top of page

Week 36| Children's Artwork & Treasures: One Simple Storage Tote for All the Things

For those just sending your itty bitties off to preschool this fall and wondering what on earth you are going to do with all the artwork & treasures they are going to bring home... have no fear, it's pretty simple to get a system in place. But trust me... they will bring home LOTS of things starting now and it will continue well into junior high {although it does slow considerably by then}.

One Small Tote

My best advice, DO NOT purchase a huge storage tote. My theory is the smaller the tote, the easier it is to store and the more discretion you'll use in saving things. I mean let's be serious - while we love the idea of saving every single paper they initially bring home with every cute little mark on it, that soon fades. And you realize in like two weeks that your bin is already overflowing {no joke}. Instead keep a paper hear and there of some of their "important" work and then of course those irresistible projects that you'll want to "ooohhh and ahhhh" over twenty years from now.

I promise that a small bin will accomplish all the organization you'll need and will force you to use your discretion in what should be kept. You should note that you CANNOT give your kiddies the option of choosing what gets kept after every school day. Most kids would keep every last scrap of paper if you'd let them - they are like tiny little hoarders. Honest. We need to teach them that less is truly more. Even if that means tossing things out after they go to bed {yes, even the best Moms toss their kids crap out when they aren't looking}.

As the years go on, you may find that you need a little extra space, go back through some of the things that you've saved from the earlier days. You may find that some of the items are a little less significant now that you have an entire bin full of treasures. Not sure what to toss, enlist the kids to go through things with you to declutter the bin. {The kids and I had to do this a couple years ago and they were totally fine tossing some things out.}

Now... what about the treasures that you may not necessarily want to toss in a bin? Like ceramics, wood items, etc? We've found ways to incorporate some of their things into our décor. Sure not everyone wants their kiddies treasures lying around the house and that's ok, they can always be neatly packed and stowed away for safe keeping. In my opinion, those are treasures that you definitely don't want to toss.

[We have some great ones - puzzles from technology class {two sets of course because we have two children who have taken the same class}; a chair that Brennan made in technology because he was done with his other projects with time to spare at the end of the year; a nose & lips from art class with Mr. A {if only had a couple more children so I had a complete face...}; and an apple Brennan sketched that my mother-in-law decided to frame & give to us so that it didn't just get tossed in the bin.]


Your Simple Storage How to List

  • You will want to purchase one bin per child - 28 Qt. Bins work perfectly. Large enough to hold larger artwork but not very deep so you have to use your discretion in keeping items! {not only do they stack neatly in the bottom of a closet, they aren't very big! They could also be stowed under their beds for easy storage.}

  • Write their name on the cover of the bin.

  • Keep track of their work by marking their name, age/grade & date on the back of each piece before placing it in the bin. {this will eliminate the "I think that was from first grade... no maybe kindergarten... oh, I can't remember." later on.}

  • Re-evaluate the treasures if the bin becomes too full to see what can be tossed.


Why is saving their stuff so important to me? There is no doubt that need stems from having nearly nothing from my childhood and what few things I do have are what I had stowed away on my own. Again, my mom just wasn't that kind of mom - four kids - keeping everything going and making sure we all had treasure boxes on top of that?! It was NEVER going to happen. Sure my kids may get their totes one day and be like what the hell was our mother thinking saving this s*&$ but at least they'll get to decide on their own whether they want to keep or toss it at that point. I personally think it's fun to see what life was like when you were younger and what better way than with your own personal artwork, crafts, etc. - Happy Saving - Danica

bottom of page