The Best (Free!) Way to Store Your Kids’ Art

published May 3, 2021
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It’s difficult to imagine, in advance, the sheer enormousness of actual, physical things that kids come with: the clothes, the shoes, the sports equipment; the books, the games, and the toys. And then there’s the paper. No one prepares you for how long and never-ending the paper trail is. It starts before they’re even born, with doctors’ records, books, and all those special baby shower cards. And the deluge never stops.

Much of kid-related paper can be filed, digitized, or acted upon and the originals don’t really need to stick around your home. In other words, while it might not be fun to deal with the info flyers, calendars, and permission slips, it’s the meaningful papers that tug at your heart that are hard. The paintings, the love notes, the relics of your children’s expression and development are so incredibly hard to just toss in the recycling bin.

You can’t keep all of them, but you just can’t get rid of them either! Too often they sit in piles that get sifted through when you come upon them again, when you tell yourself once more that you really need to “do something” with them.

These treasures deserve a more permanent solution, and you deserve the satisfaction of taking definitive action. This is where my new favorite app comes into play: It’s called Artbox and it solves the problem of what to do with all your kids’ “masterpieces.”

This App Lets You Keep Memories and Toss the Clutter

Artbox allows you to store a digital catalog of your kids’ art, papers, and other projects. The interface is simple and straightforward and the way to use it is intuitive. You set up a profile for each child and then take pictures of the work you want to remember right from within the app. The date gets saved automatically, and the app even calculates your child’s age to display along with their art. There’s even space for a caption.

This app lets you whittle down that pile of keepsakes to only the super best of the very best. It allows you to gently remove the rest from your home without saying goodbye to the memory. In fact, by making the memories more consumable, you’re keeping them alive. By using Artbox, you don’t have to choose between a house without paper piles and your children’s prized creations.

I hope that one day Artbox developers add an option to print out a simple book of your photos with the dates and captions. It feels like the next step in preserving children’s work in a manageable, minimal way that still honors their effort and achievements. In the meantime, I’m excited about what this app means for all the sentimental papers I love to look back on. And I wanted to share it with all of you.

This post originally ran on Apartment Therapy. See it there: This Is the Best Way to Store Your Kids’ Art (and It’s Free)