The Foolproof Way to Organize Your Kids' Artwork

As the school year is coming to a close, many of us are panicking at the thought of adding more oversized paintings and macaroni necklaces to our already unruly piles of children’s artwork. While Picasso did declare that “every child is an artist,” I’m pretty sure he didn’t mean you should hang on to every piece of art your kids make. So, how do you decide what to keep and where to store it? Here are some easy tips and tricks to help you honor your kids’ creativity without letting their artwork clutter your home:

Pick one wall. Playroom wall. Staircase wall. Bedroom wall. It’s less about location and more about selecting a designated spot and setting a limit so you don’t end up with kids’ artwork all over your home.

Create a gallery. Creating a beautiful, intentional display shows that you recognize your kids’ efforts and value their work - and it sets a limit to how much can be displayed at once. The key is to make it easy for you and your kids to update the gallery. For example, we have two gallery rails in my son’s playroom which make it so simple for him to switch out his artwork. What about those 3D creations? Again, it’s about picking a designated space. A shelf or a cube or two in a unit is great for housing these types of projects.

Curate. Let your kids curate! When they create new artwork at home or at school, ask if they love it enough to add it to their gallery. The “one in, one out” rule is essential to keeping the gallery from becoming a cluttered mess.

Designate a temporary vault. Use an under-the-bed box for each kid to store artwork that isn’t gallery-worthy. When artwork is taken down from the gallery, put it in this box as well.

Archive the true masterpieces. When the box is full, or at the end of the school year, resist the urge to get another box. Instead, make decisions about which pieces to keep long-term. (Keep in mind that even if you just hold on to 10 pieces per school year, you’ll need to store 150+ pieces of artwork per kid.) Milestone pieces, like the first time your child draws a self-portrait or a picture of your family are keepers. Scribbles in a coloring book? Those can go in the recycle bin. Keep the pieces that reflect the best example (singular) of your child’s talent, creativity, and interest. If you prefer to create a digital portfolio, the options are plentiful. A few of our favorites include Artkive, Canvsly, and Keepy.