You know how children bring you "masterpieces", you wonder what in the world it's supposed to be, and look longingly at the trash can? Maybe nobody else does that except for me. For example, when I go to Mothers' Day lunches at preschool, I leave the placemat made by my child behind on the table with the rest of the trash. I realize my mistake only when the teacher comes running after me, placemat in hand, because she knew that I surely wanted to keep it forever. As I try to hide the "why would I want that" look on my face, my friend wholeheartedly adds that she will be laminating hers, and I can't help but wonder what is wrong with me.
I really just don't like junk and papers that accumulate by a hand's breadth daily. Honestly, they create volumes, tomes even, of "masterpieces"!
But deep down I realize that certain special pictures will be frought with memories twenty years from now. I know that these artworks show what is in their heart, they show the size of their hand, they show the world through their eyes. And so, because I love my children, and I love everything about who they are, I truly do want save their creations. Someday I want to hand them their box of treasures and I want them to feel how cherished and adored she and her childhood was (is) to her father and me. And the same for my little man.
Last year I decided to tackle the project. I used this list as my starting point.
- If an artwork or otherwise brought back a good memory, happy event, or was given to me in a special moment, I wanted to keep them.
- If I couldn't remember what was so special about it, I felt ok throwing it away.
- If the piece was too big or awkward to be kept easily, I had my child hold it and took a photo to save.
I know some people take photos of their favorites and turn them into a book but there's something about touching crinkly, old paper and flaking tempera paint that reminds you of childhood. So I do physically save our favorite pieces. I found the idea of keeping manila folders of each year on stephmodo and it seemed to make sense how I could keep all of these things organized. Of course, hers is much, much cuter. But I couldn't find those fabulous manila folders or labels.
Going through the stacks, I separated out which pieces went to each school year and put each stack in its own labeled manila folder. The folders went in a rubbermaid file box, one for each child. It was much easier than I thought. Actually easy peasy.
Any school, soccer team, ballet photos, etc. of their year, I put into archival photo boxes, like these from the container store.
Just make sure to write any important information on the backs of the photos with photo paper and archival quality pens!
If any of you have organization as a New Years' goal, this one is a really easy, quick one to tackle.