I have a 6 and 8 year old who love to draw. Since they were old enough to grab a crayon with their chubby mitts, they’ve been making little creations. Once they started school, it seemed like they were drawing three times as much as ever before. My 6 year old comes home daily with at least a couple of drawings that are learning related (I’m sure I’m not alone on this one).
Every little thing they do seems precious to me; Their sweet little minds put it together in their head before it even showed up on paper. But there is SO much of it. It’s just coming in the door all the time, not to mention the items that are crafted while they’re at home.
So since it’s impractical and unreasonable to keep every little thing that my kids have drawn or colored, I have to choose. I have a file box that is not yet full, but has kept selected art from both of the kids since kindergarten. So that’s, collectively, 6 years worth, and the box is not even full. The selection process looks like this:
I will keep a handful of artwork from the school year when…
1. The art that they make that clearly took a lot of time and it’s something they’re extremely proud of (I can always tell in their face and how excited they are to show me what they’ve made, which ones are truly important to them).
2. I can spot a uniqueness that amplifies their talent on paper and I find it very impressive for their age.
What about the rest?
As I said, I love all the things my kids create. I know that they’ll grow up and these little drawings are like a time capsule of who they were and what they knew. But since humans have a limited amount of physical space in our lives, not everything can, nor should, be kept.
Take a picture.
I take a picture on my camera or phone and load it up to Dropbox.
Dropbox is a type of cloud storage. You can access it from your phone or your computer from wherever you are (That has often come in handy since my phone doesn’t have enough storage space for my liking!). If you don’t have a an account, it takes a second to set up and will download to your desktop. Then, if you have a smartphone, go to the PlayStore or AppStore and download the app (search “dropbox”). Just use that same login information and you’ll have access to and be able to save everything to the same place from your phone or computer.
Throwing away your children’s work may seem harsh, but at some point, not all of their things can stay. It never could, but it can be difficult to part with it. I’ve explained to the kids that it’s not really going away. I take a picture of what they created, and it takes up no space at all and we can look at it whenever we want. And, if the day ever comes that they decide they loved that thing they made in 1st grade and it’s worth putting in a frame, we can print it out and do that (that’s never happened by the way, but the option is there and it gives us all comfort).
The digital age can be a beautiful thing that way. My kids have become very comfortable with this idea and because they only have limited real estate in their own closets, they’re becoming more aware of prioritizing things they love and want to keep, versus things that have less meaning to them anymore as they grow.
I hope this helps you, it’s certainly made my life easier and reduced anxieties all the way around.
Cheers Loves 🙂