Monday, May 30, 2011

A minimalist mum: Keeping children's artworks

This is a hard one, as I would like to keep EVERYTHING my children create! I love their paintings and the little doodles on paper. Kids are very creative and make all sorts of cool things. Picasso apparently said, "Every child is an artist."

Obviously, keeping all of their artworks is not possible! So I gotta edit, choose and keep only the best.

What do I do?

1. Bring it altogether in one lot. It always helps me to see how many I actually have.

2. Time also helps. I kept everything my son (now 5) did as a two year old, and I look at some of them now and think...hmmm...some can be recylcled!

3. Give yourself a physical limit - e.g. One big box per child.

4. Give yourself a number - e.g. Keep 20 paintings per child per year. (Remember, if you do the maths, that is 15 yrs x 20 = 300, if you count kindergarten and two years of preschool). You now multiply that with the number of children in your family.

5. Put three or four that are similar together and choose only one out of the lot.

6. Of course, the obvious, take pictures of the artworks! Include the artist in the picture.

7. Use as wrapping paper.

8. Send some to Grandma. And some to Great-grandma.

9. Cut out some (if they will cooperate!) and use to make nice cards.

10. Buy a display folder and display the best. Ask your child to help you choose the ones to put in the display folder.

11. Once you have a collection of digital photos, make a photo book every 2 or 3 years. This will also make a great gift.

I like writing the name of the child on the back of the paper, plus the date. I've just started writing a sentence to go with the artwork as well.


  1. I love the idea of taking photos of the artwork. We got a book from preschool with a years worth of work glued into it. so much easier to store than random bits of paper. I throw a lot in the recycling. feels so wasteful giving the kids paints and crayons etc and then throwing it all out!
    We like using art work as wrapping paper for gifts.

  2. it's not wasteful!!! they are being creative in the process :)
    that's very organised of your preschool to send a book like that.