Organizing Your Child’s Treasures & Toys

My kids are like little bowerbirds.  They see something shiny, or just something that looks cool, and all of a sudden it’s a “treasure”.

Organizing and keeping at bay all the treasures (and by treasures I mean trash, sometimes literally) that my children want to keep often feels like a losing battle.  I feel like I’m in a constant state of negotiation or just flat out saying “no, you may not bring that into the house”.

The other day at Boo’s soccer practice, Big D spent an hour with 2 friends going around and picking up trash and calling them treasures.  Sigh. They each had a pile of “treasures” to take home.  Old pens, bottle caps, aluminum cans…trash! Sigh. I let him keep his found stuff, but made him keep it outside.

I mean, I can’t really say too much considering my sister and I used to dumpster dive at the apartments that we lived in when we were in early elementary school.  No lie.  We crawled right in and dug all around.  SO GROSS.  We came home with a 10-speed bike once and my Dad fixed it up and rode it for years.  That was our best find.  I can’t recall anything else we found, which is probably a good thing!

About once every few months I crack and start freaking about all the stuff around me and begin filling bags to go to Goodwill.  I am telling you that I think our stuff actually breeds at nighttime.  Based on the number of trips that I’ve taken to Goodwill over the last year…well, suffice it to say that I really don’t understand how we have anything left.  But alas, we do.

A few weeks ago was one of those rants.  I must have frightened my poor husband because he immediately started cleaning and filling bags and got rid of all sorts of computer crap.  And I do mean crap.  Broken stuff.  But still…if you don’t have a computer nerd for a husband, you might not understand what a big deal it is for him to do that.  Actually get rid of computer parts.  Thanks Hubby!

Where To Put All the Little Treasures

Last year I bought eight of these small storage bins with drawers (4 for each kid) from Target to store all sorts of little do-dads.  They are small and sitting on shelves in their closet with other treasures, in what we call their “office”.


I am forever saying, “Go put this in your office or it goes in the trash” about stuff that is lying around our house.  Lately, this area has been out of control so I forced them to get rid of “at least 20 things” each.  Then, I assisted them.  And by “assisted”, I mean that when they weren’t looking, I pocketed things to put in the trash.  Only things that were rubbish that I knew they wouldn’t miss (but that Boo would argue was his favorite thing). I try to let them make these decisions on their own, but sometimes it’s just for their own good.  WHY do they think they need to keep old score cards from laser tag that we did over 2 years ago?  But, I digress….

Organizing A Playroom – Lego Display, Games and Toys

A couple of weeks ago, after my rant, a girlfriend and I took a day trip to a nearby Ikea, in my quest to update our overflowing playroom with more storage. Please note that I have tried repeatedly to get them to part with certain things.  My youngest is very reluctant though I have managed to make some progress.  I would prefer they let go of things willingly so they learn not to place such a high value on stuff.

Slowly, but surely!

My friend and I had a brilliant day!  We looked at all the vignettes and shopped and chatted had lunch and coffee and dessert.  So much fun.  I picked up two green Helmer cabinets and two Kallax shelves to go into our playroom.  I wanted the boys to have things that could eventually be used in their bedrooms when they get older (they currently share a bedroom) but also to keep little things out of sight.  I love the green cabinet and that the fact that it’s metal.  I also bought them each a few magnet containers to go on the side, which were a big hit.crazier

helmer-drawer-unit-on-casters-green__0324757_pe517670_s4             metal-container

They also wanted to have something on which to display their legos.  I don’t want lego displays all over the house, so we put the Kallax shelves on their side in the playroom so they can put their creations on top.  I also bought two sets of the coordinating drawers and two green bins for more small storage within the shelf.  The remaining holes will be used for games.

kallax-ikea  kallax-drawers       kallax-box

For the multitude of dress up clothes, I found this little Askvoll dresser.  It’s the perfect size to be used as a bedside table in the future.  It just fitted nearly all of their dress-up clothes and masks.


We are still working on our playroom makeover, but I’ll be sure to post some before/after photos once it’s finished (as embarrassing as the before photos are!).  The space is sort of attic space, but on our 2nd floor.  It was completely unfinished at one point and we finished it out.  It’s still not even painted completely, but I figure one step at a time. The mess drives me crazier than the unpainted parts, so I am tackling that first.

How do you wrangle your kid’s ‘treasures’ and collections?  I can use all the tips I can get!