in an office. Make sure the box is at least 11 X 14 inches for those oversize pictures.

    You can solve the problem of organizing by year or age by always writing your child's name and age or grade on the picture. Or, you can simply add a blank page between years as you pile them in the box.

  5. Start a scapbook

    Here's a great chance to bring out more creativity in our child. Have them save their favorite pictures in a scrapbook that they help create.

  6. Display Away!

    Take some extra space you already have or create some new. Kids love to see their own creations it just adds to their self esteem. These are some ways to start displaying and organizing kids' artwork:

    • Bulletin Board - these can be placed in the child's room - on a door, above a desk , an armoire door- anywhere there is extra space within their reach. You could even make your own or install corkboard at the back of a bookcase for an instant bulletin board.
    • Go Vertical - Have a tall space not big enough for a frame? Hang a ribbon and attatch pictures with small metal clips or colorful tiny clothespins.

      Or use an old country style ladder. Attatch pictures using silver office rings around the rungs. Learn it up against the wall or attatch to the wall altogether - either way it makes a great display.

    • The clothesline theory -Find any kind of sturdy twine, metal, or fabric roping of your liking and attatch it in a room against the wall like a clothesline. Again, attatch pieces of art with small metal clips or colorful mini clothespins. This saves from the putting too many holes in the wall and prevents adhesives or tapes destroying paint, wallpaper, or drywall.

    • Instant Gallery - Place pieces in frames along a high shelf. Be extreme and place high shelving around a whole room or just use a few shelves in select places.
    • Temporary enjoyment - For special holiday projects that are larger (disposable and temporary) I have secured these with painters tape (the blue kind). It is gentler on the walls and if you don't leave it up too long (a few days) it doesn't pull off the paint or drywall.

  7. Gifts Anyone?

    Children learn early on that people do exchange gifts for special occasions. But, spending alot of money is out of the question and not a value I want to instill to my kids.

    Why not suggest artwork? Remember that original art folder I use? As they show their artwork off they may get hints from relatives as to what pictures they liked. Frame the picture in a special frame (which can also have homemade touches) and give it as a gift. Most relatives will enjoy getting such a creative gift from the heart.

    Scanners and digital cameras have elevated picture taking (and gift giving) to a whole new level. These great devices allow you to take pictures and transfer them to your computer to reprint in many different ways. You can transfer images to almost anything and use them on cards, letters, on fabric for a pillow or blanket. So, if you have access to these electronic wonders take advantage of them.

The Final Tips on Organizing Kids Artwork

Unfortunately not all artwork is built to last longterm so keep these ideas in mind when organizing kids' artwork:

What I have learned is that you don't have to wallpaper you child's room or your house with artwork. But, your kids are only young once. So, when organizing kids artwork, display it, and store it correctly right from the start. Your plan will payoff when you are able to look back in their flat file boxes or scrapbooks and remember when...it's a great feeling!

Do you need more organizing ideas? Then try our monthly Home Organizing Ideas Newsletter. It is filled with original ideas and expert advice to help you reach your organizing goals. Receive my special free booklet on how you can start organizing your desk, garage, papers, closet and more! It's FREE so SIGN UP NOW by clicking on the link on the top right of this page!

Top of Page

From Organizing Kids' Artwork Back to Home Page