DS already has a huge box of art from his daycare on up to Pre-K...I have really edited down to just the spectacular stuff but still, storage was an issue. Last week, I bought a brand new file box for our important papers.I wanted something more compact than what we had and this one has a nice handle and fits on the close shelf. I took the old storage file system and have been placing his artwork/papers in there by age. It's been great and there is a lot of room for growth. The plastic flat bin I had been storing them in is now being used for his sentimental items...clothes, shoes, a stuffed animal, etc. I like to re-purpose and re-use and I now freed up a large tote, so I can pack up stuff to move into that...the circle of decluttering and organizing continues. : )
I find a great way to keep the art work over the years is to take photos of the art, and then you can put the photos in an online photobook, so you have your very own coffee table book of kids art to enjoy, but without the actual art taking up so much space. I do, however, keep ALL the mothers and fathers day gifts they make at school, and the holiday art is stored with the appropriate holiday decorations - but even that gets whittled down from time to time.
there was a 2-page article about this in the NY times on Thursday-- very funny and also interesting. I think I can't post a direct link to the article? (didn't work before) but if you search for the title, "mom, you're one tough art critic" and you can find it
they suggested the coffee table book idea, which I liked too... entitled, "works on paper". The mom who made one did say she estimated it took her about 40 hours of work to make it!
great idea about the coffee table book- i tend to purge / recycle a lot of the kids art, and it would be great to have this memento for them to look at when they're older. i frame the stuff that i just can't bear to part with, and hang it in our hallway up the stairwell. its fun b/c as they get older our house has more and more of their "work" in it on the walls. i love kids' art as home decor!