Organizing the Artwork - with guest Train to Crazy

Hello! I'm Andrea. You can find me blogging at The Train To Crazy where I share my passion for sewing and creating. The blog title often gives people a good laugh and many people stop to reflect that they too are on the same train. I'm a mother to four children within 5 years so I really do feel like I've earned the blog title. 
As we're getting ready to head back to school I want to discuss the issue of ALL THAT STUFF children bring home. I'm sure you know what I'm talking about. Worksheets, stories, art projects, pictures, etc. The never ending stream of STUFF. 

What do you do with everything? Are you a toss it in the garbage or a save every scrap kind of parent? Most of you probably fall somewhere in between but wherever you are let's talk about how to organize it so that it can be both appreciated and not get out of control.
Here is what we do.

1. Your bedroom wall is your display area. Tape up whatever you want. Rotate how you please. Make it your own! If you're not so big on the chaos that might (and usually does) ensue with this method, how about a clip up display?

or use chicken wire?

Or perhaps you need the organization only frames provide
2. Use an art portfolio (or 3 ring binder with clear page protectors) to keep favorite assignments and artwork. If you have 20 pages your student must decide which are his favorite. When it gets full it is time to start purging. By the end of the year he should have his most favorite paintings, stories and math quizes saved in one neat place. 

3. When the year is complete make a memory album. Take everything out of the portfolio and scan them onto your computer. Take photos of the larger items. Don't forget to scan report cards, certificates, recital programs, etc. Use an online photobook company and make a great yearbook for each of your kids. Inlcude special photos throughout the year from home and school. Don't forget photos of the first and last day. I also include other special milestones like height, teeth lost, etc.
Memory book 253
Small. Easy to store. Perfect.
Memory book 250
Add fun artwork and special notes.
Memory book 251
Including special family moments keeps the memories alive!
If you haven't made an album online before, it is very easy. If you sign up for email specials from the different companies or pay attention to groupons you can probably make an album for $10-15. I just made one for $14 plus shipping. 
Memory book 254
And best of all, she loves her album.
Then toss everything but the album. You've got both digital copies and a special album with all the memories. Reuse the portfolio for the next year.
How do you store and save all the precious documents of childhood?
Thanks for having me Megan!

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  1. That album idea is brilliant!!! You cannot imagine (or actually, you probably can) the piles and piles and PILES of stuff that I can't seem to pare down. THANK YOU! :)

  2. Great tips! I keep intending to make a digital album - I'll have to make it HAPPEN this year, especially with two kids in school!

  3. What great ideas! I totally, completly have to keep portfolio's for both my kids, ages 5 and 3. The amount of "stuff" they come home with from Daycare is mindblowing. What a great way to save it with actually saving it! Thanks!

  4. Sigh. I've been meaning to do this for years and still haven't. Some day....

  5. Great ideas! I've been working on displaying my kids' artwork too. I use both the IKEA wire and clips, as well as good old-fashioned frames.

    I mentioned this post in my blog. Please check it out when you get a chance: http://dontmesswithmama.com/2011/08/03/ideas-for-displaying-kids-artwork/