Back to school means back to business for your little ones (even if they are not going anywhere)!
The business I’m talking about is the business of making art. Artwork piles take up precious real estate in your NYC apartment. If you are like me, you encourage and love the creativity but aren’t so into the clutter.
Here are a few of my favorite ways to create space and organizational solutions surrounding your child's inner artist.
CREATE A HOME
Luckily my daughter’s school sends artwork home in batches, so I’m not inundated with daily decisions and can do a major edit almost immediately. If your child’s school sends work home frequently, designate an area to put your child's artwork and edit it monthly (or when the space becomes full). Store it in this ART PORTFOLIO or this DEEP SWEATER BOX until you’re ready to sort.
DECLUTTERING AND EDITING
1. Make the time. Carve out small chunks of 10 - 15 minute intervals or one larger chunk of 30 - 60 minutes depending on how much artwork there is! Getting it all done at once is great but remember, slow and steady can also win the race!
2. Get a trash and recycling bin (yes I said it, some of these prized possessions are not going to make the cut!)
3. Start going through the pile, there will be some pieces you absolutely love, pull those out and set them aside.
4. There will be some pieces you absolutely do not love, put those in the trash or recycling.
5. There will be a handful of pieces you are not sure what to do with. Ask yourself the following questions:
- Do you like the way it looks?
- Would you display this piece?
- How does it make you feel?
- Would a friend, grandparent or aunt/uncle enjoy getting this as a gift? (This is a great solution for pieces that you don’t want to throw out but don’t love enough to keep!) Add a frame and what a thoughtful gift.
PRO TIP: I suggest doing an initial edit yourself. And then for the pieces you get stuck on, including your child in the editing process. Engaging your child in this process will help you make decisions about the pieces and it will start to teach them the skill of organizing from an early age. You will quickly know the pieces they are proud of and those you can easily toss, recycle or upcycle. Remember pipe cleaners, glitter and macaroni can’t be recycled!
p.s. It’s always more fun to edit things with someone else - even if they are 4!
WHAT TO DO WITH THE KEEPERS (AND STAYING ORGANIZED)
Below are some of our favorite solutions to honor your little Picasso. Hint: you don’t have to pick just one, a hybrid can be your best friend (in my household we use a mix of option 1, 2 & the pro tip)!
1. As you can see a favorite in our house is a rotating gallery wall that my daughter edits. Make it yourself with string or here is an UPGRADED OPTION. When new pieces come in, she gets to decide what stays on the wall and what gets replaced. This process is crucial and it’s the key to maintaining your organizing system and feeling sane. You have to edit/purge before you can add new. For your absolute favorites, think about framing one or some of them!
3. This YEARLY ART PORTFOLIO is great and it can be tucked away easily out of sight.
4. Going digital can be your best friend! Here is a great digital storage solution:
ARTKIVE – They send you a box and you fill it with your kids’ artwork and send it back! From there, they will professionally photograph your artwork and create a keepsake book or a framed mosaic for you to hang.
PRO TIP: Every year I make a family photo album and sprinkle my child’s artwork throughout. I love this because when we sit down to look at it we get to enjoy ALL of the memories of that year. It also eliminates having multiple photo books and streamlines the number of items you keep in your home (my favorite thing to help create the feeling of calm and control in your home!) SHUTTERFLY is a great source for creating digital photo books.
Once you have a system in place, it will be easy to manage all the creativity that flows into your house without it ever becoming clutter!
Let Laura’s mission is to help create purposeful places for the important things in your life, opening up space and time to focus on living the life you love. Their clients want to make their lifestyle and physical spaces more efficient, less chaotic and overall better. The Company shares your desire to keep things practical and pretty. Their systems will help you create a life that is simple, stylish and sustainable.
Laura has been called fun, detailed, creative, genuine and optimistic. She has always believed the more positive your outlook, the more positive your outcome. When she is not solving space challenges or alleviating the stress of the moving process for clients, you can find her hanging out with her husband and daughter, traveling the world (she has been to forty-two countries and counting!), playing at the water’s edge or cooking up something delicious at home.
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