What Do I DO With All This Crap?*

*It’s not really crap, honest. Just “art.”

I know I’m not the only mom with this problem: too much art, too many crafts, too many watercolor paintings hung around the house. And the accompanying problem: too many craft items (pom-poms, markers, crayons, colored pencils, stickers, stamps, construction paper, coloring books, paints, brushes). And don’t even get me started on the toys!

What the heck do I do with it all?!

Arts and crafts everywhere!!!!

Even without Baby’s art yet, it really is accumulating quickly. Toddler is bringing home crafts almost every day she goes to preschool, we do drawings and assorted crafts almost every day (some are pretty neat, like our themed alphabet, and are permanently hung on a wall), and she likes to generally take things (toys, empty gift bags, books, whatever) and make “set-ups.”

 

(I do like the art displays above: her first watercolors/finger paints and our themed letter alphabet we’re working on weekly.)

For Toddler, a “set-up” means something. To me, it’s just an organized mess.

These toys! We don’t even have a lot by others’ standards, but it does seem to fill the house up. Their rooms, the ottoman in the living room, the open shelf in the TV stand, and once-empty corners everywhere.

Does it seem to anyone else that there is just too much stuff around?! I try to keep a pretty minimalized home (ha! failure…), but I still find it becomes cluttered and messy every turn I take. We rotate toys in and out of storage, too!

Maybe this is just the reality of parenthood. Is it? Or is the reality of modern parenthood? Do we just have too much stuff? Do have any strategies to deal with the toys and things?

And what, for the love of God, do you do with your little ones’ arts and crafts? Right now they’re full of memories, but how much can we save?!

 

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20 thoughts on “What Do I DO With All This Crap?*

  1. I trash it. I’d say I feel horrible for it, but I don’t lol! I keep it displayed for a bit, then off it goes. Foam craft kits are the worst!

    This is precisely why I prefer crafts that actually turn into something… A planter, bird feeder, Christmas ornament, etc. We’ve been rebuilding and painting our playhouse in the yard, and it’s been our best “craft” project ever!

    I also love reusable/multipurpose stuff. Sidewalk chalks or paints, dry erase, modeling clays that stay moldable.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I’m beginning to feel the same way! Mostly we just don’t have room.

      I agree on the useful projects, but even that becomes a lot. We do the Home Depot Kids Workshops now, so we have these wooden things she’s really proud of building … they aren’t exactly high quality, but we can’t throw them away. I guess they’ll stay around for a few years maybe. Sigh… I made my bed, the saying goes…

      Yes!! Love chalks and clays… Great ideas. Maybe we’ll stick more to those rather than painting…. Or we can draw pictures and write letters to send … someone else’s problem! 😮

      Liked by 1 person

  2. That themed alphabet is so cute!! And when it comes to all of the art I’ve accumulated over the years, both things that I made as a kid, as well as things my younger siblings have given me, I keep my absolute favorites and throw away the rest. There isn’t enough room in the world for all of children’s artwork 😂

    Liked by 1 person

  3. This post made me laugh because there is always clutter, there is always stuff, and there is always arts and crafts. Personally, we have outgrown our house and have run out of storage. However, my husband says if we got a bigger house, mores space would encourage more stuff and we’d be in the same boat we are in now. Although, to some point I agree with him there is no functioning in our house we have now because there is no organization. We do have a bin for each of our children right now that holds special keep sake items. I also have a portfolio-scrapbook I put things in as well. If it isn’t special enough to go in either of those things it is tossed in the garbage. We hang art monthly on one of our doors and once the month is up we are out with the old and in with the new. As for the toys and toys and more toys…I’m at a loss. If anyone can figure out what to do with the abundance of toys that accumulate I am also open for suggestions!!!

    Liked by 2 people

      • You’re welcome! I love reading other people’s blogs, especially when I can relate to you! It’s so easy in the busy, jumble of each day with kids to get behind on all the clutter and other things that accumulate and also just not have the time to stay organized. Last night a friend of mine posted on Facebook that she was having issues with her son and him keeping her bedroom clean. So, she ended up finding 3 bins and put a sign on each. One bin said “items to toss” another said “items to keep” and the other said “items to give to goodwill or sell” and made her son decide which items went in each. My kids are not old enough to do this but it would be even something great for me as an adult to do!

        Liked by 1 person

  4. Wow you have accumulated a lot of crafty things, but that’s nice. I feel too guilty to throw anything away that my little one has made. I have a nice large fabric covered box that sits on top of his wardrobe that holds a lot of his keepsakes. It just makes it look tidier x

    Liked by 1 person

  5. It’s so hard to throw away “art” but, once you get used to it, it’s not so bad. We have one spot to display the kids’ art in the house. It’s basically a mini clothesline. We put up the stuff that the kids are most proud of with some clothespins. The other stuff goes to the recycling bin after a couple of days (by then they’ve forgotten all about them). When we’re out of room, I put the art they decided to keep in a binder. So far, I’ve only kept about 5-6 drawings/crafts from both kids.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Ooh, the binder idea is good, too. You are so right that they forget about things after a few days. I think this weekend we will do some spring cleaning and have her choose her favorite art to go into a box/binder like you and the other moms have suggested. If she’s involved in the process it should go well .. as long as we set ground rules first on how much to keep!
      Thanks for the tips!

      Liked by 1 person

  6. I’ve seen a lot of great ideas on Pinterest for how to deal with arts and crafts clutter; I especially like the one (which I’ve yet to do!) where you take photos of a bunch of your kids’ artwork and then make a collage with neat little rectangles. 😀 I would love to see that hanging up…one of these days I’m going to get to it!

    Liked by 1 person

    • AHH! How did I not think to look on Pinterest?! Thanks for the tip. 🙂 And OOH for the collage idea! I did take pictures of her art on Sunday night, so I think I will do the collage one day. How cool!! I’ll have to look up how to do it. Maybe I can turn it into her face. Whoa….
      I did try to get her to sort her art into Display, Save, or Throw Away, but 75% ended up Display and 24% ended up Save. Yes, 1% throw away. Sigh. So my husband suggested we just put all her art that she wants to save in a box under her bed … and she can deal with it when she’s 8yo and has some distance. :o!

      Like

    • I so agree… My daughter totally could not part with much, so we all decided to put out her favorites and put the rest in a box under her bed. I told my husband we’re just kicking the can down the road, but I figure in a few years she won’t care and we can toss them then. Ugh.

      Liked by 1 person

  7. I save a lot of the painting and neat projects my toddler makes. I always feel awful though when I have to throw things away (not like he’s ever noticed). I think it’s just part of being a mom. I always said I would never be “that” parent with kids toys in my living room. HA!!!! You should see my living room…. toys everywhere

    Liked by 1 person

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