Do You Hoard Your Child's Artwork?

I like to think of myself as a minimalist. I like light, airy spaces, free from "dust catcher" nicknacks, and crap.


When it comes to my toddler's artwork, I can't part with it.

There are stacks, folders and complete walls of my house COVERED in Ollie's work. My refrigerator is covered. My filing cabinets are packed. The doors of my house each have a masterpiece. Random works of art are hung, draped and thrown everywhere.

 If I don't do something soon, I'll be able to wallpaper my entire house in my child's artwork!

Every single thing my son makes is beautiful to me.

Do I even need to remind you of the time I turned his first work of art into a stuffed animal, we now fondly refer to as, Mr. P? What's really sad is that all he did was glue Mr. P down then sprinkle fake snow on him. Still, it was the very first thing my son ever made and handed to me, so damn right I'm going to make swag out of it!

I'm so bad, I can't even part with the printable he barely even colors.  Not even the alligator with three scribbles across it...

I will never throw that Alligator art away. 

Or the other four billion toddler works of art I'm hoarding all over my house.

Yes, I know I need my head checked.

Every day, when I pick up Ollie from his 'Child's Day Out' program, he comes running to me with two art projects; One is something like the alligator and the other a super cute work of art. I squat down, put on a big song and dance about how beautiful the masterpieces are, then carry him and his beautiful work out proudly.

When we get home, we hang up the masterpiece.

                                 He hangs his favorite things on a clothesline in his room.

This is where things get a little out of control.

Ok, a lot out of control.

My toddler's art is EVERYWHERE! And I mean, every-freaking-where.

 FTD's Home Office, where FTD hangs his favorite things...

There is not a room in my house, or random object that has not been graced with my toddler's art. Not a door, empty space on the refrigerator, great grandmother's antique lamp or even a freaking air vent is safe from being used to (proudly!) display my kid's art.

So here's the thing, I have accepted the fact that I cannot, and will not, part with my son's art. It's beautiful and makes me smile every time I see it. That being said, if I don't get a solid system going, I will drown in artwork before he turns four.

So far, I have an OK system for filing. First I stack the work until I get annoyed by it, then  I file it away in file folders according to certain criteria:

Holiday-I proudly display his work during the corresponding season.
Animals- Ollie's favorite, that from-time-to-time he will ask about one piece or another
Printables- I reuse the ones he barely touches.
Personal favorites- These are MY faves. Art I will NEVER let go. Ever.

This system works for me, though, it could be a little more efficient and organized until I get around to filing the work away.

I have a friend who files each month's work away in a folder labeled with the month and year. This would certainly be easy, since I could keep the folder out on the 'catch-all' table where his art always starts stacking up, then file it away in the respective folders at the end of the month.

While, I have no idea what in the world I am going to do with four million and one works of art by my child, I do know I love it and one day, it will cease to pile up on my table. On that day, I'll be so thankful I have his work filed away.  Besides, it will come in handy  when I need to embarrass him with his first few girlfriends...

How do you handle the beast that is your child's mounting artwork?

April is an award-winning writer and blogger. Her work has been published in over ten countries and four languages. From books to newspapers, to print/online magazines and everything in between, you can find her work. For more on April, Visit