Organizing Our Artwork (Printable too!)

Last year (January 1st, 2014) I bought 12 red folders and 12 blue folders (Silas’ favorite color is red, Owen’s is blue.) 

When it came to the boys' artwork, it was the best organizational decision I could have ever made.

Together we labeled each boy's folder with each month of the year. We made a consistent place for them on the shelf above the art cabinet.

Anything the boys did in school, anything they cut out of a magazine, or anything they drew went into their folders. My catch phrase became, "If it's important to you, put it in your folder." They were regularly finding themselves saying, "I think it's in my folder."

If they had something special and wanted to hang it up, it went on the art wall. If it was larger or 3-dimensional, it found a home on their work table. If we find that interest in keeping the project around is waining after a few weeks, we photograph it extensively and recycle it. 

At the end of the month, all those drawings, stickers and clippings from Lego magazine go into their folders. Once everything is in there, it went onto the shelf above the art cabinet.

Here's what our year looked like. The thick folders are August's, where we took our New York trip and did lots of coloring, collected maps and tickets, post cards and brochures.

Since I wanted clean labels this year anyhow, I made them for all of us! You can print them on label paper at home, or on plain paper and use washi tape like Silas wanted to do. They're not fancy, they're just clean and easy.

Download the labels here!

 There's options for the labels, since I like options: 
• Futura
• Cursive
• Dotted Cursive (for practice writing) 
• Dotted Manuscript (for practice writing)

Now, where does the whole year's artwork go? Into the "archives". Which is our word for the basement storage area. We have our baby books, onesies and keepsakes there. Things that we respect, things we would like to keep. It's organized. The boys know their work is there and when they are older and interested in seeing it again.

Today is January 1st, 2015 (Happy New Year!) and I'm headed right back out to purchase 12 more blue and 12 more red folders.

I look forward to seeing all of the work the boys create this year. I also look forward to keeping it all organized.