There comes a time when a child starts to accumulate some momentos – cards from grandparents, camp photos, their first little league trophy, or a favorite bunny that they used to carry around everywhere. Treasures that are too special to donate or throw away, but may not warrant taking up valuable space in their room with what seems to be ever growing sports equipment the older they get, numerous desk supplies and 3 inch text books, clothes and more clothes. Where does it all come from and where is it supposed to go??
Clear, plastic bins are perfect for momentos that can be stored elsewhere. Typically, we advise one bin per child and have them periodically review the items. A trophy that they used to cherish, when they become a teen may not hold the same significance anymore. If they are ready to let go of the trophy, have them take a picture of it for remembrance sake. A momento bin is great as long as it is kept at just that – a bin per person.
We often find that parents can be more of a hindrance in a child’s quest for organizing, than the child. A child often makes a comment that something was a birthday present or a momento from a trip that they don’t care for or use. The comment is then followed by, “mom would want me to save that.” If that’s the case, then it should go in Mom’s momento box. Listen to your child and recognize what is important to them may be very different than what is important to you. Let your child be the leader on his/her organization efforts. If they take pride in the task of organizing, they are much more likely to maintain it. Organizing is not a one step process, it requires constant maintenance that should be built into a routine.