I am in the middle of decorating my mum’s house at the moment – a brilliant excuse for a declutter!
Hanging by her dressing table was a ‘tapestry by numbers’ attempt of a horse’s head which I produced when I was about eight. “Do you want to still keep this?” I asked. “Absolutely, it’s one of my favourite things!” was her reply. We then laughed as we compared how different things were today and how the biggest challenge for parents now is what to do with the endless stream of masterpieces bought back from school.
One client, who was a prolific art collector, was at her wits end managing her own twins’ contributions and ended up stuffing things into every storage place she could find!
So, in preparation for the new school year, here are a few of my top tips on how best to ‘curate’ these priceless items.
Number 1 rule – include your child! You will be surprised how ruthless they can be in discarding their less successful pieces!
Create a gallery area: I love the clothes line idea where you quickly pin up each piece as it arrives in the door.
Each month: Choose the top two or three – the really stand out pieces. Discard the rest.
Take a photo of them and store the original in an acid free material storage art box. There are lots of choices online.
At the end of the year: Turn your monthly ‘winners’ into a photo book. These are easy to store, easy to enjoy and easy to share. You can keep the originals to hand over later or be really ruthless and throw them away!
You can adjust the above process to suit your needs. Some people throw all the artwork into a box and then go through it and pick out the best pieces then. It gives a different perspective over a longer time period.
Digitising the artwork means it can be used to produce family presents such as mugs and cards. There are also some fantastic apps around. Doodlenest offers a service where you send them the originals and they photograph everything and produce the book. Similar apps such as Keepy and Artkive are also popular.
So, with the new school year just started you no longer need to feel overwhelmed – create your own system and sit back and enjoy the exhibition!