Tuesday, October 16, 2018

Not Getting Buried By the Art Work of Your Children

Hello, welcome! Thanks for joining me as we talk about decluttering and simplifying.

Do any of your have children that are artists? All of my children have spent some time drawing but Megan has done it prolifically for years now. She draws basically every single day. She usually draws more than once a day and usually more than one picture at a sitting. She also likes to paint and use other art forms. She likes the idea of being an artist and truly she is one already. 

  Lots of time spent doing art creates a LOT of artwork. Sometimes that can be hard to deal with. Beautiful to be sure but it doesn't feel so beautiful when it is piled on the counters, falling off the front of the fridge or laying all over the table or the floor. So I thought I would share some of the ways we have dealt with mountians of artwork and maybe some other ideas I have heard of. I also hope that you will weigh in and give some suggestions for making artwork manageable.
 And here we go....

  • Give them a space (when Megan was younger it was a box in her closet, lately it has been a kitchen cupboard and tonight she moved it to a wooden box/stool that we have in our house) that they can keep their artwork in. When it gets to full they are in charge of going through it and getting rid of the ones that they don't like as much. It all needs to fit in that space.
  • Send it off in the mail. Pretty much everybody likes getting mail and a picture is fun to get and look at. I think this is especially good for grandparents and others that are like grandparents to us, young children - cousins, friends, missionary kids, Aunts and Uncles, whoever. In no way do they need to feel obliged to keep it (and try not to make them feel that way) but just like sending a letter to brighten their day you can send pictures. Personally I think it is nicest to pair it with a letter but do as you please. And if they do keep it for years you do not have to feel guilty about it, hopefully it is still bringing them pleasure.
  • Wrap a small present with it.
  • Make a card with it (to give to somebody).
  • Make an envelope out of it.
  • Frame it and hang it on your wall. You can have a frame that you rotate special pictures through.
  • I have rarely done this but many people suggest that you take a picture of it and then you can move the actual artwork on.
  • Turn it into wallpaper. (picture below) This is just temporary at our house but in our unfinished bedroom in the basement I suggested that Megan have an art gallery. So we are filling up the walls with pictures. It is kind of fun.
  • Have one small folder that you keep all the special ones it. Or just a random selection that shows their art style through the years. I have done this haphazardly (meaning when I remember) with my kids for many years. I pulled Mara's out when we were looking for display things at her graduation, I thought we could use a couple from when she was little. She decided to set the whole folder out and different ones commented that they enjoyed looking through it.
  • Have a string or ribbon hanging up somewhere in your house where you can clothespin pictures. When it gets full than something old gets discarded in order to put the new picture up. This was a good solution at our house for many years. 
  • Recycle the rest. For children that have been overly attached I have done it when they weren't around and they have never missed them.

So, how do you deal with artwork? I would love to hear.


Connie said...

I love that you encourage her and put her work out for others to see. I was just like your Megan when I was a child, but my Mom looked at them said they were pretty and then tossed them in the garbage. No clutter in her house. This is a God given talent and it should be recognized and encouraged. I'm sure that when she is drawing she is in a tranquil place that brings her rest and enjoyment.
You're a sweet Momma :)

Nola said...

This is a great post! We struggle with this too. My middle daughter creates several pieces of artwork per day. We've done many similar things but I still have too much I need to go through it again.

Abbi said...

Connie, Thank you for your encouragement. It has been my goal to never make her feel like she is creating useless junk because truly it is pretty neat and the more she practices the better she gets.

Nola, It does seem like it can easily pile up still - doesn't it. :-)


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