You know you’re a parent when your refrigerator is an art museum: The paintings (mostly primitives) are hung with magnets and scotch tape, and the collection turns over quickly.

Even if you manage to “graduate” many of these artworks to the recycling bin, kids are prolific and there are many things you—and they—will want to keep. How do you preserve their childhood without needing a storage unit to hold it all? We have some ideas.

Take Photos or Scan Best of the Best

School reports, A+ tests, and great art by your child can be photographed and stored digitally for posterity. Or scan the best of the lot. Sort these items in folders by year and label them carefully.

You can back up these memories in the cloud, on flash drives, or on DVDs (decorate DVDs with stickers containing some of the artwork). Make a couple of copies, and keep them in one place—you’ll be adding to the collection as your child grows.

Make a Quilt

Your kid can help with this! When it’s time to retire favorite garments, save a piece of each. Then sew the collection together to make a quilt full of memories. I’ve seen this company advertised online that will make a quilt out of t-shirts.

Pick ONLY the Most Important Artwork

You and your kids won’t always agree on the importance of a given memento. Knowing you can’t keep it all, ask yourself: Will they want to keep this? Will they want to show it to their kids?

Some kids will keep everything; others can’t be bothered. Be sure to keep their most beloved works, even if you yourself are in doubt. (And if something goes astray, just shrug and say, “I think it’s in here somewhere.” Parents aren’t perfect.)

Keep Up with Technology Changes

Twenty years ago, floppy discs were standard backups. Try to find a floppy drive now! No matter what physical format you use, it will change, so be prepared to move your mementoes to updated formats as they become common.

If you have older VHS tapes, CDs, and DVDs, get them into electronic format and save them on the cloud. Then sit back and wait for the next great thing.

Share Your Memories

Once your child’s work is in digital format, share it! It’s fun for family and friends who live far away to see a child’s drawings. And don’t forget to make backup copies for the grandparents.

Few Moves Moving Company is always careful with your mementos—but we know you don’t want to fill the garage with crayon art! Once you get your memories down to a manageable size, call Few Moves at (919) 999-6201 in Raleigh or (910) 512-6999 in Wilmington. Let’s talk about how we’ll get your valuable belongings, including your cherished memories, safely from your old home to the new.