Monday, October 21, 2013

Kid's Artwork -- Clutter Alert!

Here's today's Feng Shui Friday dilemma:
Got one for you. What to do with all of the folders of school work which includes first writing samples, art work (some I am sure done by the teacher and not my child) and other work that my kids have compiled from pre school / kindergarten over last 3-4 years. Along with first paintings and other art work ----this takes up a full big shelf of a closet. kids like looking at it still. And I want some of it....but....seriously, at this rate, we will need a garage just for papers.

And here's my response:
Teaching your children the "art" of letting go is just as important a lesson as any writing, math, or painting lesson!

Here's what I suggest:
1.  Buy a simple file box or expanding file binder like this:

from Staples
or a portfolio specifically for art  like this:
from eBay
Or get a really plain one, and write their name on it really pretty or let them decorate it with stickers -- whatever makes it special for them.

2.  Take an afternoon of fun and go through their art with them.  If you have file slots label them Pre-K, K, 1st, etc.  Let them choose 3 - 5 pieces (yes, three!) from each grade that they love the most.  Then let them give away (mayyybbee) or recycle the rest.  Or make a fun bonfire out of it!  Or if they really and truly seem more attached, let them glue the second-bests to a piece of posterboard for a collage.

3.  For the current grade, they can save more art throughout the year, and/or you can choose to display the most current stuff on a bulletin board or via this adorable DIY found on Pinterest:

Then half way through the year, go back to step 1.

I think you will find that children are less attached to their things than you think.  I mean, think about it -- wouldn't it be sort of annoying if one day your mom came down from the attic and said, "Honey, I kept every art piece, every report card, every little teeny weeny success from your whole life, and here it is."  I mean, it might be fun to go through for an hour or so, but then what?  You'd be left feeling guilty about throwing it away, and who has room for that stuff!?

We don't need all these material and physical reminders of who we are and of what we are capable.  Keeping some, perhaps in a creative fashion, is great, but what's greater -- is teaching your children the lesson of non-attachment and that they don't have to have wonderful art pieces or perfect grades or 100 trophies to be valuable and loved.

Letting go is part of life.  And making choices of what to keep is part of life.  What better place to start than when they are young!

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