Because we had a few children in each room, we had to get creative in keeping all of those things that kids want to keep! Here is what we did:
Each child had two boxes—treasure boxes and “keep forever” boxes. Some were under the bed storage boxes, others were clear Rubbermaid type tubs on shelves in their closets.
Here is how they were used:
1. Treasure box—their current things that were small and that they didn’t want anybody else to get into—stationary, needlepoint, journals, gel pens, drawing pads, books, purse, etc. for girls; small toys, books, sports cards, wallet, etc. for boys. This tub was used daily by the child. It just kept their current “treasures” right where they could get to them without cluttering up the shared bedroom too much, Obviously, things that were too big went on shelves, bookcases, headboards, etc.
2. “Keep forever” box—each child had one of these (about the same sizes and storage as the treasure boxes described above). This had things that the child thought he or she wanted to keep forever---letters, cards, special pictures, art work, etc. The key to this box was that when it was overflowing, something had to go out of it.
When our older kids were little, our home was a center for hospitality and ministry much more than it is now. By keeping their special things in their bedrooms behind closed doors—and letting each child have his or her own special things—yet still having community toys that were shared, we were able to protect our kids’ privacy and an appropriate amount of “ownership” without teaching the kids to be selfish or self-focused (while teaching the importance of sharing our blessings (even toys!) with others.