Our internet was down last night and my routine, thrown all out of whack.  This year, I want you to have a post in your inbox or reader each morning.

Scrapping is one facet of our entire memory keeping tool chest. How we organize and store our digital photos and prints is another. And then there is memorabilia… everything else! In this post, we’ll start discussing organization of some of the flat stuff.

A read sent me a email late last year, asking specifically about children’s artwork. She writes:

Do you have any tips on preserving your child’s artwork? Should I scan it in and scrap it, keep the original, make a separate art album, include it in their yearly album? Any ideas?

My initial reaction is to suggest doing a little of everything, but more importantly, my recommendation is to do what feels right. Not everyone will feel comfortable throwing any of their child’s artwork away and this perspective may change over time. Here are some of the options at your disposal. Mix and match for your current needs.

Hang. Whether your immediate display area is a wall, fridge or bulletin, consider developing a habit of changing out artwork regularly. Using a clip system makes this even easier.

Box. At minimum, any artwork you want to save should be initially filed in a box labeled by child and year, as appropriate. (Note: If you intend on storing these items for long periods, I would suggest choosing an archival quality box to protect the paper from discoloration.) It’s not important to have these pieces chronological, but to have them all in one place instead of scattered around the house. From here you can decide on any next steps and work on projects.

Scan. Creating an electronic version of the art is the minimalist’s solution to clutter. If this makes sense and feels good to you, it will certainly streamline your life and keep that storage box from overflowing.

Share. I love how this teacher has scanned and shared his students’ artwork with their families and the rest of the world. Flickr is a great permanent repository for these works, without requiring physical storage space.

Frame. Don’t hesitate to frame your favorite pieces and give them a showcase spot in your home.

Album. If I were to create an album, it would be comprised of 8.5×11 color prints of scans (or color copies) as well as prints of photos (like of 3D or larger artworks). Childrens’ artwork varies so much in size and construction that I would personally be frustrated at not being able to consistently organize everything in an album any other way.

Scrap. If you’ve got a particular story to tell, by all means incorporate a scan or photo into your layout. For the more part though, I can see digital scrapbook supplies providing the most use as digital mats for the artwork you might print and possibly frame.

What’s your strategy for honoring kid-created memories?

Photo by jameskidsart