Friday, January 15, 2010

I need help. Please help me.

Ok so I have been blogging for over 6 months now and feel that I can admit my problem to you all.  I need you help/advice/expertice whatever you want to call it - I need it.

You see I have a problem with saving my kids' artwork.  And it was manageable at first and now with my Little One in preschool too, I can just feel it getting out of hand. 

I did see a wonderful idea from the organizing guy on Oprah to take digital pictures of the artwork and create a photobook from the pictures.  I did it!  No problem there...

But then he said to THROW OUT the actual artwork.  I thought I could do it once the photobooks came back but as you can see it have received 2 books and yes...

the artwork is still here.

This is just from my older son's 2 day and 3 day preschool classes.  It's not so harmful in this ugly container but here is the problem...

It won't fit in there anymore and I now have a pile of 4 day preschool and a my Little One's 2 day preschool artwork in a pile in the corner.  Its giving me the heebie jeebies just staring at me over there! 

What do you all do with it all? 

Do you throw it out? 

Do you just keep a special few?  Will my kids be horribly offended that I threw away their artwork and need therapy in their 20's?

I know this will only get worse as the years go one and elementary school starts so I am asking for help now. 

I am really in the decrapification mood (that wonderful term was brought to you by the Thrifty Decor Chick). Love her!

I must clean my office/crap craft room.  It is driving me crazy. 

PS - I just have to share this LOVELY story with you all.
Big J gotin a fist fight (yes a fight) at McDonalds yesterday and thoroughly embarassed me in front of my friends and the other little boy's mother.  So I made him apologize to the little boy and have a 5 minute time out.  Then I made him apologize to the boy's mom - he was NOT happy about that one.  But it made me feel better. 

So needless to say, the husband did not have the same reaction that I did, he was thrilled!  As were the people in his office.  But I made him come home and have the "you are not allowed to start a fight" talk with the Big J.  Of course it was finished with the "but you better finish it" line . 
Lovely, right?

So later on my son said to me,  "mommy, you're a loser".  Which to his credit he heard me say to a friend about myself at McDonalds because I had to borrow lunch money from her because I forgot my wallet. 

So I gave the child the evil eye and told him I am not a loser.  So to make it even better, the husband went over and showed him how to make the "L" on the forehead with his fingers. 

Yes we are quality people!


Watsons said...

My sister has the same problem. She did a similar thing as you, but she scanned the artwork into her computer. Then she lets her daughter pick one or two to hang up and makes her toss out the rest. Maybe if you get your boys involved in the tossing out process it will be easier on you.
And they probably won't need therapy. I don't have anything like that from my childhood and I'm *relatively* normal! :)

Good luck!

Hallie said...

I take pictures of everything as it comes in and then throw it in a box that fits under my bed. At the end of the school year,I go through it all and take out a few special ones (I try to limit the number to 2 or 3). Then I let my son pick out his 3 favorite ones. All the rest go in the garbage. It's amazing how much better you will feel once you throw them out.

I know my mom has a few things from my childhood, but I honestly can't remember anything I ever made. And I am quickly approaching my last year of my 20's and I've yet to need therapy over what she may have thrown away.

Anonymous said...

Whoa, with stories like that you're worried that they're going to need therapy about you tossing their preschool artwork?? ;-)

I fear that my son has my father's hoarding tendencies, whereas I toss anything unuseful or which is past its prime. All the crap - I mean artwork - which my son made when he was younger (he's 9) and happy meal toys fall into this category. However, every time we move (which has been six times since he's been born) I make him go through his stuff and he insists he CANNOT part with it. So finally I began to barter with him and asked him to put his absolute most loved treasures into a three-hole-punch binder. The next time we move I ask him to look at them again and see what he now can live without. He's pretty good about weeding out the junk and keeping only the most special things from when he was younger this way.

The ONLY things I've kept are Christmas ornaments and the pieces he created specially as school fundraisers (drawings which can be put on a fridge magnet or coffee mug, much the way you order photo items on Snapfish). Frankly, it's enough for me but I'm also completely averse to clutter.

If worse comes to worst you could pack it up in a box and store it in the attic or someplace?

Katie Epstein said...

Have you seen the frames they sell that are deep and hold artwork of the 12 by 18 size or 81/2 by 11/ I found them at Aaron Brothers. They hold about 50 pieces and display the most current one.

I think your kids will "need therapy" when their Mother starts handing them boxes and boxes of artwork for them to go through once they have children of their own. My Mother in Law is constantly giving me things from when my husband was the age of my son. The first few things were cute to receive...but now I have enough "crap" of my own kids to go through...I don't need my husbands preschool artwork to go through too.
LOVE your digital books you made.

Amy said...

Growing up, our parents got each of us kids our own tupperware tub to store school work in. At the end of the year we narrowed down the pile to 2-3 things we LOVED and wanted to keep. I love that you have taken pictures of things. I say, if it's art that can be photographed and isn't a movable or functional piece, then just photograph it. My parents saved some tests we got A's on, but now I think that I didn't need those. I'd rather have had more saved stories I wrote. You can also select a few art pieces to put in dollar store frames in a hallway or in your son's room and switch them out regularly so you actually SEE his creations displayed. Good luck!

kheaney said...

Thanks all! I am liking the pick 2-3 idea and letting them choose a couple and tossing the rest.

I have definitely kept all Christmas ornaments.

The stuff is becoming inundating, and you are all probably right. They might not ever care to ever look at it later in life.

Thanks for the help! Kristin

sassypackrat said...

I gave each kid a box and I only saved the best. So yes I did throw the rest away, but when they move out they'll each have a box of their art to take with them. ;0)

KarenSue said...

Each week pick out the best and after they go to bed put the rest in the bottom of the trash so they don't find it.
200! I'm still at 37 but that's ok at least I have 37. I didn't think that would ever happen.

Jo said...

I took pictures with them and their art work and saved only the sentimental ones. I put the pictures in their scrapbooks

Sharon said...

did Joey win the fight?

Anonymous said...

I saw this idea on how to do you kids art work here I scan everything in the computer and sent the original rothers and sister. or turn them it cards if that is a easy to do.

Skamamama said...

hey there kristin, i save it ALL during the year and then weed through it once school is out. then i choose a couple favorites either then or actually through out the year as they come home to frame. the rest i place in those ginormous ziplock bags. i sit on them to get all the air out, label them, and then stack them inside a rubber maid. i'm sure i will weed through them again to flatten them more but for now that's what works for us! during the "weeding" time, i get the boys to help some as well!

Becky said...

I have your same dilemma. I'm on a mission over the next couple weeks to buy a scanner. That way I can scan ALL of the artwork. I'm going to force myself to throw the stuff away that isn't really worth keeping. I know that will be hard decision, but I have to do it. I'm in the same boat. Kindergarten this year has gotten OUT of control. Not to mention all of the preschool years that I haven't done a single thing with.
Not much advice, just a "I'm right there with you."

Jenn & Steve said...

You could do something like this

Have your kids pick some art to hang up/save and then you pick a few to put in box in the closet or wherever then the rest goes out in the garbage. I know my mom didn't save everything but it's fun to look back at a few things I've done and I don't even remember/miss the stuff that's gone.

Anonymous said...

Save a few favorites and toss the rest. You've actually done the digital picture thing and made books, so you are a much better mommy than me!

BTW, I never threw them out in front of my daughter...I did it under cover of night when she was asleep. And I put the bag outside immediately! But by the time she was 8 or thereabouts, I told her I was saving project X, but I was going to throw out projects A and B unless she wanted them, because we just didn't have room to save them all. Most of the time she said it was ok to toss, so I think most kids are ok about that sort of thing when they're older than preschool.

Also, maybe you could send one thing per child per month to the grandparents. My MIL loved to get a picture for her fridge.