Our discussion on Thursday about storing children’s artwork was so helpful!
My blog posts appear on Facebook, too, and one Facebook friend recommended http://www.dynamicframes.com/. I’d never seen these unique frames before and I wanted to make sure and share them with you! (Enter “thecluttercutters” at checkout for a 10% discount.)
Another Facebook friend sent us to her blog where she had created another great storage option. You can check out her idea HERE.
I received this question on Facebook this week. You’ll find my response to her below. However, I told her there is a wealth of information from the thousands of moms (and some dads!) who hang out here in the blog world. What suggestions would you have for Karen?
I was wondering if you might be able to make a suggestion to help me. I am a stay at home mom of four great kids, ages 8, 10, 13 & 15. I have accumulated a ton of school papers, artwork, etc over the years, as well as my children’s school pictures, and am wondering what to do with them all. I was wondering what YOU do with your children’s items that you have chosen to keep. I am so overwhelmed and could use a suggestion or two. I don’t know if I should compile an individual scrapbook for each of the kids with all their items inside, or put everything chronographically. I am lost…please help!
Thanks so very much!
This is an issue I think EVERY mom deals with!
I’ve kept ONE medium sized Rubbermaid container for each child. I let the kids keep one or two items from each year of school in their “Keepsake box.” This becomes their box that they take with them into adulthood and they can decide to do with it what they want. (Right now my three older married kids Keepsake Boxes are in our attic because they all live in small apartments and don’t have a place to keep them. But when they get their own house, they will get their keepsake box.)
For the most part, I have tossed all school papers, unless there’s a really special project that they’ve work on very hard…then that goes in their Keepsake box.
I know some moms who take pictures of their kid’s special craft projects and then discard them. Others send some artwork to grandma and grandpa if they live far away.
For pictures…oh my goodness, I’m just about where you are. It is overwhelming. As far as school pictures go, I am working to make a small chronological school picture scrapbook for each of them so we can see their growth and change through the years. I know you can also buy a mat that goes in a 16×20 frame that allows you to put all of their school pictures into one frame on the wall.
Here’s the key Karen, though. I can tell you that I’m throwing away alot of stuff! I’m keeping small memories from over the years and carrying a lighter load these days.
Simplifying is freeing!
Now here’s your opportunity to help Karen and every other mom out there. What are YOU doing with all of the school papers and artwork coming into your home?
Last Thursday I had the privilege of hearing professional organizer Stephanie Calahan speak. She shared about how she and her husband have very different organizational styles. Then she explained how they have found a middle ground of organization they can agree upon. That’s when she shared a term that I got excited about.
She said that she and her husband agreed that their main floor would be kept “public ready,” as much as possible. In other words she didn’t want to be horribly embarrassed if someone dropped by unexpectedly.
I loved this concept! Mark was sitting in the audience listening as well and I leaned over to him and said, “That’s what I’ve tried to communicate to you but I didn’t have a term to describe it! Now I have the words “public ready” to help describe what I’d like to work toward.
Stephanie went on to explain that her basement is her husband’s man cave so she has little expectation of how it is maintained. And the upper level is their bedrooms and certainly the expectations are more relaxed there as well.
I loved this concept and I thought it was something we could introduce to our family.
When our kids were little and we had toys all over the main level, I used to keep a large basket in every room that we could quickly throw toys into at a moments notice.
These days, I fight the usual stuff that lays around with five people living under the same roof: socks tossed off while watching TV, blankets used on the couch but not put away, and school papers on the kitchen counter. But now we have a term to describe a small vision of what I hope to achieve.
Don’t get me wrong…I’m not looking for Martha Stewart perfect. That wouldn’t be a home.
I’m simply looking for some sense of organization that allows a friend to come in unexpectedly, sit down at my kitchen island and actually be able to put her elbows on the counter and relax as we sip a cup of tea together.
What about you? What organization tips do you have to find some sense of “public ready” in your house?