The school year may have recently ended (yes, I am in complete denial that summer is halfway over), but in the past week I had three separate conversations with friends about what to do with ALL. THE. STUFF your kids bring home from school, camp and Sunday School.
First of all, it’s all precious, of course. But let’s be honest, who has the space? Some of your little artists are really prolific.
If you find yourself wanting to be somewhere in between the two extremes of “chucking projects into the nearest waste basket on the way from school” and “appearing on the next season of Hoarders” I found this great little app that works well for us*.
For the past five or so years I have been using Artkive app on my phone, so every day when my kids bring a project home, or if it’s too wet/gooey/glittery to even bring home, I snap a picture and tag it with the appropriate kid’s name and age. If you’re so inclined, you can even write a short description or a tag for each piece of art.
Last year, time got the better of me and I just had two large paper bags in our office closet where I put all my kids’ art. I finally tackled it all at once a few weeks ago. It actually worked well, because with some time having passed, it was easy to pick the few pieces that I actually wanted to keep. The keepers are usually pieces involving their sweet little hand prints or some major shift in their creativity. (“Look, her humans now have necks!”) Those pieces are then stored in their individual labeled scrapbook storage box.
At the end of the school year (or a longer period of their life when they’re younger) I create their very own hard cover coffee table book with their art. It takes about 10 minutes through the app. Really, ten minutes, that’s it. You select the art you want to include, the cover page and title. And voila!
There is even an option to have someone on the Artkive team look through the book before printing to ensure it looks good. Artkive also offers a service of sending all that junk precious art in a box to them, and they do the scanning and just send you the book at the end. I’ve never tried it, but can see how awesome that could be.
My kids are so proud when their book comes and they love flipping through it every now and then. And my momma’s emotional heart is content. And, thankfully, my son, who’s exhibiting hoarder tendencies, is also happy with this. Win, win!
*Do I need to say here that all my opinions are my own and I have not been compensated in any way for endorsing these products?