As you can see, I have quite a pile of masterpieces that my little Monet (her current favorite artist) has made. I’ve been cleaning out the house—we do fall cleaning as well as spring cleaning around here—and these are from the walls, from hiding spots in my daughter’s room, my office, pretty much everywhere. Most moms wonder what the heck they’ll do with all of these pieces of precious art, but I’ve developed my own system that I’d like to share with you. Here are the five steps to reclaiming your walls and decluttering:
- Assemble a pile of art. In our home, this includes paintings, drawings, pastels, sculptures, you name it. Many yarn sculptures, leaf assemblages, and other pieces can be found in every room.
- Ask your child to pick his or her top favorites. This is usually ten in our home. If it gets too out of hand, compromise on a workable number of favorites to keep.
- Frame a favorite. If you can select a frame to house them all and rotate them, all the better! If not, just frame one and get another frame later for others. The point is to be able to change them if you want. Allow your child to choose one or two to put in his or her room if possible.
- Ask your child which pieces he or she would like to send to Grandpa, Aunt Dora, whomever. Use the art as gifts or just surprise pieces of mail—or give them to said people the next time you see them.
- Send the rest to a local nursing home.
And that’s it! I know a lot of parents are thinking, “My kids will never do this with me.” Think about your own art. Did you keep your favorites and give away the rest? I know I’ve even given away my favorites. If you emulate this behavior yourself and make it a habit, it can work. I make it a point to never get rid of my daughter’s favorites without her permission.
Another good tip is to let your child decorate the insides of storage boxes when they want to doodle. Then not only will you not get rid of the art, but you’ll also get a pretty surprise the next time you open a lid! You can also display art inside the doors of cabinets for another hidden surprise.