1. Allison says...

    After amassing multiple plastic storage containers of art projects by me and my siblings, my parents started taking photos of us with our artwork and throwing the art away once the photo was snapped. There is an album full of us at various ages standing, mug shot style, holding up a piece of art. Makes me laugh every time I flip through it.

  2. Nora says...

    As the teacher I’m always thinking “please dear god take this home, my office is FULL”

  3. Seraphim says...

    This is perfect… funny because it’s true.

  4. Liz says...

    I love my twin kindergarteners’ art but I really dread the babyfood jars and plastic yogurt cups filled with blobs of glitter slime, mud “planted” with avocado pits, play doh, colored sand, and other things that I am going to find embedded in the carpets and couch cushions. I’m already exhausted and can never keep up with the mess—please, pre-K and K teachers, have mercy on us parents.

  5. Erica Nicksin says...

    I can tell you from my own experience as the daughter of a mom who kept lots of artwork, school work, baby clothes etc, that you shouldn’t keep it thinking your kid will someday want it. I recently moved across the street from my mom and she thought this was her chance to unload all this stuff on me! I played along, and then snuck a few boxes under her guest bed when she was out of town. Get rid of most of it before it’s almost 40 years old and even harder to get rid of!

    • Cathy Cameron says...

      Ok I am laughing loudly

      I am hallmark impaired and have savoring artwork guilt

      This was a huge relief

  6. Sabrina says...

    I have three children with lots of artwork. We display them on one wall and at the end of the year I throw everything away. The only things I save are Christmas ornaments they hand made. I love those things.

  7. Kelsey says...

    Something to keep in mind as kids get older…
    I’m an art teacher and I have many children who always give their artwork to me when they’ve finished a project. I ask if they’re sure they don’t want to take it home and most of them hesitate for a second and say “My mom will just throw it away.” Makes me sad…obviously, if it’s a little sketch or something it’s no big deal to throw out, but kids sometimes work on their art for weeks!

  8. Claire says...

    Hahaha! I loved this cartoon so much. I have been taking pictures of all the art that comes home from my two kids, and when they are done with daycare/preschool, I plan to make an art book using Snapfish or one of those other companies. I try to keep one or two nice items every once in a while for nostalgic reasons, but there is WAY TOO MUCH to hold onto. It is my very small attempt at being a minimalist.

  9. Ro says...

    I have boxes of own artwork lying around from when I was little. My parents aren’t attached to all the paintings and cardboard robots and clay figurines, but for whatever reason I can’t fathom tossing them out. It makes me so sad!

    God, I can’t imagine what I’ll be like if I ever have kids. The rooms will be wallpapered with scribble drawings, and there I’d stand in the middle of it all, wearing 500 macaroni necklaces.

    • Kerry says...

      Love this image!

  10. Maryann says...

    haha! Love this one so much. We have a wood stove in our house and I have been busted more than once throwing “retired” art into the fire. All that paper makes great fire starters! But if my daughter can’t find some creation on paper that’s been sitting around for awhile (in my defense!), she will often look at me with accusing eyes and ask “did you burn it?!” :)
    Happy weekend!

  11. Kely says...

    In addition to these things, I’ve also used some of the drawings as “cards” for relatives. E.g. Every birthday present, holiday present gets a handwritten letter from my husband or I on the back of her drawing. This mainly works for family members and good friends, but they’ve all enjoyed it.

  12. Sasha L says...

    If my preschool students ask to show their art to Mommy and Daddy, it goes home with them (& I always recommend that parents throw away later). Otherwise I throw it away. And I do tell the children that I do. I tell them I hold onto the joy I saw when they were making it, and I know they’ll make more again today, and we need room to do our work. If they bring me art from home, it goes on the fridge for a week, and I offer a hug and deep gratitude that they think of me. I don’t give judgements about their art, no “it’s pretty!” Or “I love it!” “I love that you remembered I like blue!” Or “look at all those fun circles!” instead.

    As a parent of grown kids my advice to my former self would be, at most, save one thing a year. I saved way too much, I’m not sure for what exactly, just seemed to precious to toss. But that I did, years and years later. Actually I made a big bonfire and burned it all (I had boxes and boxes, my kids had zero interest). It was way less fun going through it than one might imagine. I mostly just felt frustrated with myself for not being able to let go. So former me, see the picture, see the joy going into making it, hang on the fridge for a bit, then just let it go. Holding on won’t make those precious babies grow up any slower.

    The super cool stuff they made, like a wood cut purple octopus, a lovely blue clouds abstract painting, loads of ceramic bowls, quilts, we use as art or use in every day life.

  13. Connie says...

    My mother in law gave me this amazing gift in the days leading up to our wedding, and it was this scrapbook that had a piece of art and a school wallet-sized photo of my husband-to-be at each year of school. I LOVE this little scrapbook. I intend to do the same: to create a scrapbook that can one day be given to my kids (or to their spouse if they choose to marry).
    I’m pretty ruthless about only saving the ‘best’ artworks. I save 4-5 each school year, which includes a sample of their writing. The rest? Into the recycling bin. I have a big plastic rubbermaid storage bin in the storage room that houses each of their collections and that’s it.
    That being said, my daughter (7) is a “keeper” and so I give her a standard gift bag and she’s allowed to put whatever kinds of paper goods she wants to salvage in said bag in her room. Once a season I force her to visit The Bag and sift the items. She makes the decisions, but I help talk her through the decision-making process.

  14. Abbe says...

    Currently in my possession: two pint-sized sombreros made of party hats on paper plates and decorated in crepe paper that my toddler twins brought home the other day from daycare and I’m like, seriously what am I supposed to do with these. They take up like half of the counter space in our tiny kitchen.
    Twins = two sombreros, two construction paper flags of Iceland, two cups of dirt. But the handprints-in-paint projects? LOVE.

    • Stephanie says...

      Your awesome description of the twin toddler-sized paper plate sombreros taking up a huge part of the space in the kitchen just made my heart utterly melt, for some reason.
      I feel inspired to be more present with my son, so thank you!

    • Abbe says...

      Love that, Stephanie!! <3

  15. Anna says...

    We have 2 Ikea Dignitet wires across one wall of our dining room (obviously it’s not a formal dining room) and hang the most current or “best” art there. It gets rotated and our favorite pieces are saved in a big artists portfolio. But *so much* gets thrown out.
    My dad just sent me a scan of a picture that I drew when I was 5 of my sister in my mother’s belly and it is so funny to think of that little girl that I was then!

  16. Katie says...

    I am a Year 1 teacher in the UK (5 and 6 year olds) and laughed out loud at this. Apologies to all the parents who have taken their children’s *lovely* collages/paintings/bulky junk modelling structures home from my classrooms over the years… And yes, I am guilty of sending home seeds in dirt home too but I do hope those grew into something!

  17. Abbi says...

    Oh my gosh, if this isn’t a perfect description of modern parenting, what is? The perfect giggle for this Friday afternoon!

  18. Hanh vu says...

    at least she asked. our kids teachers just stuff everything in the bags, and i’m left with disposing it. I think I need to make arrangement for the teachers to throw it away. Save me from the guilt…

  19. Sherry says...

    Whatever you save, save it for you, not the kids.

  20. Nadine says...

    I don’t have kids so not sure how I would actually manage the amount of art projects but please keep some! My boyfriend’s mom gave me a drawing he did the day I was born, we’re 5 years apart. Is basically just scribbles with an arrow written by his teacher indicating they’re meant to be rocks at the shore. I love it and is well displayed in our living room! Haha

    • Jo says...

      Oh, that’s just so amazing and special! I will no longer feel guilty for the amount of creations I keep tucked away!

  21. Amanda says...

    This made me laugh. My son is almost 3 and his daycare sends home every piece of paper he touches. Things with one scribble on it, a few stickers randomly thrown on. I throw most of it away, but one day he saw me putting it in the garbage and he was like “my art!!!!” I said “oh! thank you for stopping me, I didn’t realize your art got mixed in with what I thought to be trash!” Now I’m much more discrete with how I get rid of it.

    • Sarah says...

      😂😂😂 Thank you for stopping me. Good save mom! Parenting is nothing if not thinking on your feet.

  22. Bridget says...

    Ha, this is great. I am an early childhood educator, and almost all of the artwork my students create is process-based (based on their own design and ideas) as opposed to product-based (a teacher-driven design). However, a couple of times a year, we do have the kiddos make something Pinterest-worthy, because (speaking as a parent) not all young artists naturally create cute paintings and collages their parents want to save!

  23. Kelly says...

    i have a basket full of it but have taken pics of it with the intention of making a photo book and then throwing it all out!

    thankfully after 1st grade the pace of art masterpieces has dramatically slowed.

  24. Louisa says...

    I am ruthless with art. It disappears the day it comes home with very few exceptions. She’s almost 5, so I don’t think she’s oblivious either.

    Somewhat related is my new genius idea: my daughter wants a new stuffie (stuffed animal). I said if she could pick two to get rid of, she could get another. She found two! We have one fewer stuffie, *and* she’s happy!

    • Lisa says...

      The stuffie idea is definitely genius! We just cleaned out a bunch of old things my boys (now 9 and 6) no longer play with. It was hard enough for them to say goodbye to old (broken!) play things, but neither one was willing to dive into the stuffed animal bin! I’ll save this gem for the next time :-)

    • Abbe says...

      So far for my 2nd grader, I’ve gotten a large three-ring binder every year with those sheets you can slip things into. It’s a place to keep everything related to that grade, including the “keeper” artwork. My daughter just loves paging through it to re-admire the stuff she’s created, and honestly it’s kinda cool to see it in “book form” and all together like that. Admittedly, this isn’t the most barebones approach to managing kid’s art, but I try to save the things that resonate, and then go back every season for so and keep distilling it down to the stuff really worth keeping.

  25. hahaha. Speaking of: Please all the tips for dealing with the mountains of kid art. What do people do with it? We hang up some of it … We’re drowning. I need details.

    • Megan says...

      Same. Mostly I just put it in a basket and then when the basket is overflowing I do a purge of the stuff I know he’s forgotten about, ha. But I’ve also started taking pictures of some of it with my cell phone with a plan of one day making a photo book of his preschool art highlights at which point I’ll throw everything out except for a few sentimental pieces.

    • celeste says...

      We have a rope in our kitchen where we clothes pin the best pieces. Others take pictures of it and make scrapbooks. Bury the originals in recycling or the kids will find!

    • Colleen S. says...

      My mom just tossed it. The only things we still have are ornaments we made for Christmas with our photos on them, a framed painting of flowers my sister did in Kindegarten that was hung up for an art show, and my grandma has a Santa I made in Kindergarten or first grade that she hangs every year (I’m 35, so the cotton ball beard is gone). But I am in no way suggesting you toss out your kid’s art like my mom did.

    • Dee says...

      I have a long flat bin where I store the most precious bits and I look at them about once a year at which point I decide what to keep or toss. I have four kiddos, so there is lots of tossing. We can always photography for posterity!

    • Hanna says...

      Hang some of it, keep some of it. When I turned 18, my mother gave me a scrapbook with a collection of pictures I drew as a child, from my very first experiments with crayons as a toddler to the detailed depiction of princesses and horses from when I was 12 or so. Made me burst into tears <3

    • Kay says...

      I vote toss most of it (or at least digitize then toss). My mother in law saved every single thing my husband ever did, and now she’s giving us boxes and boxes of his old school work and artwork… basically offloading the emotional burden and guilt of tossing it onto us. The longer you keep something or older it is, the harder it is to get rid of. It’s fun to look back and have a few pieces he made, but the amount she’s given us is overwhelming, especially since we have a baby on the way ourselves.

    • Leslie says...

      It depends completely on the kid, I think. I have one with an incredibly sharp memory who will ask me for “my orange sticker page with the flowers on it” months later, and be heartbroken if I have recycled it. That child has a folder that is fully theirs to control with the understanding that it cannot overflow into the rest of the house. My other one is quite happy to have me clean up old paperwork myself, because it is out of the way. My biggest challenge is knowing whose stuff is whose!

    • Sandra says...

      There are companies that allow you to put it all into a box, ship it to them, and they scan it and make a photo book out of it. Then they recycle the originals, so all you get is the book back. I haven’t tried it yet, but it might be a good solution: https://www.artkiveapp.com/#box

    • Maria says...

      Yes! I would love an entire post from CoJ on this. I toss most after a week or so, except for the holiday stuff which I decorate with when the time comes. My 5 year old loves seeing her old projects come out again. The photo idea sounds great in theory but then what to do with all those little photo books piling up in closets. Makes me cringe.

    • Madie says...

      I’m going to try ArtKive
      https://www.artkiveapp.com/#box
      They’ll send a box, I mail it in, they digitize the art and turn it into a nice hardbound book. You still need to purge and be selective about what you’re saving/sending, but this is a nice way to keep the best! I’d like to think I could photograph it and order a book myself, but let’s be honest. Ain’t nobody got time for that!

    • Laura says...

      I keep a handful of favorites in his box each year. But my favorite thing is if my kindergartener made something really special I will video him showing and explaining it. Then I text it in our family chat and throw it out!