Remember that trippy British kid’s television show Teletubbies? How can anyone forget?! There was a character named The Noo-noo, which was a vacuum cleaner that went around sucking up anything out of place. Well, sadly, I too hate clutter so much that my family nicknamed me The Noo-noo. I’m pretty sure it’s not a term of endearment, but messes and clutter makes me absolutely crazy, so I deserve it.
With my kids back in school, I’m already seething with anxiety over anticipation of all the artwork and projects that will be coming home. Of course I want to display all their masterful collages and favorite poems, but everything else needs an out-of-sight home.
Related: 5 creative ways to display kids’ artwork (beyond stuffing it in a drawer).
Of course, there’s the old file box or plastic bin trick, but those aren’t great long-term solutions. The bulky bins start to pile up quickly and soon you’ll need to rent a storage unit. So here, my fellow Noo-noos, are 5 really smart storage solutions for your kids’ artwork that will also declutter your home. You’re welcome.
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1. Mailing tubes for drawings and paintings
This idea from Martha Stewart truly is a good thing. Purchase mailing tubes, like these from The Container Store, label them by age or school year, and fill them with your kid’s rolled-up stacks of artwork. They are way less bulkier than file boxes or bins, offering a great solution to those lacking storage space in their apartments. Bonus points for this being an economical solution — mailing tubes like these cost less than $5 each.
2. Framed collages of favorite artwork
I love the Masterpiece Collage posters by Simply Create Kids. Collect up to 16 pieces of your child’s favorite artwork and either take a digital snapshot or scan in the art, then email it to the company. You’ll receive one 16-x-20 frameworthy gallery style poster to hang in your home. The posters range from $60–80 and don’t include frames, but I think it’s worth every penny since it’s such a great way to organize, declutter, and display the art all in one.
3. Storage frames that hold all the art
Lil DaVinci frames work double-duty by displaying art in simple, mod frames and storing up to 50 (that’s not a typo) additional pieces of your child’s artwork at the same time. We love multitasking products and this is one of the smartest we’ve seen. The open front frame makes changing out the displayed artwork super easy so you can rotate the art every couple of months or each week of the year.
4. A tangible replica of your child’s masterpiece
For those really sentimental pieces, like those preschool self-portraits my babies made when they were just babies (sniff), think about having them turned into something really special. This option isn’t really going to help whittle down all the artwork piling up, but it will help preserve the really special projects. Budsies will bring a favorite drawing to life by turning it into a plush stuffed toy making a lovey really lovable.
Or create a titanium keychain out of that sweet family portrait or drawing of your house by sending the image to Etsy’s Formia Design. These would make great gifts, by the way, for birthdays or holidays.
5. Digital storage — so you don’t have to toss anything
Digital storage is the ultimate storage solution in my opinion — memories kept, clutter gone. I love this digital frame idea from The Organised Housewife. You only need to purchase one digital frame. Then, just scan all your child’s artwork and insert the memory card into the frame. You’ll be able to store tons of artwork and display them all at once where family and friends can see and enjoy it.
We’re big, big fans of Artkive and here’s why: You just send in your child’s actual art, and they’ll photograph it professionally then create a hardcover coffee table book of all your child’s artwork. A year’s worth of art in just one small book? Now that’s my kind of decluttering.
Great article, loved the digital frame. My name is Brandie and I have been using Keepy for over 3 years saving my kids’ artwork schoolwork and mementos. The best part is that I have their voices when they told me what they had in mind when they were drawing the artwork.