What do you do with all the report cards, artwork, and photos that continue to increase your clutter each year? I find that I’m constantly struggling with what items to keep and what items to purge of my girls. I’ll admit sometimes I feel guilty throwing items away that my daughter’s make but there is no way we can keep it all. How do we choose what is a keepsake and what is not? And how can we better organize these keepsakes to preserve them the best way possible?
Choosing our keepsakes can be a difficult task. Go for the items that mean the most to you or you think your child will enjoy viewing as they get older. Special artwork, milestone certificates or accomplishments and photos I would consider the most important. I have collected 11 of my favorite ideas of organizing and storing your children’s keepsakes just for you!
1. Acid and Lignin Free Boxes
These boxes are will keep the mementos from discoloring. They make all sorts for photos, scrapbooks and uniform/suit preservation. I found one off Amazon for $12. They are small so you would have to buy one for each year depending on how many keepsakes you decide to save.
2. Baby Keepsake Box
This high-quality box is also acid free and lignin free. This would be a fantastic gift for a new parent. It has 9 drawers, 8 vertical files, 50 labels and initials for personalization. Stores babies first handprints, footprints, hospital bracelets, ultrasound pics, birth certificate and much more. It does however provide a hefty price tag of around $85.
3. Portable File Box
A less expensive and a ready to use portable filing system! It can hold up to 22 letter sized hanging folders. Place report cards, certificates and awards by grade level in each file. I especially like that this one that has a secure double latch closure and built- in- handle to keep items safe.
4. ArtKive App
This super cool app allows you to send in up to 200 pieces of your child’s art work. ArtKive will professionally photograph the artwork and turn into a stunning keepsake book. All you must do is order your shipping kit for $39 and return the box with your children’s artwork. This is a great way to save space and preserve those pieces on your coffee table!
5. Create Useful Home Objects of ArtWork
Mugs, bookmarks, calendars, pillow cases and family thank you cards can all be turned into useful objects in your home. My daughter gave me a laminated book mark of her artwork a few years ago and I treasure it so much. I use it daily when I read. If you don’t own a laminator (which many of us don’t) you can take pieces up to your local FedEx store and it will cost around $2-$3.
Shutterfly offers services to turn artwork into calendars and mugs. You can upload the kid’s artwork and for around $9 you will have a keepsake that last.
6. Display Artwork on A Wall In Your Home
Instead of putting the artwork away in a box, frame them on a wall in your home! These could be displayed in a playroom, office, craft room, or your child’s room. You could use the same frame or mix it up with different frames.
7. Three Ring Binders
The most popular option would be to use a simple three-ring binder for each school year. Laura, from the Make Life Lovely blog gives an easy way of storing and organizing her kid’s art and school work that’s fast, fun to look through and is relatively easy to keep up with and store. Take a look below!
8. Artist Portfolios
These are archival safe and hold up to 90 pieces of artwork. These come in all different sizes even large ones for those big masterpieces! You can insert the artwork from the top of the clear pocket sheet. This also a great way to store photos!
9. Custom Photo Books
If you’re like me, you have hundreds of pictures on your phone and never do anything with those pictures. Mix Book creates custom kids photo albums with your child as the star! Kids will love to flip through the pages and see special moments with siblings, grandparents, and friends. Customizing a book each year allows you to free up space on your phone and provides a special keepsake for you and your child!
10. Turn Photos into Wall Art
MIXTILES is a super cool website that turns your photos into framed masterpieces! Tiles are 8” by 8” and they’re removable, reusable and leave no marks. Three tiles are $49, and each additional tile is $9. They offer various styles for you to choose such as a black frame, white frame, or no frame. A great way to not only showcase your child’s school photos but organizing them as well!
11. Ongoing Photo Book Series
Don’t have time to make photo books? An app called Chatbooks can do it for you! All you have do is connect your phone and the photo books make themselves. Chatbooks will find your best photos, remove the blurry ones, toss the screenshots and exclude the duplicates. How awesome is that! They offer an ongoing photo book series which includes a book each month. A new book is created every 60 photos. Another great way to save space on your phone and organize kid’s photos by the time of the year!