Heart of Dakota (HOD) includes special hands-on projects that children love to keep. To our children (and sometimes to us as moms too), our children’s history projects, art projects, and even science projects all seem special. We have a tough time letting go! However, we all have limited space in our homes, and we must make some tough decisions. We know it’s not a good idea to throw away our children’s projects right in front of them. Heartless. But, it feels equally wrong to throw them away in secret. Shady. So, what do you do with all of those special projects?
How a BIG clamp magnet and some file folders can help identify the ‘keepers!’
When our children were younger, each of our children had a BIG clamp magnet on the fridge. I would clamp all of their work that was flat in the magnet each day. They often showed dad their special favorites at night. He loved seeing what they did! At the end of the week, I put their work into a file folder or on the shelf next to the file folder if something was too big.
Every once and a while (when the file folder/shelf was bulging), I would have them go through their file folders and shelf. I asked them to keep their favorites and discard the rest. Often times, my children (nor I) could bear to discard a special project right after completing it. However, once some time had passed (as in a few weeks or months), we could all see which things were ‘keepers.’ We could also see which things had already had their moment in the sun (displayed on the fridge, showing Dad)… but had now served their purpose. They were not quite as special anymore.
How clear sleeve protectors in 3-ring binders and a laundry basket can help!
Of the special things they kept, if they were flat, we would put them in clear sleeve protectors in 3-ring binders. If they were not flat, each son had 1 laundry basket under his bed. Each son put any special things he wished to keep in his laundry basket. Every once in a great while (as in multiple months or years), we would go through the basket (usually when it was overflowing). At that point, after even more time had passed, our sons were alright throwing out whatever was not so important anymore.
Having a few “sorting” steps helped them not hold on to everything. They could see what was truly special, and what they were okay parting with. Sticking to the one basket only helped them choose what they really felt was special enough to keep. It also helped them see what things were not quite as special because they had grown less attached to them. I never told tell them what to keep – that was totally up to them. However, if there was something I adored that they were throwing, I rescued it. I have my own special basket in my closet! Those are the real keepers for me.