People I Want to Punch in the Throat: Little Bags of Crap

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Little Bags of Crap

It's been a long weekend.  I put the kids to bed tonight and I looked around my disaster of a house, but I didn't see my mess.  (I never see my own mess - just the messes the Hubs and kids make.)  But tonight I only saw the mess the Girl made.  A shitload of little bags the Girl packed with random crap.

What is the deal with this?  Am I the only one living with a tiny bag lady/boy?

I'm sooooo sick of finding these bags.  Over time I have found gift bags, Target bags, tote bags, backpacks, purses, Wal-Mart bags, duffle bags, ZipLoc bags and brown lunch sacks filled with crap (and random important items that I've been missing).


I knew she had a lot of bags packed around the house, but it wasn't until I decided to get them all in one place that I started to wonder if she might have a problem.  I started making the rounds through the house and here's what I found:


I found a couple in the kitchen, one in my bedroom, a bunch in her closet and bedroom, one in the guest room, and one in the hallway.  I didn't even look in the basement or the car, but I bet I'd find at least two or three more if I had.

Here is what I found tonight:

Puppy Christmas stocking (she thinks she's a dog and she bought this with her own money after Christmas), digital camera (that belongs to the Boy and he's been looking for it for a month), necklace, plastic fork (I haven't seen any of that plastic silverware from that set in over a year), change, Cici's token, one dirty sock (I'd about given up on finding that sock), glue stick, Puppy Pointer.

Popup book she's obsessed with, Lego magazine (that belongs to the Boy), Leapster game (also belongs to the Boy), one hair clip (who knows where it's mate is).

Dress up skirt, inside out pajama top (the bottoms have yet to be recovered), 2 headbands, a roll of Christmas stickers, handwriting book and 30+ Silly Bandz.

Six seemingly similar drawings of multi-colored scratch marks, and a Chinese language flashcard (these flashcards are dispersed all over my house.  I've even found them in sock drawers).  I should have thrown these pictures away, but I'm a sap for artwork and I can't bear to toss her artwork that she thinks is worth saving (thus we are drowning in art work).

A book, several half completed worksheets, a dog fact book, a pink (of course) marker and a headband.

Dress up skirt (that's two now), one dress up shoe, a dog purse (with a lipgloss inside), one glove, an apron, new tights and socks (that I've been looking everywhere for), bracelets, sock puppet, fairy wand, and a collapsible dog carrier.

Random shepherd from her Nativity set, doll dress, doll pants and one doll shoe (the missing doll clothes drive me batty).

The rest of her Nativity and Riley, the dog who has been missing for some time now.

13 books (3 go with the Tag Reader that I bet is lost).


This is her "Teacher" tote.  She likes to plays school so this one is full of her teacher supplies.  Only random thing in here was 12 tags she took from the American Girl store.

Two Tinkerbell drawing pages, pad of paper, unopened package of AAA batteries (I'll take those, thank you very much), washcloth (I'm assuming it's dirty), Lego piece, 18 pens and markers.  There was also a pair of dirty underwear in this one, but I didn't photograph it.  

2 American Girl Bitty Twins, Christmas coloring book, pad of sticky notes, Christmas stickers, tiny dog brush and dog bowl that go to a dog I haven't seen in a while - better look under her bed tomorrow.

4 necklaces, 3 homemade Christmas necklaces in a knot (they hit the trash right after this picture was taken), assortment of bracelets and rings.  This is a wooden purse that is supposed to be for "display only" and I realized she's been using it to hoard jewelry in.

This is her treasure box that is supposed to hold her "secrets."  I found her secrets were 20 markers, 1 crayon and a Valentine from last year.  She's not allowed to have markers in her room.  Surprise.

Now all of her bags are sitting in the front hall for tomorrow morning when she wakes up.  It will be so much "fun" helping her put all this crap back where it belongs.  I also can't wait to hear her whine about how much of her junk I threw out.  

When I started inventorying everything in the bags, I started worrying the producers of "Hoarders" might call me and offer her a starring role in a new show:  "Hoarders Jr."

Or maybe a clinical psychologist is reading this blog and she'll send me a private email urging me to get my daughter to counseling - NOW!

Maybe she'll grow up to be a bag lady or a kleptomaniac?

I doubt it.  Because when "Hoarders" calls I can say, you might as well make it a "Hoarders Family" episode.

This is my pile of bags in the corner of my bedroom:




Those bags are full of clothes to donate.  In my defense I like to get a large pile before I make a run to Goodwill.  I sort of forgot those bags were there until I started gathering the Girl's bags and I unearthed mine.

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137 comments:

TeresaHickey said...

That is too funny! Our daughter used to do that - kinda still does and she's almost 13! When she was little, she would but a bag full of stuff inside a bag.

Lisa said...

It isn't just yours. Mine does the same, with the addition of half eaten bags of chips, cookies, etc. Argh.

JJ said...

Don't think she has a problem. Hate to tell you. All three of mine are the same! "Treasures" are stashed everywhere (even dead stink bugs and cicada skins). This drives me MAD because I am a clutter hater. The older they (and I) get, the less I care. I am losing the battle. Sigh.

kstrunk1972 said...

I have one too!! My 9 year old daughter is the exact same way. There is stuff everywhere...in bags, under her bed, in the hallway, under the couch, in furniture cushions, in the corner of the backyard, anywhere she can stuff it you will find something of hers. What I don't get is that alot of it is trash. I mean trash...wrappers, crumpled up pieces of paper, empty candy containers. WTF?!? Throw that sh!% away. No amount of lecturing changes it. We call her our little hoarder all of the time.

Johnnagrrl said...

You're not the only one with a hoarder. But my 5 year old son calls them his "collections". Everything from bottle caps to silly bandz. And he freaks if you move, touch or throw away anything. I'm hoping this "phase" is short lived...

TwogirlsMommy said...

My daughters do that crap too. They are 8 and 3 and it drives me batshit crazy.We have to go to the grocery store and they have to load up half of their shit to go! If you find out your girl has a problem, please let me know what the solution is!

JoeyWill said...

LOVE your blog. I commented on your facebook post last night; my child is a bag lady as well. always packed full of random things that at one point in time she could not DARE leave the house without. I find them EVERYWHERE. Soo good to know it is not just me!!

mrskdawley said...

Unfortunately I have 3 girls with this same disorder...they can never find any of there toys...hmmm, STOP PUTTING ALL YOUR CRAP IN RANDOM BAGS AND THIS WOULDN'T BE A PROBLEM...better yet...MAYBE PUT SAID CRAP BACK WHERE IT BELONGS WHEN YOUR BACK FROM MAKE-BELIEVELAND AND YOU'D KNOW WHERE EVERYTHING IS SO YOU CAN THEN PACK MORE BAGS OF SAID RANDOM CRAP ANOTHER DAY...I feel your pain, I just may start a support group ;-)

Tonya @ My Cozy Little Farmhouse said...

sooo funny...except maybe not for you.

Turp75 said...

My youngest does that too. Sometimes I get so tired of unpacking all of her bags that I just throw the bags in the playroom so I can deal with it later. The worst is my child uses gift bags and then expects me to open the gifts of useless junk she found around the house and act surprised. I am surprised all right, surprised and pissed off that I have to put all of this crap away.

Martie said...

No you are def not the only one! My son is a little hoarder too!! He saves everything!! Once I went upstairs to clean his room and strip the beds and I found sooo much stuff on his bed under his blankets. Most of it was garbage and I threw it away. When he got home from school he almost died...screaming through the house who took my stuff!! LMAO He was soo upset with me...all I could say was honestly did you really have to have the empty microwave popcorn bag in bed with you?? I mean I know you guys had good times together, but couldn't you have good times with a new bag!...LOL!!

MegaMomma said...

My daughter thinks stuffing things into bags = a clean room, no matter how random the collection. She loves plastic bags; as a costume. She punches her feet through the bottom and puts her arms through the handles. Now THAT is bizarre!

Suzanne said...

My dd does this all the time!! And it kills me, because she insists on taking them with us wherever we go. She will walk around the house and put things in a bag (it's always a different bag) and when I question her, she'll look up at me and say "Just in case mommy" LOL. She's 2.5 but started doing this about the time she turned 2.

Jaguwar said...

LOL Oh dear! That's quite the stash you uncovered there, wow!

You know what else disappears in my house? Spoons. And glasses and cups. I actually have a ton of this stuff, but I can't find any of it anywhere. I shudder to think what is lurking where, and I have neither the patience nor the... patience (I was gonna say time, but that's a lie!) to look. Or the courage, actually.

My daughter does this too. In addition to all the random crap she just throws/drops/leaves everywhere. Frustrating. And then she refuses to help clean up. >.<

DragonflyJ said...

Glad to know I don't have the only juvenile hoarder!!! Mine is now nearly 15, and has moved on from all of the little bags, but now it's purses, book bags, dresser drawers, etc. Once, when she was in about 4th grade, she was walking around with her book bag partially unzipped. Said "I have too much stuff. It won't zip", and that "yes", she needed all of the stuff for school. HA! I dumped out 2-3 sets of markers, colored pencils, socks, toys, wadded up paper, memo pads, several reading books from home, earrings, etc....Some stuff, I hate to say, did not appear to be HERS...I think I had a Winona Ryder wanna-be!!! She's much better now, but I still have to do a little "secret cleaning" occasionally. She NEVER misses a thing!

Robs said...

Yes - COMPLETELY NORMAL - we used to call my daughter a bag lady too. She'd have 20 or so purses filled with random items and dirty socks at any given time. She's 10 now - and the purses are more expensive and EMPTY - she doesnt even carry a purse!!!! The random items now live in DRAWERS which I keep purchasing for her. She has at LEAST 5 rubbermaid drawer carts in her room and closet to "organize" this random junk. I cant judge, really.....because my garage is basically my junk drawer.

sunmtngirl said...

Our daughter does the same thing. It makes searching for parts to complete a toy or game virtually impossible. Glad we are not the only ones...

Jennifer said...

HaHa, my daughter is the same way. She's 11, and I find her crap everywhere. She keeps EVERYTHING! It makes me crazy.

jillybean222 said...

i have a bag-packer/hoarder too. i thought i was alone....until now!!! fortunately, my is only 4 and she forgets about stuff as quickly as she acquires it so i can still get away with my "out w/ the old, in w/ the new" philosophy! and we recycle artwork - i would be buried if i didn't!

Amanda said...

OMG, what are you doing taking pictures in my house? Similar story hear, down to the things PUT in bags and my collection of bags in the corner of MY room.

I'm a mom too!

Angela @ The Not So Functional Housewife said...

My daughter is the same way! She seems to keep everything. Her favorites... pens, pencils, markers, papers, stickers. And she leaves it everywhere. Most days our coffee table is used as her desk.

~Angela

mamakla said...

Love it! I think she might be related to my 6 year old Boy. He stashes everything! Even dead bugs in ziplocks! Its amazing what I find! eeeewwww!

SZA said...

My mom had a unique and creative way of dealing with the "senseless crap cluttering up my entire house" issue when my two sisters and I were growing up. (Dining room table and staircase leading up to our bedrooms was the repeat dumping ground.)

About twice a week (usually just before starting dinner), she would give us a 15-minute "Get It Outta Here!" grace period. Once the 15 minutes were up, any crap that still remained got pitched down the basement steps and/or out into the yard. That's right - open door, toss, repeat.

It worked! She hardly ever had to resort to throwing our crap around, and when she did, she had absolutely no regrets about it.

Just a thought!

AMG said...

don't fear.. i think it's a kid thing. I felt like you were writing about my household. My 2 and 3 yr olds run around with BAGS of all sorts. XMas gift bags, bday gift bags, purses, target bags, and any other bag they find is full of "stuff".

Regina said...

Mine do it too but they aren't nearly as organized as yours. They throw random things into their bags. Mine usually pretend they are camping or going on a trip.

Mrs. Tate said...

I was looking for a DS in my daughters room and found a bag filled with books and a pumpkin. A real pumpkin she must have taken from the front steps. She's 9.

twisterfish said...

Ummmm... I do that. If you figure out how to solve this problem for her, would you please let me know too? Thanks!

Melis said...

Dude, I hear ya. My twin girls are EXACTLY the same. Drives me nuts. We have a "no bag" rule in my house. Doesn't matter... they use tupperware or socks or boxes or they just make piles. Sigh.

annie_a said...

hehe... my daughter is like that too. she's 11 and still does it - the difference now is that instead of toys and doll's clothes, her numerous bags and purses are filled with hair accessories, lip gloss, body lotions, and some art supplies.

It's pretty harmless in my opinion, I shove it all in her (completely filled) closet - when she's looking for something specific, I tell her to go find it in the closet!

it gets nasty when they keep perishables, though. My daughter wrapped a bunch of chestnuts in a bag once. It must have stayed there for months, because when I finally found it, the bag was full of green moss and mildew. ewww. whatever else was in the bag had to be tossed too.

The Mrs. said...

Did you sneak into my house last night? This is exactly what I have, too! Only, I'm slowly starting to realize where she gets it from, and I think I need an intervention!

Carrie said...

8, 4, and 4 here, and they alllll do it. Drives me batty. Clean-up time takes FOREVER. They each have a special drawer and cabinet in their rooms where they can stash their hoardes, but it's frightening what's in there. It's like looking into the nest of a squirrel who has a thing for pink sparkles.

The White's House/Garden Tenders said...

My 4 yr old is the same way..... well maybe not that bad, but only because I 1) empty the bags daily or 2) haven't found the bags yet. LOL We have ziplock bags, grocery bags, totes, etc., with old computer inks, barbie shoes, cars, dog toys.... just random stuff. LOL

Trisha said...

My seven year old and eighteen year both do this..they cannot throw anything out and the rest is collected in bags everywhere..my sons do not do this...its definitely a girl thing : )

Anonymous said...

I have 3 girls and 2 of them do this very same thing! Drives me nuts!

Anonymous said...

Same as my 7 year old!! Drives me bananas

Anonymous said...

When my DD was 3 she'd hang on my leg and sob hysterically when I took out the recycling. She now fears my cleaning wrath and makes sure that her stuff---including her bag of leaves from the yard (saving them for next year)---are safely in her dump/room. I clean it out once a month just in case the Health Dept comes by.

Kathy said...

My daughter is more of a hider vs. a hoarder. She doesn't have a collection of bags full of her prize possessions but instead, hides her brother's (and other's) stuff so she can play with it/have it before her brother the next time she wants it. Unfortunately, my daughter tends to forget where she hides things. A few months back my mom told me her remote to the tv was missing. Shortly after, my son's ipod went missing. As I was talking to my dad on the phone one day, discussing the daughter's obsession with hiding things, my dad started laughing. As he walked by the couch he noticed something barely peeking out from underneath. As he leaned down to see what was lurking underneath, he starts to laugh. The missing remote placed oh so neatly (perfectly parallel with the side of the couch) under the couch. We have since tore the house apart looking for the ipod but still no luck.

Melinda said...

I used to think I was a puppy, too. I would actually crawl around wearing nothing but underwear. I'd bark and occasionally lick people.

I'm normal (mostly) now and make money selling dog collars and I volunteer at animal shelters. I think it worked out!

Little of This, Little of That said...

hahaha! Too funny! I thought it was only my daughter that stored the trash! I found the plastic wrap from the giant pack of toilet paper in a bin on the bookshelf in the playroom. It wasn't like she was putting it there to not throw it away either, it was like she wanted to keep it. We tell her all the time we are going to see her on Hoarders!

KathyG said...

I have to laugh. My older son is a hoarder in the sense that he won't let me throw out ANYTHING. The wrapper to his McDonald's toy, the packaging to his Transformer, the empty cereal box...all worth keeping according to him. However, my little girl is a bag lady like yours. She carries around bags filled with random items. If I happen to leave a bag (gift bag, grocery bag, tote bag, purse, etc.) she claims it, fills it, and then carries it around until a new bag presents itself. What is it about collecting things that fascinates kids?! LOL

Meg said...

So happy to learn I am not the only one. My 4 year old daughter does the same thing - back packs, tote bags and zip locks (of all sizes) everywhere hoarding the most random things!!

MICHELE said...

This is my life. Every.single.freakin.day. I thought I was alone in having a bag lady for a daughter. Glad to see I am not! HA! When we moved to our new house and were un-packing I started freaking out that we had lost a bunch of her toys! We tore through everything. Most the boxes were completely un-packed, so they must have been left in the moving truck?! Nope later that night we found a few bags PACKED with all the missing toys! She has a problem. HA!

Anonymous said...

My 4 year old does someting similar but in her toy bins. I try to keep it organized with all her "treasures" but that last about only a day. I am constantly throwing away most of her artwork, cause let's face it...if I kept all of them then I think I would be considered a hoarder.

kadadailey said...

Don not feel bad...I swear it is a girl thing...My daughter puts bags of crap IN other bags of crap and then scatters them around the house also..she also has shoe boxes and purses and they are all full of CRAP!!! LOL What is wrong with kids these days HAHA!

Anonymous said...

My son does the same thing. It is amazing what I find. He loves to keep shoe boxes of his treasures.

Amy said...

Don't think of it as hoarding... she's just "organized." All that crap could be all over the bedroom floor! This was it's nice and neat and out of the way!

Teri M said...

Oh man, I no longer feel bad about my son (3) packing up a bag or two. Which he loves to do - but nowhere near that extent.

KmomOf6 said...

Omg! This is totally my daughter! She is almost 12 now and it hasnt stopped, she has added clothes to the mix! I call her my hoarder all the time. She also taught the five year old this fun little skill. Thank god he is a little ocd, he only keeps his cars in this bag and his hockey pucks in that bag...ect. I love my kids but it just kills me!

Morgan said...

I also have a daughter destined to be on Hoarders. In addtion to the multitudes of random bags of crap, we also have 3 play tents set up overflowing with other crap. I expect Social Services to be knocking on the door at any moment.

Samantha said...

It must mainly be a girl thing! I have three boys and none of them do this (not yet at least). They do have little stashes of candy wrappers under their bed and tv table, but that's not because they WANT to keep them... that's so I don't see them and get onto them for sneaking candy!

Centric Fitness-Tracy Seman said...

My daughter did the same thing for the LONGEST time. She's now 10 and reading this made me laugh out loud remembering all her bags and purses.

Robbie said...

OMG, I thought I was the only one who lived with a bag lady. My 9 yr old is forever collecting crap and putting it in a bag, INSTEAD of the bins I provide her to put the crap in. She is a only so she has crap in bags in the toy room, the guest room, under her bed and somehow she has manged to put crap in my room. It drives me absolutely crazy. I am glad I am not alone.

Beth H said...

Each of my boys has a designated basket in their bedroom they can keep whatever they choose inside. I've agreed to leave them alone and only go through them with their permission. They love it and keep special toys there, and I like that they don't feel like they have to hide things from us.

XX with 3 XYs said...

I have boys and while my 4 year old doesn't hoard in bags, he does how one drawer that is for all of the stuff I consider junk. I gradually take stuff out (while he is at preschool) and through it/them in the trash. The one thing that makes my blood boil is all the scraps/drawings/brochures/etc. of paper!!! Throw that crap away already... half the time he doesn't even know what he does/doesn't have and he has never noticed anything I have gotten rid of is missing. I guess it is a normal thing/stage but I feel your pain!
And, I don't consider your bags hoarding. You are giving to others and I too would prefer to make a large pile and make one trip to donate!

Anonymous said...

FYI - my girls were doing that since they were 1.5 years old. They had Sensory Integration Disorder. I got them an O.T. with Sensory training.

They, at 11, are much better now, but still do mini-hoarding. I still work with them on it. A work in progress I call it...

Moira Incendia said...

I'm 25 and have only hit the "I've had it" point in the last year or so.
We moved to a different state with very little time to pack (as in, less than two weeks from job offer to completely moved) so there was no time to declutter anything beforehand. We moved at least a truckload of stuff that I have since unpacked and thrown right back into a box to go to the Dumpster.
I've been a notorious purse/bag/suitcase stuffer since I was a kid, but since this move, I am DONE!
Other than my crochet bags, which are being cleaned out regularly so I can fit in new yarn that's appropriate to the project, and my now super organized chain mail supplies (letter size file boxes from the office supply store-they're amazing!), I'm only allowing myself one bag for all my day to day junk. It holds my wallet, keys, Kindle, whatever assorted other junk I may accumulate, and I HAVE to clean it out every Friday after work.
You would not believe the progress on decluttering my stuff. Now if I could just get my darling hubs to do the same with HIS mess...

Anonymous said...

I'm a mommy who used to be like your daughter... take that back, who STILL is like your daughter. Drives the hubby batty. It's my "I'd rather doing anything else than clean up" solution at anytime. The 3 yr old daughter is showing tendencies. Twin boys... too young to tell. GET ON HER, GIVE HER A PLACE TO STORE IT ALL SO IT'S CLEARLY MARKED. ALLOW NO EXCUSES! :)

Lisa said...

My daughter still does this and is 11. I find money, gift cards that I thought she lost. Can't stand it!

Lauren said...

My daughter does the same thing. It drives me batty since I'm pretty OCD and can't stand when something is out of place. She only ever gets up to about 2 or 3 bags before I collect, empty and put everything away. Usually this is when she's sleeping since she's 2 and it turns into WW3 if she sees me do it. Glad to know my child isn't the only one!

DianaMilbourn said...

Mine does it too! And then it's a nightmare at bedtime when she cannot find the "star" animal of the day that she wants to sleep with (it changes so often, it drives my hubby nuts).

I actually sat down and watched an episode of Hoarders the other day just because I was curious and I wanted to jump inside the television and start throwing crap away. I am by no means a neat freak, but I know when its time to throw the junk out or donate it to someone else to clutter up their homes.

Thanks for the laugh this morning after I've been up all night with my bag collector who is currently sick and holding down the couch!

Anonymous said...

One day the contents of those bags will save you from the Zombie Apocalypse. She's prepping.

Anonymous said...

As the mother of three little girls (and one not-so-little girl - 21) I have always called these B.O.R.K.s (Bags of Random Crap). I will see one of my daughters with a bag and say to my husband "uh-oh, she has a B.O.R.K" I think my kids think that is a real word. Just say no to B.O. R.K.s!!! There are so many of them around I could never actually hope to have all of the pet shops or barbie items all in one place...

Anonymous said...

Yeah I mean B.O.R.C.s

NotSoNice said...

My girls are 7 & 10 and they have several bags of stuff animals or papers. If I ban the bags they take my laundry baskets. Why is it only stuffed animals (damn you Build a Bear)or paper? Because I threw away the other toys because they weren't getting put away. The paper is because their teachers are sending home a forest worth of paper each week. I tell my girls to toss the papers after reviewing but for some reason the papers never seem to make it to the trash.

I'm a mother of 2? said...

I think it's a girl thing. Think about it - we're all bag ladies. We have canvas bags, plastic bags, purses, duffel bags, paper bags. Before I go through any important paperwork or bills or what have you they get tossed in a bag until I have the time to sit down and go through it all. I switch purses so often that at any given point in time I have 5 of them that hold semi-important items. I have something to give back to someone - it goes in a bag. Too much to carry out to the car from work or my parents house - it goes in a bag. I just had a baby so I'm sure you can imagine I carry at least 2 or three bags with me at all times. And sometimes I find the most random things in there. The other day after arriving home from a visit with my parents, they sent me home with hand-me-down something or others that were mostly in a paper bag but then extras got thrown all over the place. I found a Christmas ornament, a diaper, and a pair of socks in my purse, and a newspaper, a curtain rod, and some mail in the diaper bag.
My 7 year old daughter has the same problem. She just walks around and "collects" things. Then I find those things later when I'm giving her room the overhaul. She is only now starting to notice that her massive purse/bag collection is starting to dwindle. I guess I should get rid of as many as I can now before they start costing me $70 at Christmas when she's 15 right? (Hah! Who am I kidding? I'll NEVER spend that much money on a purse for a teenager!)

Anonymous said...

My almost 5 year old does the same thing. Bags full of random stuff, but she can remember exactly where everything is. I even threaten to get a trash bag to throw it all away if she doesn't pick it up - she says "I will help you". She is totally a candidate for "Hoarders". I guess I will really have a problem if I find soiled underwear piled up under the bed!

Anonymous said...

My daughter puts her already chewed gum back in a wrapper and then in her "treasure box" WTH?! I just go through their rooms and throw everything away when they're in school.

Hope's Blog said...

I worry now because my son does this and most everyone has girls. He has treasure boxes that he keeps everywhere. He also collects crap and puts it in his school backpack. And no, he won't get rid of anything. I am kind of glad we don't have a lot of empty bags in the house or he might start collecting in them as well. He does know what is in his boxes, so I guess he is an organized hoarder.

Lillian Carilo said...

Especially like that your daughter thinks she's a dog... qualifies her as a "best kid EVER!" Tell her I said, "Woof"

Kristy said...

My son does that. He adopts a gift bag and uses it to "shop" his way through the toy baskets....it takes twice as long to sort it all back out and then he refuses to give up the bag so I wind up taping it back together each time I rips. My daughter collects "treasures"...if we bring one more plain grey rock home from school I'm going to scream.

wndylayn said...

My daughter does the same thing! Only I don't throw away her crap because I figure that will make her more likely to "Hoard" later because she might feel that she needs to keep things because her "mom" threw it out. I actually am very thankful that it gets organized into bags. I have friends who's kids just throw crap around the house. At least your daughter is able to conceal it all neatly. :)

Christy Diane Farr, Life Coach said...

Ha! I was reading and reading and reading down the post and was going to come to the bottom and ask if mommy does the bag thing, then you got to it. Nicely played... I love it. We are so predictable, aren't we? When I'm helping my clients find the roots of their less than functional relationships with stuff, it almost always comes back to childhood. Thank you for the laugh. I will share in with my clients and students.

The Mighty V said...

ha..we have the same issue. It doens't end. I checked my 9 year old girl's backpack yesterday for school today and she has several key chains, couple of magazine pages cut up and in plastic bags( She says they are puzzles.) a large book on dinosaurs, hair bands, socks, and webkinz cards. Now if we could just find her homework.

PletcherFamily said...

This is us!!! I have two girls and a boy and they love to "pack" to go to different rooms of the house. It is unreal what I find. This post was awesome - I am glad to see I am not the only one who has kids who does this. (I also have bags of stuff)

Christie said...

Maybe she plans on running away and wants to get her stuff ready first. She has to take all the "necessities" that she'll need on the run.

Melda said...

My middle son does this....but mostly because he is overwhelmed with his "stuff" and doesn't know how to put it away properly - so he just tucks it in bags and shoves it places.

In his defense - his dad doesn't "clean" either...he just shoves it - "out of sight, out of mind"

oh - he also (always-daily) has stuff in his pockets....legos, tissue, coins, fingernail clippers, rocks, sticks..... etc.
Makes laundry like a treasure hunt...

Kimmy said...

I have the same problem with the kid art projects. I finally started taking pictures of them and compiling them in photo books from Snapfish, Paper Coterie and the like. But I still kept a couple of the special art projects. Okay, it was more like a few. Fine! It was 10! But that's better than the 50 I started with.

oliviasmommy7 said...

If your girl is destined to be a bag lady, then both of mine are too. The 9 year old also has the bad habit of shoving anything and everything in the closet or under the bed. The 4 year old goes around and finds random stuff to put in bags that I find all around the house. 9 times out of 10, someone's little sticky fingers snatched something that doesn't belong to them, and I find it months after I've gone crazy looking for it, in a random Walmart bag shoved in the back of the closet.

Kate said...

I find whenever I am packing a bag to go somewhere I tend to utter the phrase "Just in Case" and throw in every random object in the house to take with me. Now every time we are leaving the house I find my daughter loading various bags, purses, suitcases, etc full of things to take "Just in case". I'm still not sure what we are waiting for to happen "just in case" but we are prepared I guess. The just in case bag she packs usually always contains pajamas, spare underwear, maybe her toothbrush plus whatever toys/babies/odd random objects she's recently latched onto.

LauraLee said...

lol. my son did that with shoe boxes and back packs. He would "clean" his room by shoving everything in drawers, shoe boxes, anything but where stuff was supposed to go. Oh and pockets too- those cargo pants and shorts.... always full of stuff- pens, tissue, junk, money ( I kept the $ if it stayed at the laundry). It was a battle from 2nd grade to all the way to high school. Drove me nuts. He always had to re-do it and clean it right... but hind site? I should have just tossed everything to save me the insanity and teach him that if he really wanted it it had to be put where it belongs.

momto2 said...

My son is 5 and has his treasure box, which recently got upgraded to an old popcorn tin (larger). It still isn't big enough. It sits on top of the bookcase and is supposed to be the only thing there, but there's always overflow. Seriously, how many acorns does one boy need?

abby's mom said...

I feel your pain, everyday, I worry that when I get home the producers from Hoarders will be there and tell me I need to get help and that it is not just me, but my 10 year old daughter as well. I run across random bags all over the house and yes, mine are filled with the most unheard of combinations. So take comfort in knowing it is not just you. There are many of us out there in the overstuffed, full of crap,boat!

Rainbocow said...

My 8 yr old son does this. Drives me nuts!!! I refuse to help him put the crap away but when I don't, he ends up with bags full of stuff piled in his room. He always forgets what is in them and it never occurs to any of us to look in them when something goes missing. SO annoying.

Lady Marmalade said...

Thankfully I'm alone in the office today - it was a snort fest at my desk reading your post. It's like a snapshot of my 10 year old daughter's life. Artwork. Check. (Because I can't bear to throw anything away that she's done - I invested in an artist's portfolio/carrier type thing - it keeps the artwork neat, and best of all - put away in some secret place in my closet that she'll never be able to find/reach, so she'll never be able to dig it all out . . .ahhhhh) Markers, crayons, pencils, & colored pencils in various stages of length & nudity. Check. She hasn't worn matched socks in probably a year. Hair clips. Hair bows. Hair doody boppers (as we call elastics). Bobby pins. Head bands. Combs. Round brushes. Flat brushes. All of these accessories, and still the hair is a tangled mess... Clothes that are too small for her that she's taken out of various bags & carry on suitcases that I've designated as a holding place for the ever-intentioned Goodwill run. She's pushing 5 feet, so I'm not really sure she's ever going to fit into a size 6x again, but she's not giving up the old tie-dyes that easy. I guess if she can't wear them, nobody can. I find all of this, plus gum wrappers, prize box tickets from school, and empty water bottles in plastic sacks from Target or Wal-Mart, recyclable grocery bags from the local grocery, in baskets designated for magazines or cat toys, under the sofa, under her bed, in laundry baskets even. This is how she "cleans" or "picks up after" herself. We have a rule (more of a guideline really since I have to be the one to follow through - and I'm pretty inconsistent at best) that if I find any of the above-mentioned things on the floor - they will go into the trash. This typically only happens when she's not home because the amount of eye-rolling, foot-stomping drama is not worth it. Her loophole is just picking them up off the floor and "organizing" things into various containers.

counselingmomma said...

My 6 year old daughter does this. She started by stuffing things into my husband's shoes (he has big feet ;-) ). She went on to the bag thing. Now, it's bags and boxes. Her aunt got her a special box (hand made - beautiful) for Christmas. While she loves boxes, the gift seriously stressed her out! She spent an hour finding the "perfect treasure" to keep in the box. She finally found something and was visibly relieved!

My 4 year old son does this too, but just not to the same degree. He mainly likes to hoard keys.

From what I can tell, it's a control thing. Like one poster, my 2 children who do this have sensory processing difficulties (nothing diagnosable, but still apparent).

We have given them specific SMALL containers (boxes and bags) that they are allowed to "hoard in". They can put anything within reason in those specific containers. We monitor what is kept and sift through them every so often to make sure they haven't kept anything that is trash or that is someone else's. Plus, they have to ask anytime they are unsure if an item can be "collected".

This seems to have helped tremendously. We still find things on occasion that have been "collected" that shouldn't have, but not nearly as much as before.

Another thing that has helped is giving them a "collection". They each have something that they can collect. My daughter collects barbies. My son collects balls (sports balls).

HTH

Jen said...

Oh my!! You don't know how glad I am to hear that I am not the only one with a child who has bags of crap!! I seriously throw bags away because I get so sick of finding random things in bags when cleaning!!

Kate Thompson said...

STACKING AND PACKING in our house!

[email protected] said...

Sounds like a perfectly normal young child to me. I'm sure there are many thousands of women and men around the world who would gladly give ten years of their lives to have a child and have to clean up the "crap" every day. Just sayin' :-)

talea216 said...

Honest to God, my son has always done this. I sent him in his room with a list to pack for his 8th grade trip to Washington D.C. I checked his bag when he was done. It included: a pair of Chinese stress balls, 2 containers of hot sauce, a small chess set, a roll of duct tape, a sudoku book, and a tooth brush.

PeachPrenni said...

Oh my God--I am laughing so hard!! Yesterday my 3 yr old daughter wrapped up a package and then handed it to her cousin to keep as a little gift. The taped up, bubble wrap package contained the ring-bearer pillow from our wedding and some random McDonalds toys. Good thing I confiscated it!

Faithe said...

Thank you! I laughed so hard! I wish I had the patience to lay out each bag and photograph! I would have yelled and made her get out of bed to clean up! Now could you calmly address my older daughter's lying over stupid stuff. "The doctor told me I have to drink sprite to calm my stomach from my anger issues". Umm no diagnosis and no doctor involved. You can handle so much better than I.

Unknown said...

OMG....I totally Blame Grandma for this one. My daughter likes to play dress up and carry purses but not very much when we leave the house, BUT OMG when she goes to grandmas house she comes home with everything you can think of in freaking plastic bags. Totally drives me batty!! from toothbrush to snow boots to dirty clothes to toys are all in their own plastic bags. Now the big kicker is Grandma likes to cut empty cereal or cracker boxes in half and cover them with newspaper or wrapping paper and make homemade gift box bags. So, every time my daughter is there she comes home with one of these bags of shit. If you think that is bad she also goes to garage sales and buys gallon size zip lock bags of junk toys and then give them to the kids for bingo prizes. My daughter comes home with a bag or two of these crap toys every time she's there. I know have a 5 gallon tote full of random junk toys. ALSO, she lets the kids shop at her house for holidays and birthdays and then wraps this crap up and pawns it off as gifts so we have to take the shit home cause our kids are so proud they gave us a gift. I don't want her crap at my house. I like antiques but just cause it's old doesn't make it a collectible antique. AURGH

talea216 said...

Just because someone finds humor with this doesn't at all mean they aren't grateful to have kids. Not at all. Just sayin :)

Beka Lynn said...

I have a bag girl too. And she is an artist. I learned to start taking pictures of her artwork that way I can still keep it but can toss the picture itself so I don't have drawers full of it. I had two file cabinet drawers full of her artwork before I started taking pictures of it, I even told her what I was doing and let her see and she is fine with that.

Beth Laske-Miller said...

Well, thank all the gods, or none of them, whatever. My daughter (2 1/2) has started doing the same thing. It's gotten so bad that I recycle shoe boxes IMMEDIATELY and put away anything that can be used as a container. She especially looks like a bag lady when she pushes her (naked) baby doll in the stroller with a Halloween bag & Halloween pumpkin hooked onto the handles, with a backpack on her back and "purse" on her forearm.
Oy, it's a very annoying phase.

jensina said...

My 2 year old son is s thief and hoarder. He steels my stuff and then hides it. Luckily hr doesn't yet know the joy of making me frantically search tor my keys (cant wait for that day) and hes pretty bad most days at hiding things (under the throw rugs).

Thecutestkitty said...

Heehee...I have counted 6 half filled teacher tote bags here. It looks like I have some work to do.

donna said...

Love to laugh at you because it makes me laugh at myself, my life and my kids.. I have a horder he is almost 13 and I pity the person he ends up with. Bags, and boxes full of those amazing little things (shells, ROCKS, bottle caps, papers and books and books and books) that just can't be parted with

Melisa said...

Bhahahaha! Thank you for helping me realize it's an epidemic and not just my precious-but-sometimes-annoying "Collectors"!

Confessions of a PTO Mom said...

Hoarding at it's start?
I have 2 girls who do the same.

Tri to Balance said...

OMG my 7 year old does the same thing!! There are bags full of random crap all over the place. I should take pictures like you, that is HILARIOUS. Love your blog!

Rhondamum said...

If only my girls could keep all of their crap in bags instead of all over not only their floor, but the bathroom floor, the living room floor, the kitchen floor, the freakin' garage, EVERYWHERE! I end up throwing all of the crap in a big tub so I can sort it out, but get so overwhelmed that the tubs just pile up. Probably doesn't help that we are all ADHD, no joke. Most days it bothers me, some days I just don't care.

Mama Moo said...

My 5 year old son does this with bags AND boxes. Drives me crazy!!! I am relieved to see I am not the only household that deals with the disappearance of siblings stuff only to find it in some random bag/box of my son's stuff.

Jenn said...

My 5 year old does this too and it makes me nuts! She leaves a room and says "Bye mom, I am going to pack". Crap!

Ann Crabs said...

You are lucky you only have one. I have two. Your daughter at least seems to have some what of an order in each bag. The bags I find rarely have two of anything. It drives me nuts, too!

HeliconiaPink said...

Like others, my daughter has a treasure box in which she can keep her crap. Unfortunately, I frequently find some pretty disgusting sh!t in there, such as used band-aids and kleenexes. I’ve also seen her put boogers and scabs in there. SERIOUSLY???? WTF??

Sarah said...

Reading your post made me think of Ally Sheedy in The Breakfast club...I bet her character had lots of stuff in bags as a child...

Courtney said...

This is hilarious! My 4 year old son does the same thing...usually after he's seen me pack a bag of stuff to take to work, or grandma's house or somewhere. Drives my husband nuts, but I think it's cute. I'm sure it's some sign of higher level thinking that they organize everything into bags!

nikkimes said...

My kids do the same thing, both the boy and the girl. The girl is probably the worst, but the boy likes to take socks and stuff one random surprise in each one.... They are "stockings".

KD said...

I am almost peeing in my pants reading this. My girl does the EXACT same thing. Random junk in random bags throughout the house. If one more person gives her a purse or a messenger bag or a tote as a gift I might scream. They don't understand what becomes of them once they are in my house. She has a spy bag, a teacher bag, a doll bag, an art bag, all filled to the brim with junk. And scattered (almost strategically) throughout my house. I once was so disgusted I dumped them all on her bed and told her to sort through it and put it all AWAY or else I would put it away (aka throw it in the garbage). So nice to know I'm not alone.

Lynn said...

Holy Hannah! I think I may be raising your daughter's twin! I feel ya! (only because I also have a huge pile of stuff to donate as well) Good to know I am not the only one.....

Carlee said...

Not only do I call my 6 year old daughter the hoarder too but we also have bags of all types of random and stolen items from her brother everywhere too! My favorite is when I clean and organize her room (once a year ) and she goes and gets her play school bag and throws two toters worth of crap back into for it to stay for the next year. And the drawings and pieces of paper? Everywhere! She would keep the fortunes from everyone's fortune cookies if she could, ripped gift bags, candy wrappers etc. I think we should produce hoarders for kids!

KCM said...

I am so glad to know that I am not the only one with a hoarder in training! My daughter had bags upon bags in her room with all sorts of random crap in them. I cleaned out her room, wouldn't know it by looking, but I took out two and a half bags full of garbage, and she never noticed. We then spent the next day going through all her "stuff", that took us three hours. Needless to say she is no longer allowed bags in her room, or markers as her furniture loving shows her artwork. Did I mention she is almost 9?!Maybe we should contact TLC and offer up a new show idea about our little hoarders...at least that way we could make some money off the mess and not be in violation of any child labor laws!

spymay said...

Omg, tears are rolling down my face I'm laughing soo hard.
I started cleaning my 13 yo daughter's room yesterday(after trying to get her to do it for..ever). Under her bed was every freakin' paper from school for the past year, clothes, spoons(really),her little brother's toys,tiny pencil stubs,pencil shavings and pencil sharpener,money...the list could go on and on.I haven't even started on the bins on her bookcase-I might need some alcohol first.Scary

Heartmom5 said...

Today my daughter -9- came upstairs with an Amazon box-"can I have this for my stuff"-I look inside it is filled with her hair supplies-the girl has about 30 bags filled with the same random crap as your daughter-makes me insane=you make me laugh aloud!!

Jessica said...

as a Psychology major, Hoarders aficionado (and fellow.... er... "bagger and forgetter") I am sitting here, laughing hysterically.

Priceless.

Cassi said...

I love this!!! I'm not alone! Lol. My daughter has bags, her room is "bagged"! The teacher bag was the best, mine has an old purse of mine FULL of writing and reading books!!! And nope I can't get on to her, in my car I've got a few bags of clothes (for months) needing to go to the goodwill, I've got bags holding bags! Lol

Carol Conti said...

We call it "Baby Hoarders" or "Junior Hoarders" in our house. Both the girl, age 6, and the boy, age 3, suffer from this syndrome.

Alysia said...

Who knew this was an epidemic? Thanks for bringing it to light. I thought it was just my girls.

Taraflem said...

Home with my sick girly today and uncovered at LEAST a dozen little bags of crap, and that was just in her closet! Items ranged from dirty socks and fake plastic watermelon, to googly rubber spiders and Halloween (yes, Halloween) candy, to a pile of slutty Barbie clothes and about a 1/2 cup of sand (??). Of course, I once found a grapefruit in my way-too-big purse, so I can only blame myself. As they say, the bigger the purse, the bigger the crazy...

Taraflem said...

Oh, and I forgot to mention half finished suckers!

Anonymous said...

OMG, thank goodness there's more out there!!! I just walked out of my 9 year olds bedroom after finding 3-4 bags and drawers full of all sorts of stuff. She does it in our basement too all over the place drawers, cubby holes, everywhere. I seriously thought something might be wrong but if there are more kids that do this then I'm giving up on trying to make her stop and just hope that she grows out of it. I am pregnant and can't keep up with her messes! lol

Anonymous said...

Hi! i am 14 and have the exact same... 'habit' When I was younger, it was boxes and bags of random and total crap. My parents and I moved when I was two and I got sort of a pack-everything-up fixation. I was allowed a 'secrets' drawer when I was four or so.
I was ok back then but then I started to have the need to pack things up. I still have this problem today. Although I am very good at hiding it. I have two large material sacking boxes FILLED TO THE BRIM and another by my desk full of books. If you try to move them I think you would die. They are so heavy one has to be heavier than my parents and I combined!!

But its not all bad. I have stopped hoarding rubbish and now its mostly my stuff. Books probably. It does not help that my dad is a hoarder. He can't bear to throw away anything. although he does not stuff things. I honestly think that it helps keep me sane. I am a very stressed person and I deal with things physically. Its basically like I am stuffing my stress into a box.

Your daughter may grow out of this. Hopefully as I get older and learn to deal with stuff better I'll simply grow out of it. Its weird, it seems that when a parent has a problem like this the kid has the same. My parents used to undo my 'bag ladies' what we called them) and I would have a fit I would literally break down. If I have kids and they have this, I will not force it out of them.

I will help them control it. Its good to have a parent that understands. My problem is so bad because my parents always tried to undo them. Jut let your kids grow out of it. But teach them they can do that with only THEIR stuff. Not other peoples.

Good luck everyone!!! its so good to not be alone!! and yes a support group would be great :)

Tabitha said...

My 3 year old daughter is the same way..has bags of toys and other crap sitting all over the house. Also like you, I can't bring myself to throw any of their artwork away. I have "memory totes" that I store it all in. That way it isn't trashed, nor is it in the way. I will hang the freshest piece of lovely art on the fridge and switch them out as I am given a new masterpiece!

Big City Mom said...

This is so funny, she actually has some good stuff. My bags are mostly goodwill-bound, too and have no good American Girl and art supply stashes

lynette said...

Hi Jen: I love your blog! I could write an article called "Big Boxes of Crap". My husband and I collect paper boxes from our places of work, you know, the nice kind with lids. We stick things in these boxes that we are not sure we should save, pitch, or donate. We basically put stuff in the boxes and shove them in our basement. Flash forward a year later. I need boxes to clean out and store stuff from my preschool classroom. I cleaned out those big boxes of crap, and now I have six empty boxes (with lids) to store things in. Most of the stuff was trash, some things we needed to save, but most of it was random junk we hadn't thought of in about a year! Last year we painted and carpeted our living room, and of course a lot of stuff went in boxes and were shoved downstairs! I even found coupons dated 2009! Again, love the blog and I love reading your adventures!

KCJen said...

Good luck! Mine's 8 and still has the box of silly bandz, bags of shells, bags of rocks, broken pieces of toys that he's convinced someone can fix, etc. And god forbid I organize any of it! But mom! I need those 13 markers with the rocks, not with the other markers!

HEATHER HOLTER said...

I think it's a girl thing. My 3 girls do this, but not the 2 boys. I used to care, now I don't. I used to spend an hr a night helping them unpack bags only to have them refilled tomorrow. So now I leave the crap in the bags and toss them in the closet. This is for 2 reasons 1) I'm too lazy to unpack them every night. 2) when they run out of bags they have to unpack one to pack a new one. I figure it's their crap and if they want to "organize" it in such a way, it's not hurting me any! When they ask me where something is I say "I don't know, look through all your bags" and let them deal with it. This is a HUGE acomplishment for me since I used to be very OCD about missing toys and would think of that missing _________ for days until it turned up! NO MORE! DONE!

Pink Noam said...

That is bizarre, children's compulsive behaviour is fascinating isn't it?
I used to go around stacking everyting. Don't know why but I would just try to stack everything I could into a single pile, used to drive my parents insane.

Kim Hodge said...

It looked like all of them were at least coordinated or had some sort of theme :) I'm sure in her mind there is some kind of rhyme or reason to it, but i don't think she has a problem...no more than her mom anyways.

Amy said...

He chose a toothbrush - I call that a win!!!

mspice3 said...

This is hilarious, I have three older girls, 16, 18 and 21 and they all did this and the youngest one still does! My middle child was the absolute worst, about it, every time she got a cute bag, purse or tote I knew it would be immediately filled with random crap, but I guess it means something to them at the time. Great memories!

kitschiekoo said...

My girls did this too. I would go thru their bags while they slept and it was always a good laugh or a 'damn it I've been looking for that!' or a 'huh, what the heck...why?' I kinda miss it now that they're older, although they still collect things, it all just doesn't fit nicely in a small bag, and their rooms are a slobby mess. My 'psychological' guess is it's a DNA imprint back to cavemen days when women were the gatherers and men the hunters.

Unknown said...

Know the little plastic bags of air that Amazon uses for cushioning packages? My 4 yr old requests we cut them open so he can use them to pack things in, then packs as many toys and such as he can in them.

ecodrew said...

That's hilarious and frustrating. As for your collected donations - just do what I do, hide them in your trunk. Because I'm totally gonna drop them off, um, soon... I'm pretty sure I read somewhere that donations increase in value after 6-9 months of "aging" in a trunk.

Eberhardt said...

So, my daughter is 15 and the Queen of stuffing bags full of "stuff." Bag after bag of stuff. She packs them and packs them and never unpacks them. I particularly like when I find garbage or half eaten cans of tuna in the bags.

P Thomas said...

Owner of 60-odd listings on eBay of assorted crap belonging to self, husband, mother-in-law and mother. I can't throw stones but I did laugh. Thanks Jen!