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4 Steps to Organize Kids Art

by Jean Van't Hul
March 3, 2022

Learn how to organize kids art into a manageable work flow with these 4 easy steps.

Updated March 2022

Today we’re going to tackle the pile of kids’ art. I’ll share some tips for choosing what art to keep, what to gift, what to repurpose, and what to toss.

To start, let’s assume we both have a towering stack of kids’ art in front of us because junior is prolific. It’s been piling up for a while and we’re not sure what to do with it all.

We’re going to go through it quickly and sort it into four piles:

You can do this yourself if your child is young or with your child if he/she is older.

Organize Kids Art

Puffin drawing
Photo by Rachel Withers

1. KEEP

Anything you love or that your child loves goes into the keep pile. Also anything that represents a change in style or developmental stage. Anything you would want to have 10-20 years from now. Some of the keepers will get displayed around the house; some will get stored in a safe place.

Drawing of flowers in vase
Photo by Jean Van’t Hul

2. GIFT

Share the love and gift artwork that could go in the keep pile except that you don’t need to keep everything. Send some of the good ones to Grandma, a friend, or Uncle Joe with a little note. Take a photo first if it truly is a keeper.

a present wrapped with repurposed kids painting
Photo by Rachel Withers

3. REPURPOSE

Some artwork lends itself well to being used for gift wrap, note cards, buntings, collages, envelopes, book covers, etc.

Think process oriented art that filled the page such as fingerpainting, splatter painting, bubble printing, marble rolling. Maybe a few pieces went into the keep pile, but the kid loved the process and created artwork after artwork, many of which look much the same. (I have LOTS of ideas for repurposing artwork like this!)

Photo by Rachel Withers

4. TOSS

If it’s not a keeper or suitable to gift or repurpose, toss it or send it to the recycle bin. If your child created a couple dozen artworks that are virtually identical, you may want to keep the best one and recycle the rest.

And if he added a quick scribble to ten sheets of paper, you may not feel like they are worth keeping.

A note about the tossers: If you’re making these decisions yourself, you may want to recycle them on the sly.

Photo by Anna Harpe

Additional reading: 3 BEST Tips to Maintain a Kids’ Art Space.

Want more ideas for setting up a kids art space? Or you might need help maintaining your kids art space?

How about you? What do you do with all the kids’ art? If you have a system that works for your family, please share here!

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