Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Hiding all Their Stuff {aka 'Organizing'}

This post may contain affiliate or advertiser links. Read my full disclosure policy here.

Laurianna and McKenna love to draw. And by love, I mean 'use half a ream of paper in one sitting' kind of love.

And then it all gets 'gifted' to me. Or we can't throw it out because they want to give it to {blank}, or they drew it with their left hand, or it was the best story they have EVER written.

What, praytell, is a mother to do with all this STUFF?? I discreetly push stuff into the trashcan when no one is looking, but if I don't hide it well enough the wailing can be heard for miles when their 'stuff' is discovered.

The girls and I took a little shopping trip together the other day and bought two large storage containers that can slide under their beds {not the huge ones, but decent sized}. When we got home, we pulled out all of the papers they have stuffed in their backpacks, special things they have saved that meander around the house, and we began weeding through it all.

The rule was - if it doesn't fit in the tub, it has to go.

Letting the girls sort through it all worked out well and the tubs both slid under their beds when they were full. Now this didn't include their toys and dolls, etc...just all those 'extras' like the notes from friends, their special diary or the five purses that they've managed to collect {and Mommy wishes would 'magically' disappear}. They understand that when that tub is full - they have to sort through it and the top is the limit!

All that said - Mommy is happy now and all that 'stuff' is organized and out of sight! Just wanted to pass along a little something that is Working for Me!


  1. We have a container just like that for Jamison's prized art. I throw stuff away all the time though (and yes, hide it under other stuff so she doesn't see). If I don't throw it away it will overtake us. How cool that you got the girls involved.

  2. I love those under the bed containers. I keep all of the winter/summer clothes in them.

  3. The current items are on the fridge...then the best items get moved to a tote...then when I have time I scan them into my computer to save indefinately. MOST of the hard copies get thrown away at that point. It is the ONLY way I can manage the paper load in this house!

  4. That is a great storage solution! DS just started Kindergarten and presents me with a mountain of paperwork every afternoon so I needed the tip; thanks!
    I try to write my child's name, the date, and what is special about that page (first time he wrote his name, learned to draw a robot, what the heck the picture "is" according to my child) so as I weed pages out I know which ones are keepsakes and which are a dime a dozen.

  5. What a great idea this is. It keeps kids in charge of what stays and what goes. What is a masterpiece today and can't be parted with, suddenly becomes trash the very next week.

    It's better they dispose of it then they can't make you feel bad when it does make a run for the circular file!

    Love and Hugs ~ Kat

  6. This is so funny because it sounds like our house!! :) Great solution though.

  7. Great solution. Layla is only in preschool, I can't imagine how much more stuff we will be getting when she starts kindergarten next year. I may have to try this out!

  8. My mom did that too! We called it our memory boxes. We also kept things like dance recital programs, or tickets from places we went, etc. I plan on taking all my drawings, scanning them, and making them into a coffee book and then everyone can see the evolution of my art work. Not that I'm great or anything.

  9. I do something similar. Each kid has a container under their bed that they keep some of their special stuff and little things that tend not have a home of their own. They love to look through the treasures once in a while, too.

  10. I read a similar suggestion from another mom once. They kept EVERYTHING for a year - all the art projects, keepsakes, notes, etc. Then, at the end of each school year, they would sort through everything together, weeding out things that had lost their meaning or been forgotten. (So, after second grade, they sorted through all the stuff from second grade, first grade and Kindergarten, getting rid of new things each year.)

    I kind of like that system. My mom had a similar system, and I was sorting through some things the other day. I found the letters she wrote to me while I was away at summer camp and had a good chuckle.

    And of course, as someone else said, keeping a date and description on things really helps!

    Happy organizing!

  11. I really should do this for my son. He is constantly collecting "treasures" like drawings, stickers, marbles, pretend credit cards from new wallets, receipts, buttons, and lots of other small bits of things I consider to be trash but are special to him for one reason or another.

    He does need his own spot for his own things...with a limit.

    You are a genius!


    Stop by and see me over at Free2BeFrugal!

  12. What a great idea! I will have to do that. There has been a lot of wailing in my house too. How was I supposed to know those two circles on a page was a masterpeiece?

  13. That's EXACTLY what we do. My girls sound identical to yours. I'm so weary of all the purses, backpacks etc. stuffed with stuff! So we got underbed boxes and did exactly what you did. The problem is, they still manage to sneak out little stashes of junk and put it into purses that magically pile up around the house again!

  14. Oh, we totally have the same problem around here! Every time I turn around there's a new pile of "stuff" that has been created. I sometimes think it is reproducing ITSELF!! Thanks for the tip!

  15. My hunny said that God must have given moms special grace to be able to throw away all the 'special' treasures from the kids. :) We use the container idea too. The lid has to close. It helps them learn too that if you keep it's all too much! Enjoying your blog!


Thanks so much for dropping by - I'd love to hear from you! If you'd like a reply, be sure there is an email address linked to your email! :)

Emealz - Easy Meals for Busy People!

Blog Design by: Relevant Designs