There are so many good discussions going on here and on several other blogs I follow regarding the ebook Headgates! It is so fun to hear what you all have to say.
I've greatly reduced the art supplies and so they are no longer overwhelming. We no longer have a huge box of crayons-we have a little box of crayons! How many yellow crayons to we really need? My kids have never been much into art projects anyways. (Gee, I wonder why? Could it be because I loathe them? I've never found value in worthless crafts.) They do however thoroughly enjoy drawing one stick figure on a piece a paper with: "To Mom: I love you. Love, Creativity" written on a hundred pages.
So to solve this bunch of wasted papers and satisfy their desire to give me a love note I recently bought sketch pads for the kids. I told them how much I enjoyed all their love notes, but I kept loosing them and they were all over the place. So I said I wanted them to draw them in the sketch book. I wanted their best work and then when they were done they could give me the sketch book and this way I would be able to keep them always! I told them that whenever there was one they really wanted me to see all they had to do was show it to me. They were so excited. They all have enjoyed drawing pictures for me that I will get to keep forever. Creativity told me he was excited that I wouldn't be able to loose them this way. He also said he liked just having one place to keep everything. Determination also has made nice little drawings that he wasn't interested in before. So simplifying our craft supplies as made them focus on real projects that are nice. Success!
We put up all their extra notebooks. They still have their names on them they are just in our empty closet so they are still here. They only get to have one notebook out to keep notes in and write whatever they want. They have really liked knowing where their books are and not feeling overwhelmed with all the paper.
I have found that has I've gotten rid of things that they are actually becoming happier, more productive, and better behaved. It's all really amazing.