KonMari your kids’ artwork like a boss

You’ve probably heard of the KonMari method of decluttering.

In KonMari, you decide what to keep and what to toss based on whether something “sparks joy” for you.

 Find the right balance between keeping kids' artwork and school papers and recycling it all.

But what about kids artwork and school papers?

Thanks bunches to Keepy for sponsoring this post! Affiliate links are present.

There’s something irresistable about all those adorable handprint crafts.

The way they write their names in kindergarten.

The preschool modern art produced in great quantities.

The paragraphs and essays from third grade.

The progress you see in the high school artwork.

It all sparks joy, doesn’t it?

After all, these papers are a snapshot of who your child was on a particular day.

They give you a glimpse of her frozen in time.

Kids grow up way too quickly (although sometimes much too slowly!)

And for some parents, holding on to their children’s papers is one way to freeze time.

But all these papers begin to pile up.

By the middle of second grade, you’ve got a river of sparkly construction paper, math worksheets and spelling tests that flows out of boxes, across bulletin boards and over kitchen counters.

And it’s not sparking joy any more.

But surely you can’t throw even one of these masterpieces away, can you?

They’re much to precious for that.

It’s a dilemma for sure.

Being mom to four boys, I’ve discovered a few guidelines that help me decide which school papers to keep and what can be appreciated and then recycled.

Here’s how I handle my kids’ school papers:

School notices and announcements are usually dealt with right away after school.

This might mean adding something to the calendar, posting a paper on the fridge, or signing and returning papers to folders to go back to school.

I accept that not every piece of paper can be kept.

When everything is special, nothing ends up being special. I want to highlight the very best things my kids are doing.

I keep a variety of papers.

If I’ve already got one handwriting sample from 4th grade, the next one that comes home can be appreciated and then recycled. And if you can’t bear to recycle, I’ve got another solution – keep reading!

I hang up most artwork (but only temporarily).

I’ve got artwork hung up on a door in our kitchen. (Here are some other fun ways to display kids’ artwork).

But I limit the amount of artwork that’s displayed; when something new comes home, that’s the trigger to take down something from the display.

Put together a book with the best work

At the end of the school year, I take about 20 pages from each child to Staples to be bound into a softcover book. It makes a fun keepsake for the year.

I’ve been using a new app called Keepy to help me keep a lot more of my kids papers without the paper piles.

How I store ALL my kids school papers
My Keepy screen on my phone. Seeing all this schoolwork makes me so happy!

Keepy lets you snap photos of schoolwork, artwork, or whatever you like. Then you can tag them with your child’s name, record an audio clip, or just a text note.

You can share with your friends and relatives on Facebook or on Keepy’s own network.


One of my favorite parts, though, is that you can have your kids’ schoolwork preserved on a mug, a t-shirt, a keychain or a lot of other things!

Talk about special!


Here’s an adorable keychain made with one of my son’s kindergarten worksheets. And it’s just 4 dollars – such a steal for something so precious!


Here’s a coffee mug with one of our crafts.

Don’t you think this would make the best Mother’s Day present for grandma?



Turning art into photo gifts preserves them way beyond their normal lifespan.

I’ve started having my kids save their own work to Keepy.

It’s fun for them and saves me time, too. And it makes it a little easier to recycle most of the paper that comes home every day.

You can try Keepy here for free.

You can find Keepy here online:

Keepy on Facebook
Keepy on Instagram

Keepy is free to download for 5 memories a month and you can upgrade it to Unlimited for only $9.99 a year to store all the artwork you like!

I also “keepy” lots of the ordinary worksheets like math papers and vocabulary worksheets.

Because even a math paper can spark joy to a mom 🙂

Do you Konmari your kids’ schoolwork?


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5 thoughts on “KonMari your kids’ artwork like a boss”

  1. I use Keepy and I think one of the best features is being able to video your child talking about his or her creation. That video file attaches to the artwork photo. It’s so fun to hear a 4 year old describe what the scribbles mean to them!

  2. I made pillow cases 12×12 and 10×10 of some special pieces of art work and they are on our window seat for all to enjoy. I pick 1 piece each year to have it made and enjoyed. So far 10 years worth….lol… Now as for the rest. After her second year of school and creative summers, I had placed them in binders for each year. BUT they still weren’t enjoyed as often as they should have been. ???? Soooooo as a solution ???? I had her paint, glitter, glue lace and use hand prints of tissue paper decoupaged all over a cheap, clearance wooden frame which I put around a 15″ computerized flat screen. Now EVERYONE can enjoy them anytime. I also added a picture of her just before each years art began and pictures of all her contraptions that she invented to catch leprechauns, Easter bunny, Santa’s boot prints and glove prints to prove he existed for a report for class….BOY that was a flour nightmare to wake up to…???? AND the sliding glass door turned into finger painted stain glass (“like at church mommy”)…LOL! OH the memories! I wouldn’t change a thing…Life is a rollercoaster ????….just enjoy the ride!

  3. I wish we had apps when my kids were little, Keepy is genius. I have one son that was a prolific drawer when he was little. He wanted to keep everything. I bought the biggest 3-ring binder I could find and put page protectors in. We would slip his artwork in the binder to keep it from taking over the house.
    A funny thing happened…as HE got older the art stopped sparking joy for him and he began to self-edit. Some of the older work went, making room for the new stuff. By high school I had to hide the binder for my own sake because he was so Over It that he wanted to just toss every evidence that he used to be a little boy.
    My point is…time has a way of making the truly wonderful things pop out. Every 5 years or so I can go through my children’s memory box and weed out. I think of it as curating.
    Just don’t do what my MIL did. She saved every single piece of paper her boys ever touched. Down to the word searches and fill in the blank worksheets. Then she gave it all to her daughters-in-law. I love my husband (and his memories) dearly. But seeing every spelling test he ever took – no sparks there!

  4. I kept everything when my kids were growing up. A couple of years ago, I unearthed it all, chose my favorites, uploaded and made books. I made one preschool and one elementary book for each child, and we love looking through them now. It also felt good to get rid of the large/broken/bug-eaten pieces. One thing for sure, never keep anything made from food!


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Welcome. I’m Sarah!


I’m the creator of Decluttering School (formerly known as Early Bird Mom), lover of organized spaces, encourager to women and mom to four boys. Click here to read more!

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