Organizing Kids Treasures

One of the areas that was OUT OF CONTROL at my house was that the boys had “priceless” treasures throughout the house.

organizing kids treasures

If you have kids, you probably have them too:

  • the rock picked up at a park 3 months ago
  • a leaf from the front yard
  • a crystal bought on vacation
  • the action figure from a kids meal
  • and more!
  • oh, so much more…

These items DEFY classification.   They are the kids version of a junk drawer.

The problem is that they are precious to the owner and I don’t want to be the one to toss the acorn into the backyard that has a special bond with one of my kids.

I decided to take action!

kid treasures for auctionI spent some time and went through the ENTIRE house and gathered all the special items that my children CLAIMED they couldn’t live without.   I also included some toys and various things that didn’t seem to fit into any of the toy categories in the playroom.

If it was random, and I didn’t know what to do with it…it went into the pile.

I then laid all the items out on the floor of the boys’ room and announced to them that we were going to have an auction.

Each boy was given a treasure {tool} chest to keep their auction winnings safe – I bought them for less than $10 each at the hardware store.  If life is just too crazy to get to the hardware store, you can also get them online.  I love this Portable black tool box on Amazon.  It also comes in red.

tool chest to store toysThe “auction” consisted of each boy taking turns picking out one item.   We started by having everyone pick out 3 special items that they knew were theirs, but after that everything was open to everybody.

I had a timer for slow choices and gave a warning when time was about to expire.

The four of us came up with a big vs. little item rule – big items were worth 4, medium sized items worth 2 and small items worth one.   On each turn the boy could choose up to the value of 4.

stored kid treasureWe ended up doing about 15 rounds and then taking a break.

After the break we did another 10 rounds or so.

I watched to see how the enthusiasm diminished.   I figured that the things left weren’t very important if they were still available and no one seemed concerned about getting them.

At that point, I announced a final round and then it was over.

What happened to the left-overs?

rocks formerly thought to be pricelessWe have a lovely, “priceless” rock garden on the side of the house.

I ended up getting more than one tool chest per kid because they are inexpensive storage.

They look really nice on the industrial shelving I purchased at a home improvement store.

tool chests on shelvesAnd with three boys, it is always good when things are TOUGH.

11 Comments

  1. Love the idea of a tool box! I have the same issue with “treasures” in my house. My ds6 had a wooden chest that broke very quickly. My ds5 had a hat box that was sat upon, etc. A tool box would survive the chaos of 5 kids!

    I also love how you personalized the boxes.

  2. That is simply wonderful! I’m going to try that with my daughter. Love the “sacred” burial ground.

  3. You might be onto something here. I think my children are “bag ladies in waiting”. They have move their stuff from room to room using broken strollers. I kept trying to get them to put things into their desk, but then when they want to play with it it comes back out. Maybe the tool box is the way to go!

  4. oh my my – I would have never thought of the tool box – When we moved into this (10 years ago), the previous owners left behind a few tool boxes (around 5) in the garage – They were trades people – We just left them in our attic…I am so bringing them down and putting them to some good use now

  5. I love the tool boxes. We used a tackle box for my daughter but the tool boxes just look cool.

  6. Tracy Nelson says:

    I did this with my girls (5 and 3) over the summer…except instead of tool boxes we used pink Kaboodles boxes! Remember those!! They haven’t changed much 🙂 We also decorate them with all those favorite stickers they get from random places (doctor office, post office, bff, etc)

  7. Great idea! We have also used Mason Jars to collect “treasures” from vacations and/or adventures … I then use a sticky label on the bottom to write the adventure and date! They look really cool that way to display!

  8. I love this idea. I am forever picking up ‘priceless’ treasures too. What is the thing with rocks? My girls constantly bring rocks inside.

  9. Mine too! My 5yod is always asking our neighbor for his rocks and bringing them home as treasures. I find them in the carpet at the end of the day and return them to his front yard after she goes to bed 🙂

  10. Wish I had seen this when my boys were little!! It really would have helped a lot to contain their messes.

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