Friday, March 18, 2011

Project Simplify: The Paper Piles

This week's assignment for Project Simplify over at Simple Mom was to deal with the paper clutter. I decided to focus my efforts on one part of this that really gets out of control in my home: the kids' paper creativity. I want them to be creative, but boy! it makes a big mess.

I started by gathering up all the paper I could find in the boy's bedroom and in our dining room:


That lego box in the basket is actually full of drawings that he wanted to keep. At one point, that seemed like a smart solution to the problem ... but then the box got full and more drawings just kept piling up. And little hand made card games. And paper sculptures. And failed origami practice bits. And it goes on and on. Behind the basket you can see a portfolio - an earlier effort to keep some of the kids art nice and contain this problem. Unfortunately, the only place the portfolio fit was in his closet, and then it got crushed at some point when he was stuffing more and more stuff into the closet.

I sorted everything, and anything too damaged or obviously just "scratch" work went straight into the recycling bin. Then I settled down for an hour or so of photographing all of the art. Then I (gasp!) recycled ALL OF IT. I had thought I would make a pile of "things to be framed", but framing and then finding wall space is such an ordeal that nothing ever met the bar for that pile.

Then I took all those photos and went to, and created a coffee table book of their art. I can't show you the "after" picture yet, because that book has yet to arrive in the mail - but I'm sure it will be a lot nicer than this pile of art was!

To keep this problem in control from now on, I assigned one bin in our dining room to be the "paper bin" and it has both paper the kids can use and their current creations. I've warned them that as soon as that bin is full, I'm going to go through it and recycle. Anything they are really proud of should be brought to me immediately for photographing.

I hope this works!

1 comment:

  1. Love the blurb idea. Don't forget to show and tell. I'd like to see how yours turns out.