Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Three-Day Weekend

How did you spend your three-day weekend? I spent my entire Memorial Day weekend sans enfants. (Merci á ma famille.) So what do you do for three days straight with no children? You organize. There are a bazillion other things I could have and wanted to do, but this was a monumental check off the checklist.

When my kids were tots, I realized quickly that there wasn't going to be nearly enough wall space in my home for all of their artwork. And after a while, the sand would fall off, the macaroni would get smashed and the paper would discolor on their precious projects. I needed a better solution to preserve their histories-in-the-making.

Thank goodness for the digital photography revolution of the late 1990s, because my solution was an outcome of technological advancement. When digital photography and the Web converged, online digital photo services began. My early shopping for an online digital example of archiving school work and reducing paper clutter in Shutterfly photo bookphoto service led me to Shutterfly. Around 2004, I began scanning my kids' school work and taking digital photos of their three-dimensional and oversize works of art. I uploaded them to Shutterfly and began creating digital photo books. Instead of overwhelming piles of paper and deteriorating artwork, we have lovely hardcover books of each child's school year accomplishments. Although I still think Shutterfly offers only about 50% of what I really want in an online photo service, the basics are there and are roughly commensurate with the amount of time I have to spend.

This past weekend, I scanned like a maniac, cataloguing hundreds of pieces a second example of preserving a child's school memories in a Shutterfly photo bookof evidence proving that my son completed second grade and my daughter deserves to advance to sixth. The recycling bin outside is unmanageably full, and the works of art went on their way to the local landfill. But both kids are a year smarter for all of the weeks' worth of class work and days' worth of homework I tirelessly sorted through page by page. And all summer long, my paper clutter will be non-existent. Until school begins again in August.

1 comment:

  1. Fabulous idea for dealing with all those kid masterpieces! I wish there'd been scanners, etc. when my kids were little. Another thing I wish I'd done was to take the Christmas or other holiday decorations they make that are special and laminate them so I could hang them year after year (without them disinegrating like they did).