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Kids’ Stuff

Kids can produce tons of school papers, artwork and other materials annually. And it seems that their toys, books, games and clothes just multiply. Here are some ideas for reducing the piles and organizing what is left.

School papers and projects
Collect in a box or other container what comes home during the year. At the end of the school year, have the child select X number to keep, and you also select X; the rest get pitched. The ones you keep can be filed or placed in a large envelope, marked with the child’s name, year and grade level. Or you can scan the paper and pitch the originals.

Toys
Store close to where the children play. Place storage containers where children can reach them, if you intend for them to help with putting them away. Rotate some toys, putting some in “inactive” storage for a time. Periodically let the child choose a certain number they want to play with for a while. You might describe it to a child as deciding which toys are “it” for now.

Children’s art projects

laundry basket
A box under a bed is a perfect size and place for these wide, flat items. Ask the child to pick X number at the end of the year to keep, and you may choose the same number. The rest get pitched. Make a collage of them after a few years. Or take photos and toss the originals. Or you can scan the art work—one parent even turned them into a poster, and then created a business doing it for other parents. Take photos of dioramas and other large items.