Forget the gentle garden clean-up…I am now on a spring cleaning bender and my battle cry is “Purge, Purge, Purge!!” The latest mission: the piles of kid artwork cluttering my office. I swear they multiply like germs. Where is the hand sanitizer when I need it?

Like many moms, I’m a tad nostalgic when it comes to these masterpieces. But I’m also realistic about our household equation: 5 people + 1 dog + 12 hobbies / 1700 square foot = zero room for superfluous crap.

So, I hold on to the more hilarious or adorable creations, then I store some, frame others, and have even made laminated placemats out of a few. (Whoa there with the craftiness, Liz.)

I’m truly grateful to the teachers who foster my kids’ creativity and manage to get the artwork in the cubbies intact. I like to think they have a vested interest in this process. After all, that’s what good teachers do…they inspire kids to use their brains in creative and productive ways, right?

Which is why I was puzzled when I found this piece that Smiley made.

Yes, that’s it. No, there’s nothing on the back.

Perhaps they were teaching the toddlers all about minimalism that week?
Who knows, but right now I’m making room on my wall for this gem.

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P.S. I’m thrilled to be a guest writer over at The Mouthy Housewives, where I’m dishing out advice about those evangelical runner-spouses. Check it out!


  1. I am many years behind you in the accumulation of kid artwork, but I can feel our collection growing and my slow suffocation beginning. :) I have a heap to go through. Right now on my definite list of keepers is any artwork which contains a handprint, footprint, fingerprint or body print, preserving the child’s size at that age. (sniff, sniff, sniff already)

  2. If my kids ever become famous artists, I’ll be really sad about all the early masterpieces that I threw out.

    Keep purging! (Ah, that takes me back to my sorority days.) I was never in a sorority.

  3. Thank goodness. Another woman out there who isn’t afraid to say that she occasionally just has to toss some of the many, many, many wonderful creations her kids made. I just found a huge stack of drawings very similar to that one you posted. By my first-born. The second-born. . .well. . .we’re short on space now.

  4. Is Aliza too young to create masterpieces yet? I gave her a colored pencil and paper the other day and let’s just say that unless you consider regurgitated paper ar,t then the experiment was largely a failure.

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