Caught, Red Handed!


What do you do when your kids catch you throwing something that belongs to them away? 

Everyday Ian and Imani come home with a bookbag full of papers.  Ian had become quite the pack rat and does not want to get rid of anything.  It’s so bad that he even keeps the boxes that his toys come in.  (The toys are not in the boxes.  He just like to keep everything)!  Anyway…I have been slowly but surely throwing away things that he does not need.   I hold onto  his really nice pictures, the ones that fill up the whole page.  Some of the papers he brings home have cut-outs and some have crayon lines in two or three places. 

I’m on my spring cleaning kick and I have gotten rid of so much paper.  While stuffing a garbage bag with Ian and Imani’s “stash”, Ian catches me!  I got yelled at by my six year old for getting rid of his paper.  He couldn’t understand why I was throwing his “stuff” away.  I didn’t even have a answer for him.  Not one that a six your old could comprehend our family history.

I posted before about the women in my family being hoarders.  I have been guilty of keeping things that I do not need or no longer using.  Now my motto is not to clutter up my home. 

So after much thought I have come up with a plan.  Ian and Imani can keep two papers daily that they really like.  I have some binders that they can put their papers in.  Instead of having papers all over my house.   I’ll use the sleeve protecters and when the protecters fill up they can then swap the old ones with new ones.  I also plan on getting some frames for their bedrooms where they can change their work from time to time. 

I can laugh about it now but when Ian yelled at me I felt like his daughter being scolded trying to hide something.

7 responses »

  1. Some suggestions from books/shows I’ve seen:

    –have a rotating gallery of art work either on the fridge or special place (a variation of the binders)

    –photograph the stuff before you throw it away

    and what I do with the BF’s stuff:

    –do it when he’s not around and the day before trash pick-up!


    Good luck! I just finished going through boxes of old mail that the BF had from 2007. I found an uncashed check, prom photos, cards from ex-gfs, sale circulars (why?), and “things to do” lists among other things. I got 10 boxes of this down to 4.

  2. I got my kids a keepsake box and they could put a few papers in it a week. I also used them to save school awards, birthday cards, other stuff. The kids get a good laugh going back thru them now.

  3. I do the binder thing as well, except Nicholas gets to select ten projects/assignments per year. I had to do this more for myself rather than Nicholas because I just couldn’t bare to part with his precious papers.

    I also like having a few of his good pieces of art custom framed.

    Ian’s reaction brings to mind when my first stepfather, also named George, threw away my school papers when I was in the fourth grade. I was so hurt and distraught that I ran to the dumpster and recovered my treasures, lol!

    But as an adult, I am not so much into clutter and junk the way I was as a kid. Now I am always throwing something away.

  4. Ladies,

    Thanks for the helpful ideas!

    I think my plan is working. Yesterday Ian came home and said “I threw away some of my papers at school.” I laughed and told him he could bring the papers home so we could look at them together and decide what to keep. He seemed pleased!

  5. That’s a good idea. I know that I throw away too much stuff. I do what Lori does, I throw things away when they’re not there and the day before trash day.

  6. Ugh, this is a hard one! We are all packrats around here. I do have the rotating artwork board, plus a porfolio to store large art (just a cardboard one my daughter made at school — thank you, art teacher!). I have a wicker basket, into which go all the school papers, directories, etc. We have to go through that once every year, as well as the artwork, or there is complete overflow and we might as well make a new floor out of the recycled paper….

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