There is never enough time in the day, love in your life, or room in your house for all of the “treasures” your children accumulate…It leaves you wondering what the heck to do with all the kids’ artwork…
Have you ever looked around your house and realized that it would actually look pretty darn clean if it wasn’t for all of the clutter you just can’t bring yourself to throw away because “they might want it someday,” or “it was such a special memory when they made __________ (insert random dust gathering object here)”???
I’m going to let you in on a little secret of mine that helped me get rid of the clutter – and avoid the “Bad Mom Guilt” usually associated with trashing the treasures…
No, not that kind of cloud.
I’m talking the electronic-storage-somewhere-that-none-of-us-really-understand kind of cloud.
Here are five simple steps to using the cloud to help organize your child’s artwork (without the guilt of just tossing it!):
1. What’s it Worth?
Take a survey of all of the little treasures. Pick each one up in your hands.
Is it something you don’t mind dusting daily or taking the time to have it framed? GOOD! Then find a permanent place to display it, or actually take it to be framed then hang it on the wall for the world to see.
Not worth the effort? That’s fine, too!
Proceed to step two.
2. Make the Call
No. I don’t mean literally make a call, but 99.9% of us have this thing attached to us at all times called a cell phone.
99.9% of those have the ability to take a picture.
So do it. Take a picture of the item in question. Then proceed to step 3.
3. Send it to the Cloud
Upload that photo to a cloud-based server.
Most cell providers give you this with your plan, if not, there are plenty of free ones out there you can utilize (like the Google Photos app). Make a folder with your kid’s name and the year the treasure is from.
If you’ve got multiple kids and multiple years, this might take a little work to setup, but it’s SO worth it in the end.
Make sure it’s safely uploaded and stored.
Proceed to step 4.
4. Toss the Treasure
Trash can, meet treasure. Treasure, meet trash can.
Do as much as you can handle, then bag it up and take it out to the curb.
I’ve found when you’re starting this process, there’s a tendency to dig out some of the items because the guilt starts eating at you.
Once it’s at the curb, though, it’s like a mental wall that eliminates the “take backsies” so you’re able to move on.
***Side note: Trophies take up SO much room! They can also be kind of expensive for non-profits to buy. A lot of organizations are glad to recycle trophies. So just remove the inscribed plate, donate them, and they can have a new plate made for the following year. Remove the clutter and help out your cause! Bonus tip: You can have a wall plaque made displaying all of the trophy plates instead of having 597 trophies taking up space.***
Proceed to step 5.
5. Shake it Like a Polaroid Picture
Ok, that heading might be a bit off, but the song gets stuck in my head anytime I talk about printing pictures.
Once a year hit up the cloud and print out the top 12 (one for each month) or whatever your predetermined amount of pictures is, and stick them in a photo album with a little caption about the memory.
Repeat steps 1-5 as needed.
Once you’ve gotten the swing of this and can (occasionally) get ahead of the game, I’ve found it nice to take a picture of the kid with the treasure (this is especially great for the 594th wrestling trophy of the season or the 9234th pretty rock today).
It’s sweet to be able to look back and see them grow along with their artwork/skill level/treasure hunt mastery.
Above all, remember to enjoy the moment.
Pat yourself on the back.
Admire the free space.
Pour yourself a cup of tea.
You’ve just filled your cup and emptied the clutter. Congrats!
I plan to give the album(s) as a graduation present. What special ideas do you have for what to do with your kid’s artwork? Scroll on down and let us know in the comments!
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