An organizer who gets us
Here is one of my things--my kids were always stealing perfectly good blank printer paper from my office to draw on which was annoying for me workwise and also a waste. And our recycling bin was always full of the papers they brought home from school. So we (well, I) just keep a drawer for scrap paper in the kitchen the kids can pull from. If it has a blank side, they can use it for drawing. It's not nicely organized or anything but now I'm not annoyed to find my printer empty or sad about all the trees we're killing.
oh and we don't have enough storage for additional big bins so my "bin" for the kids artwork are just dedicated folders I keep in the kitchen in a file rack. at the end of the schoolyear (er...summer) I go through and save the most precious memories in a 3 ring binder. Which I'll probably throw away in 20-30 years but that's future me's problem.
Even her tone made me want to start cleaning my house. This is the kind of energy I needed this morning. My favorite purge/organize memory is a cruel game of “if you can’t remember what’s in this box, it goes.” The first round caused panic, now it’s a real competitive treat.
I throw artwork and homework away daily and weekly. If it's something spectacular (or actually made in art class over several weeks, which I might frame), I put it in a file folder in my home office. Otherwise I let it linger on the counter for a day or two and then recycle it when they're not looking. At 5yo and 8yo, for them it's still mostly about process, not product, so they don't even notice. At the end of the year I put everything I've saved -- excellent spelling tests, choice artworks, anything else that's meaningful, including school pictures -- into a 12-sleeve accordion file, one giant file for each kid, one sleeve for each grade level. These files also live in my home office. It's not perfect and might not work as we progress to higher grades, but for now, it's a system that works.
Re: food storage lids, I have a shoe box where I organized them by size on the last shelf in the cabinet. Easy to pull out, easy to see what you need. I do wish there was a pencil recycling place, because I've got a million perfectly good half used pencils with no eraser (my kids have moved on to mechanical pencils) that I do use, but I don't need all the ones I've got. I do enjoy using a High School Musical or Happy Birthday pencil, though ;)
For art projects, I loooooove Artkive - they send you a box, you fill it up with art projects, and they photograph everything (so you can send 3D stuff) and you order a bound book. Love. It.
Minimalism IS such BS!
I always feel so seen when I read professional organizers talking about real life. The “lady with ADHD” is me. But not just with the tupperware drawer. Everything has a home. Do I put it there? Nahhh. How many junk drawers is too many? (The limit does not exist).
I feel so seen!! People without kids always telling you a lot of things about mnimalism and bins and perfectly symmetrical spaces stress me out. Someone ACTUALLY LIVES HERE, of course there is always gonna be something out of place.
For paper-based kid mementos I have one of these expanding pocket files for each child because 19 pockets is exactly enough for birth through high school graduation.
I keep all our shoes in big tubs (brand is red gorilla tub trugs)- it's not the best for the shoes to be piled like that but it keeps all the sand in the bucket and not all over my floor. Coat racks for coats, my family does not understand closets
Related, sand playgrounds are one of the banes of my existence, cleaning wise. Thank goodness for waterhog rugs.
This was a such a good bracing read. She is great! We are drowning in stuff and things and a good portion of it is not mine. I've said that for my fast approaching Sally O'Malley/50th birthday I want there to be a third less of all the stuff in the house, starting with my stuff. I mean I would like that to be half, but I am starting with a third. Underpromise/overdeliver. What she says about toys: yes. So good to hear. Also glad to see DampRid get a shoutout--we started using that because we had to have mold remediation and they recommended it. Also, if you want to feel very old, check this DampRid commercial, which my husband called me into the living room to rewind and watch while we cried laughing. Because this was New Music when I was in college. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f_qO5cak08U