December 12, 2012

The art of organizing... wait, I meant the organizing of art.

I am a great organizer. When the kids were little we had a three drawer containers in the closet by the door. When the kids emptied the papers out of their backpacks they went into their drawer. When the drawer got full it went upstairs to the closet into a Rubbermaid bin with a lid. At the end of the school year the bin went in the attic to be sorted later. It was a brilliant system!

There was, however, one flaw. Three kids, times 20-30 pieces of homework a week, multiplied by thirteen years (not including preschool), equals roughly 4.5 million pieces of homework.

So over the summer, I decided that this would be the year I would tackle the bins in the attic. I started with the most sentimental - the preschool artwork. This is one of four large boxes and several other smaller bins and boxes before I started.

And this is now. There are three bins with the work all organized in nice little piles. I am still looking for something more safe from an archival perspective, but this will do for now. I took digital pictures of everything and backed them up on an external hard drive. I threw away the stuff that was mouse eaten, and to prevent any further snacking, I tossed anything else with beans, seeds, or cheerios - I had no idea the kids did so many projects with food.

All the stuff I tossed is sitting in the garage waiting for the perfect winter day for a bonfire. It makes me feel better to ceremoniously burn it than just throwing their childhoods in the trash (and no comments from the peanut gallery about any symbolic meanings of burning it - it's working for me).

At some point I will go back to do another sort and purge, and keep only the really special pieces. After the holidays I am planning to sort through the pics to find the best of the best digital photos for some beautiful Shutterfly books. Then it's onto the grade school years....