Our two older kids also have “art binders” where I keep the exceptional/unique/special pieces. I learned early on that these extra special pieces of artwork can easily get lost in a pile of scribbles.
When our son finished preschool I had a difficult time sifting through his artwork. I wasn’t with him at school, so I didn’t know exactly which pieces were important to him and which he had already forgotten about. I decided to simply take out pieces that were meaningful to me and leave the rest in a bin. I figured I would sort through that bin at a later date.
Well, that bin is still sitting in his closet and I now have a kindergarten artwork bin to add to it. As I look through our son’s kindergarten artwork to pull out the meaningful pieces, I’m realizing that this decision is getting harder every year. Most of his artwork doesn’t involve me. The majority of his artwork was completed at school, with his sisters, or in his room. And, honestly, deciding what to keep and what to throw away is not my decision. These are his memories. And he needs to be the one to ultimately decide which artwork stays and which goes. I’m sure, at least for now, he’ll just want to keep all of it. If nothing else, because it allows him to be done with this task and move onto something more enjoyable.
But, as long as I have the closet space, his preschool and kindergarten artwork will be sitting there, in bins, waiting for him to decide what he wants to do with it. How does he want to look back and remember preschool? How does he want to look back and remember kindergarten? Was my selection enough for him or did I miss a couple of key pieces?
Most people probably think this is a complete waste of closet space. And, it may be. But I want our kids to take pride in the work they create. I want them to see all of the artwork they’ve created over the years and know that one day they could look back on it in a scrapbook, binder or whatever they choose. Or, if they choose, they can just keep my selection of artwork and toss the rest.
So, for now, our closets have art bins. And, when our kids are mature enough to make this decision (or when their closets are full), I’ll help them tackle sorting everything. But, for now, we are going to close the closet doors and focus on creating more piles and piles of artwork. We’ll leave the decision about how best to remember and organize it for a later time.