Our solution to the voluminous piles of artwork our kids bring home is right around the corner from our solution to kids’ shoes: the art basket!
A solution is necessary not only because of the amount of artwork that comes home (and random scribbles, and folded pieces of paper, and worksheets, and yarn clippings (Montessori life IYKYK)) – if left to my own devices, I could efficiently cull the keepers and toss everything else.
But that’s not what happens, because the idea of throwing out a just-created masterpiece of any kind is anathema to my pint-sized artists. Tossing almost anything in front of them is asking for a daily battle over what gets kept.
So, we sidestep. Here’s what I do instead…
Everything that comes home from school or church goes in the art basket. We ooh and ahh over things as needed, and sometimes they pin items on their bulletin boards. But if it’s not going somewhere else, it goes in the art basket – no matter how lowly or how precious it might be.
The art basket is on the shelf of the bench in our front entry, so it’s right at hand when they’re coming in the door after school and emptying their backpacks and lunchboxes.
Eventually, the art basket fills up. Once it’s threatening to overflow, I’ll find a time when the kids are not around to go through it. I’ll sort through the stack and pull anything I want to keep in their memory boxes, then recycle the rest.
Here’s a very important key: the recycled papers MUST go in the outside recycling bin, NOT the inside one. Trust me, I’ve had plenty of things spotted and removed from the bin in the pantry, but so far they have not started dumpster diving in the outdoor bin. I leave a thin stack of papers in the bottom of the basket so it’s not 100% empty, and neither kid ever seems to notice I’ve been there.
As for those memory boxes, I recently added letter stickers to them and they are looking pretty cute! They’re from Joy Creative Shop, but I actually purchased mine from my friend Kaylee’s shop, where they were on sale. The bins are from Target. All three are stored under the beds upstairs!
Any questions? Happy to help, and godspeed with your own paper adventures this fall, friends.
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