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It’s that time of year again! I’m not sure what it is about the transition back to school this year, but I am dying to purge all the things. I think it’s because this year I am now a seasoned parent whose child is starting her second year of pre-school so this ain’t my first rodeo, folks. And now I know what last year’s me didn’t. We are about to get inundated with SO MUCH STUFF.

Image Credit: Canva

Truth be told, I still have last year’s pile of art and projects in my kitchen and this is embarrassing. I love and am grateful that I have it, but it’s taking up valuable real estate in my house that we need to reclaim. It’s important to celebrate our children and to encourage feelings of pride in their creative endeavors, but what the heck do we do with all of it? I needed a solution for all the pre-school art in my house that I wanted to save and I thought that many of you might also be desperate for some ideas so we got to work and did some research.

Image Credit: Real Simple

Real Simple has a helpful post about framing, storing, sharing, and ridding your home of children’s art work. We wanted to flesh that out a bit. Here are 5 easy ways to memorialize your kiddo’s art work and tell their story.

1. Archive It

Plum Print and ArtKive both offer services where you can ship your kid’s art to them (you edit) and they create these really lovely custom books, calendars, or even throw pillows (if that’s your thing!). ArtKive also has an app and also an option to “do it yourself”, which would save you a few bucks. A book can range from about $80 to $140 so it can get pricey but they look very nice. Original art isn’t returned unless requested, and most of their clients do NOT want the originals back (:

Image Credit: Framebridge

2. Frame it.

Another beautiful, easy option is having your favorite piece framed. Framebridge is a great resource for this and they have a professional design staff that can help you with the process. You can read their post about how to decorate your home with kids’ art and love that it forces us to choose our favorite pieces during the season we’re in. We recommend the Irvine Slim, Mercer Slim, and Marin frames paired with a float mount to elevate the artwork, literally! Once you make the purchase, send it your art, and the pieces come back ready for your wall. We know this is hard, but I think we’re in the camp of recycling the rest of the unframed art.

3. Digitize it.

There’s an app for that (of course)! Here are several apps that can not only help reduce the art clutter, but that can also help tell your family’s story. Keepy is an app where you can simply take a photo of your child’s artwork and the app creates a digital scrapbook for each of your children that can be shared with the grandparents (depending on how hip the grandparents are, we suppose). Because not all of us are professional art photographers, we love Keepy because you can also edit the photos within app. Three other great options are Canvsly, Art My Kid Made, and Little Hoots.

Image Credit: Plum Print

4. Store it.

If you love having access to most original pieces, we’ve found two storage solutions which are minimal and not super difficult to store! Here are some gorgeous oversized art boxes and this is a zip portfolio folder. Both solutions can handle larger pieces and you can label them by age or school year. We’d pair the storage option with some colored painter’s tape; it’s a cool solution to display art temporarily by using the tape as a ”frame” and not damaging your walls one bit. Once you’ve had enough of this specific piece, go ahead and file it away.

5. Gift it.

Grandparents, aunts and uncles, cousins – you name it. They would all love to be surprised by a gift in the mail of original artwork from your budding little Warhol. And they can throw it away eventually with low risk that your child will see this in the trash can / recycling bin. Win win! You can keep a few shipping tubes in stock and when new art comes in, just drop it in the tube and back out the door it goes.

Do you hoard your kiddo’s work or purge everything? Let us know how you manage it!

Bring it Pre-K3.

Image Credit: Plum Print

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