Pick It Up may receive a commission for purchases made through a referral link for Keepy at the end of this article.
If you have kids, you know they love to create! From stick-figure family portraits to clay animals, they love to make, make, make. And you, of course, are the recipient of these amazing artistic gifts.
But, you may ask, what do I do with all of these masterpieces? The artwork is covering the refrigerator, piled on their desk and pouring out of drawers. As this recent Atlantic Monthly article shows, it's definitely something parents struggle with!
There is no single best way to handle all of your kids' art, but after trial and error, here are a few strategies I have developed to help parents to appreciate, honor, share, and maybe even let go of some of it.
Strategy 1: Show & Go
This strategy focuses on making it easy to display, swap out and store your kid's art. First, create a temporary holder for the incoming artwork. I like using a woven storage bin or large document case for this purpose. Regularly purge through the pile, saving only the very best pieces.
Next, set up a little gallery with some twine and clothespins. Swapping the art out is so easy that even the artist themselves can do it! Once an exhibition comes down, keep items for long-term storage in a handled portfolio labeled with each child's name.
Strategy 2: Display & File
This strategy is all about displaying and appreciating your kid's artwork. As with the first strategy, make a temporary storage area for the constant influx of art and regularly purge through the contents.
Next, display the best pieces with style in Dynamic Frames. These look like traditional frames, but the glass front hinges open to make changing the artwork easy.
At the end of the school year, whittle down the artwork to a manageable amount and permanently store it in a legal size expanding wallet labeled with the school year.
Strategy 3: Archive & Share
This strategy is for those that love sharing and technology. As with the other strategies, make a temporary storage area for the constant influx of art and regularly purge through the contents.
Next, snap photos of the best pieces and share them with an app like Keepy. Keepy makes it easy to digitally organize and save artwork, schoolwork, and mementos. Since it is a digital platform, you can easily share your kids' artwork, videos and audio clips with friends and family and they can share their thoughts back as well. Keepy is about more than archiving your kids' art, it's a community platform with so many fun uses.
Keepy also makes it easy to print photo books of your kids' art. If you do, be sure to use the code PICKITUPSF20 at checkout to get 20% off! By using this referral code, Pick It Up does receive a commission.
Of course, you can create your own individual strategy for managing your kids' artwork using any combination of the above ideas. The most important thing is to have a plan, or the art and school work can easily take over!
If your little artist needs a dedicated studio space, take a look at my Kid Art Area Pinterest board for some ideas on making creative spaces. Alternately, feel free to book a session to help tackle the art spaces and artwork together!
If you enjoyed this post check out Creative Spaces for Kids!
In my last blog post I wrote about greening your home by reviewing your cleaning supplies and personal care products. Here are a few additional ways to green your home and life that you may not have considered.
Support Local Green Business
The San Francisco Green Business Program makes it easy to find local certified business that meet high environmental standards. The guide has everything from architects & caterers to dry cleaners & grocery stores. PICK IT UP has been a proud SF Green Business since 2015! California also has a statewide Green Business Program if you are not in the bay area.
We all love our devices! But with the latest device, comes the inevitable e-waste. Green Citizen, a local non-profit dedicated to reducing e-waste, states "Although electronic waste only accounts for 2% of America’s trash, it’s responsible for over 70% of the nation’s hazardous waste." Green Citizen helps by taking ALL e-waste (anything that plugs in) and either responsibly recycling it or reselling usable items. They offer hard drive destruction to secure your information and even partner with local SF public schools to bridge the digital divide!
Green Citizen 1831 Bayshore Highway, Suite 2, Burlingame, CA 94010 (650) 493-8700
Safe Medication Disposal
It is important to safely dispose of old or unused medications. Flushing is not recommended, as these medicines can contaminate our waterways. If you are located in San Francisco, all police stations have medication collection bins with no police report needed. There are also many additional drop-off sites around the city. Check out this list of participating pharmacies on the SF Environment website
Each new green habit you adopt helps make our world a little bit cleaner. Of course I am always here to help with your home-greening efforts!
Many of us have heard of FOMO (Fear of Missing Out) but have you heard of JOMO? It stands for Joy of Missing Out. I'm not what you would call cutting-edge. I often have no idea what the latest trend, cat video or show is. When I first heard of JOMO on the Note to Self podcast, I thought "Yes! That's me!"
With JOMO we can dive deeply into the present moment. That can mean having focused and productive work time or a truly rejuvenating (and phone-free) walk in the park. Read on for some ideas on how to 'miss out' a bit more and tap into your now.
So much of our time is spent posting (or checking) updates, catching up on news (or non-news) and compulsively checking (and re-checking) email. Technology is a fact of life, but our repetitive and mindless interactions with it don't have to be. I love helping clients be more purposeful and intentional with their time, that includes time online. Below are a few strategies for gaining control of your relationship with technology.
Single Task! Research shows that we are not capable of multitasking, we just switch from one task to another really quickly. When we multitask our productivity goes down as our level of distraction goes up. Start single-tasking. Do one thing, finish it and move on. It can be hard at first, given our instant-response culture, but it is so worth it.
Turn Off Notifications. You look at your phone and see red dots on every app, letting you know everything you are missing out on. Do you really intend to read them? Do you even care about them? Turn them off and breath a sigh of relief the next time you look at your phone. This goes for your desktop as well.
Say "Night-Night" to Technology. Pick a time in the evening that you will stop engaging with technology and stick with it. Let's say it's 8 PM. That means, no checking email, no Facebook updates, no Twitter, no news. On the same note, start your day with breakfast, coffee and a few minutes of peace, not that 6 AM email. The world will not end. Really!
If you want to go further into the idea of engaging intentionally with technology check out the Infomagical Challenge on the Note to Self podcast. I found it very insightful. Of course, I am always here to help you through your productivity and technology challenges!
For a long time, I wasn't sure what to make of Evernote, a free note-capture software. I got an account and for years, I did nothing with it. What was I supposed to do? How was I supposed to use it? People raved and I just didn't get it. Then slowly, but surely, I started using it and I was hooked. Below are a few of my favorite ways to use Evernote.
NOTE CAPTURE. As you may have guessed, Evernote is great at keeping track of notes. Start by taking the various notes you had been keeping in Word or on paper, and put that information into Evernote. Emergency contact lists, favorite recipes, party ideas. Whatever it may be, Evernote is a great place to hold that information. The best part? Evernote is searchable so you can find the note you need in a flash.
WEB CLIPPER. Evernote has a very useful Web clipper that works directly in your browser. See an article you like or a restaurant you want to remember? Clip it and it goes directly into your notebook.
TASK LISTS. Every Monday I sit down with my Evernote task list. It reminds me of all the weekly business tasks that I need to get done, both large and small. You could use it to make a grocery list or help organize a project. You can even share and collaborate on notes.
With Evernote, all of your scraps, notes and ideas can be streamlined and saved into one system and found with a quick search. If you get the Evernote App, it's also on your phone and ipad! From packing lists to business plans, Evernote holds it all.
Did I mention Evernote is free? Once you download it, check out their great tutorials. If you're not sure where to start, schedule a session and we can tackle it together!
Erin Becker is the owner of PICK IT UP, a