Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Confessions of an Artwork Hoarder

In 2013 I've resolved to make a sincere effort to reduce clutter and chaos in our home. I was inspired by a William Morris quote: "Have nothing in your house that you do not know to be useful or believe to be beautiful." This makes sense to me, and I've made some progress by cleaning out some cabinets and drawers. I've given away a few things and made a couple of trips to local donation centers. And I've been feeling pretty good about myself until I realized this week I've saved nearly every piece of art, scribble, letter, writing effort, project, etc. my preschooler does at school and home. And I've done this for four year. I treasure it all, but let's be honest. It would be impossible to keep it all. 

I've stored it in a few places and decided to bring some of it out tonight just to see. Wow. I'm not sure there's any other way to describe how I feel seeing it all like this other than overwhelmed. I'm overcome with wonderful memories, and pride and a little nostalgia and sadness that my sweet girl is growing up so quickly. It's an impressive collection. But I'm faced with the question of what now. How do I part with it? How do I choose? Where do I even begin? (And I thought the closets would be difficult.) 

I mean how in the world could I get rid of this campfire pic of glued construction paper "fire"and sticks?
Or Ellie's interpretation of her dad, Spring, or Planet Earth?     

How could I possibly part with this drawing of a carrot, her favorite veggie?

Or this Halloween footprint "ghost" the Pilgrim and Indian or these dictated letters to Santa?
I'm not sure. So I'm open for suggestions. All of her creations warm my soul, but there's only so much I can realistically keep. If I'm going to be on a TLC show it needs to be "What Not To Wear" not "Hoarding: Buried Alive." 


  1. Have you thought about taking pictures of her special artwork and keeping that?

  2. I'm hoarding four pieces of Ellie's artwork on my fridge too. There's an app for that: http://www.coolmomtech.com/2012/08/storing_kids_artwork_apps.php

  3. Thanks so much, Marion and LeRae. I appreciate your great ideas!

  4. I wish we kept all of Emma's artwork! Most of what you picture looks very familiar. We end up keeping the best stuff and some goes on my wall at work. Good luck figuring out what to keep!