I was at my doctor’s office today for a routine check-up. The nurse who checked me in was reviewing the information the office had on file for me. When she got to the part that indicated my profession she asked ‘really? Are you really a professional organizer?” I said ‘Yes!’ She told me she wanted to take me home with her. Generally, when I tell people what I do they either say something like ‘I need you!’ or ‘Will you come to my house?’ My response is always ‘ Give me a call when you are ready – here is my card.’ So that is how I responded to the nice nurse. I gave her my card. A few minutes later she approached me in the waiting room and told me she’d been to my website and that I have some good tips on it. I thanked her and went back to my reading. A little later she came back to me, a little hesitantly, and asked if she could pick my brain for a few minutes. Of course I said ‘Sure.’ Her question had to do with her children’s artwork. She has two chidren; one in kindergarten and one in first grade. They are coming home with lots and lots of artwork. She doesn’t want to keep it all (that’s good!) but she also doesn’t want to just toss it. What should she do? It’s a quandry… I told this really nice nurse the same thing I tell all my clients with children bringing home artwork.
Buy an album for each child. You can use a thin binder or a dedicated photo album. When the child brings home an art project ‘OOh and AAh’ then take a picture of the child holding the art. Print the picture (either at home or where ever you print photographs). Put the picture in the album and have them tell you something about the art. It can be just a title of the art piece or the date, the school year, and the teacher’s name or it can be a few sentences. Really, it’s up to you and your child.
Then, once the picture is safely in the album you can dispose of the art. This method does several things. It honors the effort the child put into creating the artwork, it keeps the piece in the child’s memory, and it eliminates the need to keep all the art in your house. Understand, though, that there may be a piece or two or three that you want to keep around for awhile – maybe for this school year. Or until these masterpieces are replaced by even better works of art!