art gallery with old masters

As the school year winds down, you may find that your home has become quite the museum. The exhibit? Your children’s art!

It is a delight to receive the gift of art from a child, whether your own, or a friend or family member’s. And especially with younger children, there is a lot of art coming through the home! It can’t all go on your walls or refrigerator and you probably don’t want it in piles on counters or in bedrooms. What you need is a uncomplicated organizing solution, and some simple criteria to develop with your children to encourage them to keep their art (and other items!) organized.

You’re in luck! In over ten years of organizing, we have discovered four simple steps for keeping kid’s art tidy and organized:

Organizing & curating kid’s art

  1. Contain: have a container for each child to collect art. Make sure the container is one that the child can use herself, to eliminate the need for you to put art away for her. 
  2. Curate: when the container is full, go through it with your children (or let them do it themselves if they are old enough or independent enough.) Introduce them to the idea of curating; choosing the best pictures to hold onto, allowing the best ones to represent the collection, and letting the rest go. Help your child create criteria for curating: perhaps choose the best from multiple pieces of the same kind or color or agree that unfinished pieces are either completed within a specified time frame or recycled. Or the criteria might be as simple as “how do you feel when you hold this piece of art in your hand? Which of these three works of art brings you more joy?”
  3. Display: Have a bulletin board or frames for your children’s current favorites. Kids will get excited by the task of choosing a favorite to put on this “wall of fame.” Some favorites can be framed and send to loved ones as gifts!
  4. Declutter: Before the new school year begins, have each child pick their favorites from the year, and let the others go. This is like curating, but with the concept that it’s important to declutter our collections regularly over time, to maintain tidiness and order in our homes.

If you or your child find it difficult to let go of art, remember, as Maya Angelou said,

“You can’t use up creativity. The more you use, the more you have.”

Do you have a clever way of curating your own or your children’s art? How do you display it in your home? Please share in the comments!

Discover more ways to mindfully declutter your home or office here! >>

Discover more ways to mindfully organize your home or office here! >>