Friday, May 24, 2013

Artwork Overload

I have a problem.  My kids bring home too much artwork from school/daycare.  And I can't bring myself to throw any of it away.

I fear one day it will bust out of all of the various bins, bags and boxes I have crammed it all into and bury us all.  I made valiant efforts when my oldest daugther started bringing home her creations from daycare.  I bought binders and page protectors and carefully filed everythign away.

Even the pieces where she made one solitary pencil line...her early attempts at modern art I call it.

And then I had baby number 2 and life got a little bit more hectic. Coincidentally that's when the amount of artwork coming home increased ten-fold because now she was attempting to write letters and numbers.

The binder system was overloaded and failed. Large plastic containers were purchased in an effort to save our kitchen counter from being overtaken by random pieces of construction paper, glitter and stickers. And the occasional piece of dried pasta, twig or leaf that broke free.

The plastic containers filled up fast and were sent into the back of a closet. New plastic containers were purchased.

When my second daughter started bringing home her own "one pencil line masterpieces" I knew I was going to have to start making some tough choices. I was going to have to be ruthless.

As piles of artwork caeme home I carefully combed through them to find ones that featured something special like a handprint or attempt to write a name or anything that I could actually figure out what it was.

But every time I threw away a piece of "art" I felt awful. Especially when my oldest found a few of her drawings in the recycling one day.

She looked at me like I was a monster.  "But mummy...I worked SO hard on this." she said as she held up the half coloured in outline of a bunny rabbit. "Its my favourite picture EVER!"

(Boy does that girl have a flare for the dramatic...)

So we rescued the bunny drawing and his pals from their doom and took them back upstairs to live in a plastic box in the cupboard.

That night I started looking online for help.  What I found was ArtKive.  Have you heard of this?

It's an app that allows you to take a photo of your child's artwork and store it online.  You can categorize each piece pretty much anyway you want making it easily searchable later.

I'm in the early stages of using ArtKive but so far I really like it. There are still some pieces that my girls bring home that I insist on keeping like this letter my oldest wrote to my grandpa who died before she was born:

But this sticker/feather/plastic hot mess gets ArtKived and then recycled:

Maybe a quick note to their teachers saying not EVERY piece of "art" has to come home would save me a lot of work in the end. Just sayin'...


  1. I am so happy I came across your blog - my husband won't throw anything away when it comes to the kids school work. They are 11 and 7 - we have large tupperware tubs (meant for storage) filled to the brim. I am going to show him this possibility and hope to get a large section of my garage back.


    1. Thanks for stopping by. So far it has really helped us out - I'm looking forward to getting my closet space back. :) Good luck!