My sister is the biggest packrat I know. I mean, she’s not to the point she should be guest starring on Hoarders, but she does get attached to things with sentimental value. I, on the other hand, have no problem letting things go. A good example of this is our kids’ artwork, school papers, and report cards. Especially if you have more than one or two kids, these things can really pile up and get out of control! If I saved every paper my six kids have ever brought home from school, I’d probably have to rent a storage locker to house them all. But I have some good ways to save the memories without letting the clutter take over your living space.
1. I Choose You – You don’t need to save every single worksheet your child has ever put their pencil on. Are you seriously going to look back one day when little Susie is a grown adult and read over her math times tables? No! I personally save report cards, drawings/art projects, and stories/paragraphs/sentences they’ve written (especially if they’re funny and/or demonstrate how my child thinks. “If I had $100, I would buy 2 lamborghinis.”)
2. Take a Picture, It’ll Last Longer – For very large, very gluey, very glittery art projects, I take a picture or scan them instead of saving them. The paper plate covered with macaroni and glitter glue that’s supposed to look like Christopher Columbus, but actually more closely resembles Elton John doesn’t have to be saved in a box forever. A box full of sparkly, broken macaroni is not what you want to save. Take a picture instead. You can store the pictures of your child’s works of art in a box or an album and have fun looking through them and reminiscing over the years.
3. File This Please! - Keep the work you save in a big plastic tote with a tight-fitting lid so everything stays neat and organized as well as dust and bug-free. Or you can use a big, file box so everything is kept in one place, organized by year. That way when you look back one day, you won’t have to try to remember when junior wrote his awesome best-selling “Austin is Stupit” book; you’ll know it was while he was in first grade!