My kids love to draw. And color. And paint. Which means we have a lot of artwork hanging around the house.
Now I have had some virtual clients tell me they just throw everything away. And I have had virtual clients who get super overwhelmed with all the artwork because they want to keep everything.
So how can we find middle ground?
We have one question we ask before we declutter.
Sentimental Vs. Clutter
First, let’s start by going over some things regarding artwork.
There will always be some things that will be sentimental. Those pieces of artwork that mean something to you.
And there will always be artwork that is sentimental to the kiddos.
This is an important thing to note. Something might be special to you, but has no value to the kiddo. And vise versa.
Which is why I always recommend that you create a memory box for each family member. When you find sentimental items that mean something to you, you can place them in your box.
But you have to let the kids’ take control over their boxes. Because it is the items that they want to save.
Think about all the items your parents’ have saved for you. Do you remember most of the things they saved? Or are you dreading the day you actually have to go through that mess?
For me, my mom saved most things that were meaningful to her. So I had an easy time parting with the majority of those items.
Best Time To Declutter
Now the best time to declutter kids’ artwork is after they have had time to celebrate and appreciate their artwork. Which is why I love showcasing their artwork so they can appreciate it.
Some of my favorite ways to showcase include:
And as time goes by, they will be able to declutter their own artwork. Because they have seen their work for a while, that they can get bored with it.
So let the kiddos’ enjoy their work before you do a big declutter session.
Big Declutter Of Artwork
Let’s say that the art display frames are piling up with stuff. So you know you have to declutter. But how do you start?
Take all the kiddos’ artwork and create one pile on the floor.
Get a recycling bag and Post-It notes set up. On the Post-It notes, write keep, photo, recycle.
Lay out the Post-It notes to create 3 separate piles behind the artwork pile.
Then grab your kiddo. Sit down together and hold up each piece of artwork. As your child if they want to keep the piece of art. If they want to make a photo book of their favorite artwork. Or if they want to recycle the artwork. If you haven’t already created a photo book of artwork, make sure you explain this to your kiddos. You can even have them help you take the pictures and send away for the book. I use apps called ChatBooks, MixBook, or ArtKive to create picture books.
Place that piece of artwork into the pile they decided on. Do not make them second-guess their decision. Just go with it.
Once they are done sorting their pile, remove the recycling pile immediately.
Then it is your turn to sort through some of the artwork. And as you sort through the artwork, ask yourself this one question.
The One Question You Should Ask
As you are going through the remaining artwork, you need to ask yourself this question: do I need to physically hold this item in order to appreciate it?
I have found when you ask yourself this question, you stop trying to save all the artwork. Because you are now looking at what you need to feel, rather than deciding which is more important.
You can make photo books of all the kids’ artwork in order to appreciate their work. But when you have to physically touch something to see how magical it is, that is when you know you have to hold onto it. These books are perfect for reducing the artwork piles while still appreciating the artwork your kiddos’ created.
The items that you need to physically hold to appreciate are the items you will want to put in your memory or sentimental box. That is why you have to go through the piles after your kiddos. So you can find those special items after they have decided what they feel is special to them.
Their special pieces of artwork should go in their memory bin. Even if you don’t agree with everything they wanted to save, just store it in the bin. Once the bin starts to get full, you will have to do a declutter session of those items. And the kids need to be the ones’ who help. So let them hold onto their things as they will have to declutter those items again.
Parting With Artwork
It can be a heavy burden to try to decide what to do with all the artwork that can pile up. But sorting the artwork into piles with your child will help. Because they are taking ownership of their artwork. The burden no longer falls on you alone. So get the kids involved.
If you are still struggling with parting with artwork or deciding what is special, the Workbook For Decluttering Sentimental Items is the action plan you need. The workbook supports you as you sort through sentimental items, including kids’ artwork. Important questions to ask yourself are shared, along with checklists to keep you focused on the decluttering steps.
Dealing with other people’s sentimental items is discussed so you can feel confident about setting boundaries around what items can and cannot come into your home. Plus ways to display and store your sentimental items are also included in the workbook.
As you look around your storage area, at those piles of artwork, and hand-me-down clothing, knowing you have a plan for decluttering all that stuff will put your mind at ease. Get the Workbook For Decluttering Sentimental Items Here.