10 easy steps to creating your kid’s life tub

Let’s talk about creating a life tub for your kiddo(s). I’ve shared before how I created my own life tub during quarantine 2020. I ended that post by saying, “I hope this sets the precedent for my own kids, and one day they won’t be going through piles of things they saved over 20+ years.” Well my friend, if you also don’t want to overwhelm your kids with boxes and boxes of stuff when they are grown and gone, let’s create a system to simplify NOW!

This is what you are going to do…..

  1. Get everything out on a table 

2. Sort it 

3. Throw away – use your judgment here. Also, if you need to do this part when your kids are napping, or not home – go ahead and give yourself permission

4. Recycle – so many papers can be recycled. As you are going through, ask yourself: “will knowing/remembering this matter in 20 years?” Maybe a list of your kid’s classmates will matter, or maybe it won’t. It’s all personal, so just ask yourself these questions when you get stuck.

5. Make a “maybe keep “ pile – we will go over everything again before we put them in the actual tub, so this is just the first round of “edits”

6. Get a clear plastic interlocking bin – the ones I use are 32 quart Sterlite gasket box (you can get at Target, amazon, etc)

7. Get dividers for each grade /year — I have file folders that are labeled starting at 0-3, pre k, 1, 2, 3, etc all the way until 12th grade.

8. Have extra file folders or manila envelopes handy – in case there are a group of photos, papers, cards, etc that you want to keep all together within that grade year

You’ve done all the preliminary work, which is the most time-consuming! WAY TO GO!!! Now, we are going to make our final decisions on what is going to go in the tub to be saved. Remember, the goal is to not overwhelm your kids when they are old enough to have this. So keep not only what you deem “important” or special, but what you think they would as well.

9. Sort by what’s the most important to save. Remember, if you are going to give them each 1 tub when they graduate high school, you cannot keep every single item. You will have to edit! You can do this.

Here are a few tips//

for pre-schoolers, the most important things for me personally are the poems and the artwork with their little hands + feet. I don’t need to keep every single spatter paint piece of art.

for elementary-aged kids, I love to keep the “daily journal” where they write about their daily lives. I also love to keep anything that speaks to their character.

I don’t have high school-aged kids yet, but I would assume I would love to keep any of their writing pieces.

10. Put items in the appropriate section in the tub. I do this once a year at the end of the school year before another year starts. I keep a small folder in my laundry room with pieces as they come in, and then halfway through the year I will go through and edit that stack.

To read more about my laundry room “command center,” read this post!

There you have it, friend! You did it. You are fully capable of keeping the most important and memorable items from your child’s young years. Remember, you are preserving history, and one day will give them a piece of their past. If you create a life tub, I’d love to see it. Tag me @wynneelder on instagram!

To watch my IGTV live while I finish out my kids tubs from this school year, watch this video

Alright, I wanna hear from you! Have you done this yet? If so, message me or tag me on instagram!

Hey, I'm Wynne!

Hi, friend! First, I truly am so giddy that you are here. I want you to know I believe in you and all the ways you are growing towards living a more intentional life.  I genuinely hope you are encouraged from our time together here.

A little about me, I’m a type 7 on the enneagram, a total extrovert + people lover, entrepreneur, connector, storyteller, people gatherer, and passionate wife, mama + friend. I feel most alive when I’m exploring new places and surrounded by people I love. Give me a day in the outdoors disconnected from wifi, and I am a happy girl. I run on oat milk lattes, Jesus, gratitude journaling and kitchen dance parties with my four kids.
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