Junk on the Steps: Your Kids’ Time Capsule

Organizing kids' toys and keeping our homes clean is tough. Thinking of all the junk on the steps as a record of our kids' growth makes the whole house cleaning thing a bit more palatable.The other day I was moving around our piles of stuff picking up the house. I came to the foot of our stairs. I’m not sure how it works in your family, but in ours, everyone drops their junk on the steps. The kids take their toys and clothes up when I complain about it, but they’re otherwise content to leave the contents of their rooms right on the stairs.

I huffed a little because we’d amassed quite a conglomeration of crap on the bottom step. I took a few breaths in preparation for the tirade I was about to let loose on the two monkeys when I stopped. Instead, I started pawing through the piles of junk on the steps and realized something.

I was looking into a time capsule. By this time next year, the steps would still undoubtedly be covered.

But they would never again look the same as they look right now.

There were two camo ball caps, a set of toddler musical instruments, three handfuls of Nerf bullets, a toy plane, a preschool helicopter, a princess doll, two wet G.I. Joes (they’d been swimming in the sink), new clothes bigger than the ones I usually fold, and a horseshoe (we don’t have a horse).

I thought about the randomness of these items. Why would a nine and a six year old be playing with toddler tambourines and shakers? They would if they wanted to start a rock band. The princess doll and the G.I. Joes had been in the audience before my son decided the army dudes needed a swim.

Try to think of the junk on the steps as a time capsule of your kids' growth. The helicopter, plane, and Nerf bullets had been used to in an elaborate play. The two of them were recreating a situation they imagined their big brother could face as a pilot. The camo hats came from our big adventure out west. The horseshoe was a souvenir from a trail ride we took in Wyoming.

We did put the stack of toys away. The steps were clear for five or so minutes, ready for another living room adventure that will be ever so slightly different from yesterday’s.

What do your steps look like? Are they clear or do they provide of snapshot or your life? Let us know in the comments. Don’t forget to take a picture. The junk on the steps won’t ever look exactly like that again.

Here is a time capsule writing project for your classroom or home school. Record where your kids are at the beginning of the year, and see how they've changed at the end.
Here is a time capsule writing project for your classroom or home school. Record where your kids are at the beginning of the year, and see how they’ve changed at the end.

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