2010 Holiday Gift Giving Guide: Organized gifts for kids

We’ve written in previous Gift Giving Guides about giving children experiences, consumables, and “coupons” for spending time together. We still think these are all terrific ideas — especially experiences that include museum or zoo passes, music or dance lessons, and vacations. But, there are also practical gifts for kids that they can unwrap, which help to keep their lives more organized.

  1. A Cocoon Grid-It Organizer paired with a stylish pencil case and some high-quality Palomino Blackwing pencils.
  2. Teenagers can learn a great deal from professional organizer Julie Morgenstern in Organizing from the Inside Out for Teenagers.
  3. An athletic child could use reusable water bottles, a first aid kit, an Ace Bandage, and a durable duffle bag.
  4. Lovers of the American Girl dolls might like a Doll Storage Trunk. Hot Wheels enthusiasts could appreciate a Car Storage Case. And, comic book readers might like Comic Storage Bags and a Comic Storage Box.

Check out all of the ideas in our 2010 Holiday Gift Giving Guide.

15 Comments for “2010 Holiday Gift Giving Guide: Organized gifts for kids”

  1. posted by Susan in FL on

    I no longer have children in my home, but most of the ones I see in the mall or at the library need a new backpack – or at least they need to have the old one washed. Maybe they need both. One to wear and one for a spare to use while the filthy one is being washed. Then again maybe it is not cool to wear anything too new or too clean looking. I remember the torn-grubby-looking-jeans are better craze. mercifully that seems to have passed.

  2. posted by Dawn on

    What about one of those awesome video game storage tower thingys – something like this:


    Perhaps you could up the excitement of it (for the kiddo) by putting a new game or 2 into the tower.

    Yikes – it’s almost December! 🙂

  3. posted by Cherri Porter on

    My son is 10 and just got into Pokemon cards–yes, they are back in fashion. We inherited a bunch of cards from older cousins, but found the protective sleeves a bit too orderly for our messy kid. We found this BallQube at the Container Store recently and it seems to do the trick. There are dividers for some organization, but it’s clear and the lid doesn’t snap so the cards are easy to access and sort.


  4. posted by thesuburbanminimalist on

    I love the book suggestion for teenagers! In my previous life as an educator, students would come to me to help them de-clutter their book bags. After stuffing all manner of papers and folders into a knapsack, they too felt overwhelmed by the clutter! No one likes having their stuff in array – even kids!

  5. posted by Jen on

    Re: #3, I totally understand (and agree with) the sentiment here, but I sort of giggled at the idea of giving a child an Ace bandage for Christmas. For the love of god, please don’t go around giving kids Ace bandages as holiday gifts. Even if your name is Hanukah Harry. Honestly, I think they would prefer tube socks! That said, I do think a nice duffel bag and water bottle would be a good gift. But get them the bandage and first aid kit at another time, it just doesn’t seem right for the holidays 😉

  6. posted by NonTourist on

    As long as they also get some fun stuff….otherwise they are going to think the Grinch stole Christmas. Makes the underwear and homemade dresses my grandmother always gave me look pretty good in retrospect, though.

  7. posted by WilliamB on

    Giving a teenage an Ace bandage will allow him/her to win the “my parents are clueless idiots” contest.

    Add Lego organizers to #4, please. I would really like to see some Unclutterer suggestions for a good Lego organizer. (Lego – it’s not just for kids!) Our best solution so far is ziploc bag(s) with the kit name written on the outside, all kept in 18 (or more) gal bins, a hanging file box for the pamphlets, and the boxes in the garage.

  8. posted by Erin Doland on

    @Jen and @WilliamB — I actually got an Ace bandage one year for Christmas as part of a new dance bag from my parents. I thought it was awesome. I no longer had to share the family one with my sweaty brother (he was a sponsored skateboarder and I did ballet and rah-rahed). I never had reason to think it was weird until right now. Starting to think my perception of “normal” might be a bit off … ha!!

  9. posted by priest's wife on

    My daughters would think the ace bandage is cool- like the advanced dancers…

  10. posted by Jane Else on

    Not wishing to be a party pooper…if I gave any of these gifts to the children in my life I would be labelled as the most boring Aunt ever! Seriously, there are very few kids that would rip the gift open and jump for joy at any of these. Let’s just let kids enjoy Christmas without foisting our own uncluttering ways on them!

  11. posted by Jen on

    @Erin – don’t worry, my definition of “normal” has always been a bit off as well – just in a different direction than you. We all have to define our own versions of it! I suppose we all know our kids best, and if you don’t think tube socks and Ace bandages will elicit grumbles from your specific teenager, then by all means go for it. But I would say that practical gifts like these, in general, are best used as a way to cut down on (not eliminate) fun toy-type gifts.

  12. posted by WilliamB on

    @Erin – you crack me up! Under no circumstances is an Ace bandage a normal gift … but you do give an excellent example when it is a perfect one, especially as part of a kit tailored to a particular person.

  13. posted by Lisa Zaslow on

    Five water bottles? What is the message there? Unless you are really thirsty, one should be fine. In my experience working with clients as a professional organizer, water bottles are one of those items that seem to spontaneously generate; most people have waaaay more than enough. I do love the idea of helping kids contain their collections and interests. @Jen – LOL at your post. I had the same thought about Ace bandages. Then again, those uber-practical Chanukah gifts are the only ones my siblings and I remember 30 years later. The Larry LePage Glue Set! Yes, we got paste for Chanukah one night. Tradition!

  14. posted by Gotham Organizers on

    @ WilliamB – Check out this Lego organizer from The Container Store – http://bit.ly/fcJAvX

    and this Lego sorter – http://www.box4blox.com/

    it was a HUGE hit at a National Association of Professional Organizers’ conference!

  15. posted by Chuck on

    The Palomino Blackwing pencils are Cooler than an iPad!”

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