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When I was a nanny in college, one of my favorite things to do with the little girl that I nannied for (she was seven years old at the time) was to organize her room with her.

We did this every few months. However, one of the things that I noticed early on is that there was always a lot of garbage in her room. Not huge amount – normal accumulations of garbage for a bedroom, especially for a seven year old. Scraps of papers, odds and ends, candy wrappers.

She had lots of very nice toys, including LOTS of Polly Pockets and some American Girl dolls.

So, what do you get for the kid who has everything?

Well, for her eighth birthday, I bought her a trash can.

Yes, that’s right. A trash can.

But why?

She has plenty of toys, obviously. She was a happy kid. She was a capable kid. But she had everything she needed. However, she was (and probably still is) an amazing artist, and having a trash can for when she was creating in her room could help her keep a tidier space.

Any little supply that we can give to kids to help them get organized seems like a fun and good idea. However, sometimes our complicated adult systems of organizing get in the way.

That’s why, if you’re looking for something kids “need” for a holiday gift…try a trash can.

Another good option: a hamper.

A trash can and a hamper are two elements of an organized and tidy room. The concept of putting trash in a trash can and dirty clothes in a hamper is not hard or complicated – but oh, does it make a difference!

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