Thursday, February 3, 2011

Clutter Busting Tip: How to Store Children’s Art

But first a back story. While flipping through magazines the other day at my local bookstore, I picked up The Nest.  I would probably read this magazine on a regular basis if I was a 20-something as it covers not just decorating, but relationships, weddings, first baby etc.

Anyhow, seeing as I love Glee and one of the actors was on the cover, I picked it up and as I was flipping through I noticed my name and Decor Happy. So exciting!  

At the After Party (after a taping of the Nate show) in NYC, sponsored by the Nest, they were looking for organizational tips to be included in an upcoming issue. I had forgotten I had submitted something.


Another Canadian blogger, Kerry, was also quoted as well as some other bloggers.  You can read the full article here.

The only problem with the quote is that it is not at all what I had submitted.  I’m not really sure what wall clutter is or why you would look at art online! I’m sure it was just an oversight on their part.

What I had said was:  “I photograph my daughter's art work from school and art camps to keep in an album rather than keeping all of the originals. That way they are not forgotten and they don’t take up storage space."

This was a tip given to me by one of my oldest friends who has three kids.  I thought it was a great idea because kids come home with such precious art from school or camps and you can’t possibly keep it all. I know some Moms that keep everything and some that keep only a few special pieces each year.  I’m somewhere in the middle and do feel a little guilty when M sees some of her work in the recycling bin (busted!)


These are some photos taken last year of my daughter’s art that was too bulky to keep (although when it came down to it, I did still end up keeping some of these pieces!)  We still keep all of our photos in albums rather than just online.  M loves to flip through an album and remember people and events in her life.  You can take this one step further and create a photo book (digital scrapbook) of all the art work.

Of course, the best idea is to frame some of your kid’s art and hang it. It doesn’t have to be professionally framed – Ikea or Michael’s will do; and it doesn’t have to be framed at all, just tacked to the wall.  Kid’s really love seeing their art on display.


This is M’s playroom art wall which looks slightly different from when I posted about it here. That is the beauty of art walls – you can add to them or change what’s already there.  I have added the Charlene Serdan prints which I blogged about here.  I also added framed fabric and wallpaper samples and a painting and drawing she recently did.  (She really is into peace signs these days and leaving me notes with “peace out” on them – okay, I can take a hint!)

Other ways to store children’s art (make sure you note the date):

  • place them in scrapbooks
  • place them in bins or portfolios by grade/year
  • have them laminated
  • mail some to grandparents, aunts, etc.
  • use them for wrapping paper

Do you have any organizational tips for storing children’s art or paper in general?  Would love to hear.

(I’ll be back tomorrow at 9:00 a.m. with the winner of the Homesav giveaway. There’s still time to enter and you have a year to use the gift card on some wonderful upcoming items!)


  1. I'm so glad you posted this Vanessa - you do have a lot of great tips on it! :)

    My Dad made a HUGE built-in, in their family room and he made his own massive filing drawers. He keeps one under "K" for Kerry. I've peaked in a few times and he's kept some old report cards and artwork. It may not be visible, but it makes me smile that he decided to keep them! :)

    Also thanks for the mention above! xx

  2. Congrats on the mention in The Nest, even if you were mis-quoted!

    Would you believe I've somehow inherited boxes of art that I did at school!? And trust me, elementary school was a long time ago! I wish my family was better at purging!

    Framing & hanging kid's art is a great idea - the perfect colourful and one-of-a-kind artwork :-) Love the art wall in M's playroom :-)

  3. I frame some of my kids artwork and hang all over the house. Any others I place in each child's Rubbermaid bin that is in storage. Every June we take it out and go through the pile while adding in new stuff from the year!

  4. Congrats on the menion in the Nest- how cool! There are so many great tips in this post- I have buckets of kiddie art so am definitely going to refer back to this often!

  5. How wonderful to be flipping through a magazine and see yourself quoted! H. hasn't started brining home art yet but it will happen soon I'm sure.

  6. I love the idea of a little photo scrapbook, you're right you can't keep everything!

  7. I recently took a photo of my son's school project (done on a huge poster board) too big to fit in his yearly "art boxes" that I keep and store...but must admit - now that he's in the 4th Grade...I feel like I need to re-evaluate and get rid of some stuff (which breaks my heart) but now I have your idea! Take photos of the art work (or clay sculptures that are falling apart) and he'll always have them to remember. Thank you for this thoughtful post!

  8. crazy how they got your quote wrong! I have shared this exact tip as well. In fact, I shared it in a workshop I did a year ago. It was a workshop on preserving family history, momentos, and photos. I suggested they take photographs of the memorabilia and either create a book, scrapbook, or album to keep them in. I've also used the kids art idea that I send out in my monthly newsletter to clients. I really should bring up both those ideas again and actually post them on my blog. It's wonderful knowing someone else is actually encouraging others about art.


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