How to manage kids artwork
Parenting & Family

The Best Way to Manage Kids’ Artwork

2 Minute Read

Kids’ artwork can be so magical and special.  Your wonderfully talented little child created a masterpiece just for you!  You express your love for it and gush over the colors and the imagination…and then you get 20 more identical creations in the span of 10 minutes. Children’s artwork can be magical, yes, but it can also be so overwhelming and frustrating.  You don’t want to toss that hard work in the recycling bin immediately, but you also don’t want your refrigerator plastered with so much artwork that you can’t even enjoy it.  We need a compromise.  Read on for the best way to manage kids’ artwork in 2 minutes or less.

Display Artwork

First, have a system for showing off artwork that doesn’t take over your house.  Choose one area as your display area and stick to your limits.  

You can purchase frames that lift open for easy artwork swaps.  For my 3 kids, I grabbed a couple of thrift store frames, removed the glass, and hot glued clothespins to the top.  Each child has a dedicated frame and I can easily clip artwork up there when they ask me to display it.  

Display area in art zone

Artwork Overflow

Second, have an overflow area.  This is great for artwork that doesn’t make the “display” cut, projects that are currently in session, or worksheets brought home from school.  We use a plastic bin on the ground next to our art zone.  Teach your kids what this area is for and remind them to use it often. See how it’s overflowing?  This brings me to the next step. 

Overflow bin for artwork and projects

Go Through Artwork

Third, clear out regularly.  Once a month (give or take), I clean out the overflow bin and the displayed art.  For the overflow, most of it gets recycled unless there’s a project in there that needs to get finished. 

For the displayed artwork, I remove one child’s artwork at a time so I don’t mix them up.  This is easy to do when the twins are in the same scribble/circle/stamp artwork development stage.  Then I organize them into like piles:  school projects, random drawings, and paintings.  

Organize artwork and take photos

I clear off my kitchen table, line up the artwork, and take pictures of everything.  All those pictures get immediately cropped and sent to their artwork album on my phone.  

This is magic, and I’m going to come back to it. 

With the overflow bin, I just sort through to see if there’s anything worth snapping a photo of and adding to my digital artwork albums. Everything else goes in the recycling.

Keeping Special Artwork

After I go through all the displayed artwork, I will sometimes feel the need to keep a special project or two from each child.  I have a storage container that houses anything I feel I want to keep and I will probably keep doing that until it’s full. Then I’ll go through and clear that out, too.  

Extra bin for sentimental things to keep

Ta Da!  A clear display place along with an emptied overflow bin, waiting for more creations.  

Now back to the magic:  Artwork photo books.  

I started this with my oldest’s preschool artwork.  He would get so upset if I said we had to get rid of absolutely anything so I needed a way to show him I still valued and cherished his belongings without hanging on to it.  

Album on phone to organize artwork photos

After he graduated preschool, I presented him with his very own Preschool Artwork Book.  I had that nice little album on my phone of all of his creations.  All I had to do was upload them to my Chatbooks account and pick a title page.  He LOVED it and still looks through it.  I plan to continue this yearly with each of my children until the artwork dwindles.  (Does it ever? No idea.)

Artwork photo book

Side Note:  I use Chatbooks for all my printed photo books.  I started their monthly minis series when the twins were born and it is so simple and inexpensive. I recommend it to everyone.  

Visit Chatbooks Here

With this system of managing my kids’ artwork, there is no crying when papers get recycled and the kids come to expect routine clean-ups.  If they want to see something they made that I’ve gotten rid of, they can just ask to see a photo of it and I can scroll to their album! 

How to manage kids’ artwork

Systems for the Win

Remember:  choose a display place with a set limit, have an overflow area that’s easy to reach, and clear out regularly.  Use the technology we have to your advantage with organized photo albums on your phone, which in turn can create very simple photo books if desired. 

More posts that may interest you:

How to Extend the Life of Kids’ Leggings
The Best Books for People with Little Kids
How to Walk Kids to School in Winter
How to Get Out the Door on Time with Kids
How I Keep My House Clean With Kids

I hope you found this 2 minute read on The Best Way to Manage Kids’ Artwork practical and helpful!  If you’re looking for more tips on family solutions, subscribe to my weekly emails. 


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