Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Keeping Kids artwork orginized from savvy moxie

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I sent this idea out (via email) to all of my Mommy friends about a year ago and I decided it’s worthy of a blog post. I don’t come up with a whole lot of good ideas, but I think this is one of them (excuse me as I pat myself on the back).

And, I figured now is the perfect time to post it – the new year is almost upon us. Many of us (if not most) will feel the need to organize our homes and clean out the clutter.

If you're like me, you have a LOT of artwork from your kids that you don't know what to do with. It took me 6+ years of trial and error, but I finally have a system that is working really well (and not taking up a lot of room!)

So, I thought I'd share it - because I would have LOVED advice on this 6 or so years ago.

I went to the craft store, Michaels, and bought 3 matching decorative accordion file boxes, in 3 different colors. (They cost $19.99 but I went three separate times with three 40% off coupons – you know, the ones that always come in the mail or are in the Sunday paper) so they came to $12 each plus tax. I’ve noticed that Hobby Lobby has similar accordion files and they often have a coupon on their website for 40% a single item in their store. You can find their weekly coupon by clicking here.

I also bought decorative letter stickers so that I could "write" each kid’s name on each folder.

Then, using my computer, I made labels for the inside sections - you know, for each grade. (I did not attach the grade stickers on in advance - just in case 2nd grade takes up less room than, let's say, 3rd grade.) I just printed out a sheet of all the grades, stuck on what we needed thus far, and put the rest of the sheet in a back section.

As Jordan or Bennett (and ultimately, Maclain) bring home their "art", I decide what is "keep worthy" and stick it in the current "slot" in the accordion file. The file is larger than 8 1/2 x 11 so it holds pretty big projects. I also save report cards, certificates, notes from teachers, photos that come home from events and things like that in there.

Then, I bought a different kind of accordion file for me and my husband. I divided it into 3 sections -one for each kid. In those slots go the things the kids make for us - you know, birthday cards, notes they write us, pictures they draw of our family, etc. AND, I always save, for myself, handprint and footprint artwork.

This way, when my kids are "old and gone" I can give each of them their folder - to have as a nice memory of their school years - and I have my own folder of special memories and "gifts" from the kids.

Hope this gives you all some good ideas! I bet many of you already have good systems, but since it took me so long to come up with one, I wanted to share it!

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