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Go Ask Mom

Lynda Loveland: File 13

Posted May 23, 2012

Lynda Loveland

You know the file I’m talking about. The one where you put about 75 percent of your kids papers and art projects.

Aww come on, I know you do it too! You gotta! There’s no room for everything!

I save the good stuff. The stuff that means something. I have a box for each child that’s handy, so I can put it in there right away. But the rest of it, well, it either goes into the recycling bin or, dare I say, the trash.

I’ve been lazy lately. I haven’t been burying it or disguising it well enough. Twice now in the last week, my five-year-old has thrown something away only to find one of her papers. “Mom, why is my picture in the trash?”

And then the ensuing white lie. “I don’t know honey, it must have gotten mixed up with something else.” “Why is it wet?” “I don’t know, maybe it’s the bacon grease I just poured in there.”

You see, if you throw something of theirs away, you have to make sure it’s not salvageable. Otherwise they’ll dig it back out and put it on the fridge.

I’m not totally awful and unfeeling. I let each of them put up one piece of art on the fridge. I admit I like to look at it too, but there are limits.

Have you been busted by your kids for something similar?

Lynda is the mom of three and co-host of Mix 101.5 WRAL-FM's Bill & Lynda in the Morning. Find her here on Thursdays. Click here to find her on Facebook.


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  • kket02 May 29, 2012

    My daughter absolutley hates it when I throw anything of hers out. Her and my husband have a running joke, if they are looking for something then "mom must have thrown it out". I am with you Lynda you can't keep everything, and I also choose the best and most important ones to keep.

  • snowl May 24, 2012

    File 13 also is the place that I would toss out misc. toys from happy meals, birthday parties, amusement parks, etc. etc. that my daughter would collect and stash in her room. I did this a few times while she was out of town with relatives and I never got caught. She never missed the stuff!
    Out of sight, out of mind.

  • bgrmom May 24, 2012

    Yes, I have been there too. For me, I took the "Mommy saves the best to keep" approach and explained we would run out of space if we kept everything. One of these days, I will have enough time to scan a lot of my son's work. Just have to find time, peace and quiet though. Where does all the time go?

  • lilypony May 24, 2012

    You can take the masterpieces and put them inside the newspaper to recycle. They don't open them and you get away with it. I used to be able to bury it with the paper but got discovered. Open to a page, put it in, fold it back together like an old read paper and you're good to go.

  • kidsnbooks May 24, 2012

    My boys are 8 and 10. I started asking them if we need to keep it, whatever it is, or can we recycle it. Usually they are fine with recycling stuff. The alternative is that they have to find a safe and 'special' place to keep it - and the floor of their room doesn't count. So far it's all working out well.

  • FlySwater May 24, 2012

    Use the backsides as recycled printing paper. It makes a nice story about recycling and avoids the trash can conundrum.

  • Platinum May 24, 2012

    I hide a box in my closet that I call "Purgatory". Artwork, treasure box toys and party favors get put there until the item has been forgotten - sometimes that's within hours, sometimes it takes weeks or months. If one of the kids asks, have you seen my (whatever) I sneak it back out for a few days and then back to Purgatory when they're not looking! About twice a year I empty Purgatory into the trash on trash day! No more stretchy frogs, glow in the dark bracelets, and plastic kazoos cluttering up the house!

  • murdock May 24, 2012

    Yep,been busted and even berated! And even had to make sure the artwork is not salvageable too!

    I heard that it may be reasonable to scan the pictures so that you can throw away things but still "keep" them. I plan to do some of that, but things like their first Mother's Day card my son made have to be kept.

  • missparrothead May 24, 2012

    I laughed when I read this. Yes, I've been caught and have responded the same as you. A few weeks later, I'll then ask them to review the refridge art to "update" it with new artwork and then we purge the old. There is some that I've kept, especially the ones early on w/their finger/hand prints. I allow side of the refridge for art, the front is for family pics.

    The paper trail is daunting, though. :)

  • kellypratz May 24, 2012

    I have done this several times and my daughters will pull it out of the trash and say "why did you throw my paper away?" Ugh! I have now invested in 3 ring binders and I keep their artwork in those. It does help as you can put alot of papers in those binders and they enjoy looking at their artwork.