Back-to-School Organizing: Artwork

We are fast approaching the new school year and getting organized is a key element to a smooth transition for heading back-to-school! With that in mind, here is the first installment of Just the Tips, a Shelfie feature where I bring you pointers on how to deal with TMS (Too Much Stuff).

JUST THE TIP

Create one bin per kid for all the completed art projects that come home in their back-packs. For the bulky artwork, ask yourself if you really need to hold onto the paiper-mâché dinosaur. If yes, limit yourself to two per kid at a time. Follow the “one in, one out” rule.  Let them keep it in their room on a shelf and if it is a real special piece, you can purchase display boxes to keep the pieces in. This will create consistency and help avoid visual clutter.  Store the small glittery stuff in ziploc baggies which come in several sizes and use plastic food wrap for the bulky sparkle situations. The completed artwork bin can also be used for artwork they create at home which inevitably ends up mixed in with the plain paper, construction paper, sticker books, activity books and so on.  

Set-Up

Buy one OPEN bin per kid - make sure the bins match  (mismatched storage solutions add to visual clutter), and smack a label on the bin with each kid's name followed by “Artwork” like I did in the photo above.  These bins are for FINISHED ART PROJECTS ONLY.  Keep the bin in a toy storage closet that is out of sight but still accessible to the kids if they want to show Grandma a painting they made when she comes by.  Your child will be proud to have a designated place for their completed masterpieces.  It provides each kid with ownership over something.

Maintain

See the word “OPEN” emphasized above? That is your key to maintaining the system. Anything that stacks, pulls open (like a drawer) or requires lid removal requires extra effort - and maybe it is only one second of extra effort - but the reason we organize to begin with is to relieve stress and make time for things we want to be doing instead of putting in extra effort to organize.  Often times, I see attempts at organizing systems but they don’t work - items are left next to their designated home instead of inside their designated home.  Be honest with yourself.  If you are someone who isn’t going to take the extra second to put something back in its place because it is straight up annoying to lift a lid or open a drawer, then create a system that works with who you are.  Ain’t nothing wrong with that!

 

Choosing Artwork to Keep & Toss

Be selective. This can be tough because kids are so proud of and excited about everything they create. But the piece of paper with one scribble mark drawn on in purple colored pencil, a ripped Frozen sticker in the corner and their name on the back can probably be thrown out once the initial excitement fades. You aren’t going to get rid of the good stuff.  Kids can make some dope projects that often end up in frames on your walls!  If you are real serious about saving old artwork, when the bin is full, you can transfer the artwork into a larger bin with the year and name labeled and place into storage or use a service called Plum Print which I’ve heard wonderful things about.  If you keep artwork on the fridge, swap it out with new stuff every few weeks and put the old stuff in the bin.  

Good Luck! 

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