Thursday, February 19, 2009

You Know the Annoying Crayon Wrapper Clutter?

You know what I'm talking about. Your kids have a crayon box or a bucket or a drawer where they keep all of their crayons and half of it is filled with tiny bits of crayon wrapper paper and broken tips of crayons.

Do you hate that as much as I do?

I took a stand against that the other day.

But before I discuss that, I'm going to show you my last craft cabinet. I know, I have way too many craft cabinets. But this one is important. It is where my kids go to get paper and writing instruments for drawing. I like this system because—and this is important—I don't have to get up to get them paper or a writing implement.

The drawers are removable so they can bring the whole bin of crayons to the table and then easily put it back. From top to bottom, the drawers contain: (1) markers, (2) erasers, kid scissors, pencil sharpeners, pens and pencils, (3) crayons, (4) stickers and tattoos, (5) white paper, including scratch paper that has been used on one side already, and (6) colored paper and loose construction paper.

It's a good system, huh?

I decided to clean it up a couple of weeks ago when I saw that Quinn had dumped the marker drawer on the floor and most of what was spread all over the floor were lidless markers and markerless lids.

This isn't even all of them.

Then I decided to clean the whole set of drawers. This gives you an idea of what I was dealing with.

To be honest, my item count here is a guesstimate. I did this a long time ago and wrote "37" on a piece of paper. I do know that I didn't count every individual item. I know that I didn't even try to quantify all the little scraps of paper I threw out:

At the same time that I took these photos, I took a photo of the bleeding paper cut I got while doing this project. I was going to post it and make a joke about blood, sweat, and tears.

I've decided to spare you that photo. (And the joke.)

Total items: I'm going to go with Past Stimey's estimate and say 37.


Whirlwind said...

You know you can donate broken crayons, right? I'll have to find the link.

And what a coincidence, I tossed markers and stuff yesterday as well. We have 5 markers left - mainly because the caps didn't get put back on them - but of course, we did have ALL the caps... New markers and crayons are on my list of things to get today.

Manic Mommy said...

OMG that is brilliant! I am going to Target tomorrow! I've got old cookie tins, old lunch boxes, pencil boxes, ziplocs, rubbermaid containers, etc. filled with crap!

I love the idea that they can take the drawer out then (in theory) replace it.

Carrie said...

ok question for often do your munchkins use that craft stuff since it's in a cabinet and they don't see it all the time.

Right now I have a craft shelf (wish I could put a picture on here)with all of their stuff and it's all in boxes that are labeled and what not. It's next to a Little Tikes plastic table, but the area tends too look cluttered at times.

I'm hesitant to put it out of site and then they never use the stuff! lol

*m* said...

Sad to say, crayons are going the way of the buffalo at my house. The kids don't use them much anymore. You'd think I'd be happy to purge them but so bittersweet...

And hey, I notice that your first Junkiversary is coming right up. Will you be throwing out something extra awesome to celebrate?

Stimey said...

Carrie: The cabinet with the paper and the crayons gets used all the time. I've reminded them so many times that it's there, that it has become second nature for them to go get stuff from it. I have them use those things for their homework too, so they go into it all the time.

Ashley said...

I LOVE LOVE LOVE this idea, I am totaly useing it. At this very moment a thingy like your thingys sits empty on my kiddos shelves. I guess it helps if you put the stuff in it instead of on the floor huh?

Anonymous said...

Question for you... what do you do to make sure your kids keep the shelves and this area organized once you've gone through and cleaned it out? What kind of rules do you implement when using the crafts, etc?

Stimey said...

Hey, Cara! They are pretty good with keeping the paper organized. There is some mixing between the crayons and the markers, and I do find the occasional pencil in the crayon bin, but they are pretty good about it. I think it helps that they can pull the drawers out. And I don't mind a little mixing. I think the organization helps them to know where to put things.