On our way home from work most weekdays we gain a small pile of artwork and scribbles by way of preschool/daycare. Cedric comes home with a creation or two per week but Dashiell is downright industrious. Each day there are freehand drawings, photocopied coloring sheets full of color, a letter-of-the-week-themed creation, and sometimes something large and folded into thirds. One time it was a truffala tree!
Especially as Dashiell starts to express his own creativity and imagination each piece of his work feels precious! But if we start collecting now we will surely need an entire storage unit to house all the paper by the time they graduate high school. So I knew I needed a system; just the thought brings a calm to my heart.
My system is still evolving a little bit but here's what I've got so far:
+ Display one or two pieces of art work on the fridge or in Dashiell's room where we have some art clips.
+ Collect art work that I want to remember in a designated spot in the office. I recently bought a wire basket for this. Before putting anything into the basket I weed out things that are just trash.
+ Take individual photos of their art against a white poster board every month or so. Then toss it. I keep a piece of white poster board in the closet and bring it out for this. I make sure to do this during the day so that I have good natural light for the photos. I try to keep all photos landscape orientation. There are only a couple of things that I've actually kept after photographing them. Everything else gets thrown away.
+ Upload art photos to a photo stream to share with family. This is similar to how I share photos of the boys with family.
+ Print a photo book with art photos every few years (?). I haven't printed an art photo book yet and I'm not sure how often I want to commit to doing this. I want to save these memories but on the other hand I have just a handful of my work from kindergarten through high school graduation and I'm fine with that.
Right now the boys are at a prime age for producing a lot of little crafts and art work. I know this will dwindle over the years. I'm so happy to have a way to capture these memories in a way that doesn't take up a lot of physical space.