Joy Killing Art Clutter

Joy Killing Art Clutter

I know, I know—that’s a weird headline coming from an art teacher.

But, friends, ART OVERLOAD can wipe all joy from a parent’s soul. Piles and piles of saved creations spilling off the desk, overloading the fridge, and stacked in corners of your home. I go through moments where I want to throw it all away. Let me give you permission—IT IS OKAY TO GET RID OF YOUR KIDS’ ARTWORK.

Louder for the extra-sentimental ones like me—YOU DO NOT HAVE TO KEEP IT.

Here’s the thing. Artwork is not about the final product. That’s not the true reason your kiddo loves to create. As adults, we believe that is the reason artists create. NOPE—that’s a byproduct of the process of creating. Results are often beautiful and keepsake-worthy—but the process of making is what keeps us coming back.


So why do we feel like we need to keep it all? We humans are sentimental pack rats. Here is what I tell my artists at the studio—and what I’d like to share with you today.

Some art we make and enjoy for a moment. It was fun to make. We tried something new. It gave us momentary happiness as we expressed ourselves.

Some art we make and enjoy for a season. Fun holiday decorations. A piece or art that reminds us of a happy memory. Something we made alongside someone we love a whole lot.

Some art we make and keep forever. This is the super-special stuff. Something we made that our heart can’t stand the thought of getting rid of. Something that brings us a BUNCH of joy. We smile BIG when we see it.

We get rid of momentary art & remember the fun we had making it. We store or discard seasonal art after enjoying it for a while. We display forever art in our world.

So, you have permission to throw away, to clear the art clutter. You can channel your inner Marie Kondo: thank the art for the joy it brought & pass it along—to the recycling bin.

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