Before having kids, were you aware of the plethora of things that come along with them? From the toys that scatter your lounge floor to the multitude of items that go in your nappy bag… do you sometimes feel like your house is being overrun by your children’s belongings? Looking for a way to help contain the clutter? Well you are not alone!
Let me tell you a little story about my own personal experience with this very thing. When my first little guy was 3 years old, he LOVED cars. And I mean he loved them like every little boy loves cars. They were everywhere in our house, no matter how hard I tried to contain them. To make matters worse, he wanted to take them with him every time we left the house. But he couldn’t just take one or two. Oh no! He had to take the whole collection and regardless of how much I tried to reason with him, he was adamant that all 10 cars come along with him….
So there he was, with his little 3 year old hands full of cars in an attempt to get from the house to the car with all of them. As you can imagine, it caused a bit of frustration for us both as he dropped car after car along they way, stopping to scoop them up. Looking back now, I can have a laugh at how cute it was, but at the time when I was trying to get from the house to the supermarket before his baby brother needed another feed, it was an exercise in pure patience!!
I needed something for him to use to carry all these cars. Something that would increase his independence so that he’d be able to pack them himself and carry it to the car. It had to be durable so that it wouldn’t rip or tear when toys went in. It also had to withstand a 3 year old’s bashing it around. It had to be something he could open and close on his own and it had to be big enough to hold the toys but not too big that it would drag on the ground. And from my perspective, it had to be something that was easy to care for (ie washable) and that would last.
There was nothing currently on the market that ticked all these boxes so that’s when I came up with the Thingy Bag! A high-quality, reusable bag that is functional as well as pretty. I chose a fun fabric for the outer layer that my child would love (and therefore want to use) and a durable lining for the inside. It was the perfect combination of practical and cute.
As my kids started getting older, we found all kinds of new uses for these bags. My children put their ‘news’ in them and brought them to kindy ; when they started school they held pencils, rubbers, and any other bits they wanted to take back and forth. It is the perfect size to control their ever growing collection of lego at home as well as loom bands and marbles… it really is perfect for all of your child’s ‘things’.
Over the years, I have made and sold hundreds of these bags and I’ve heard of all sorts of clutter controlling uses for them – and not just for children. Loom bands, barbie clothes, hair ties, toiletries overnight bag, craft supplies, knitting and crochet projects and endless other suggestions. I use one to put nappies and wipes in and throw it in my handbag for those quick trips to save me from having to lug around a nappy bag.
They are also a great eco-friendly way to give gifts – pop the gift inside the bag and the recipient can re-use it time and again. And the best part – no waste! Our children’s teachers always get a thingy bag with their favourite home-made jam or chutney inside.
Thingy bags are so easy to care for, which is a necessity for us Mums! They can go in the washing machine with your regular load and then hung to dry, or tossed in the dryer for when your child has to have it immediately! Thingy bags are the perfect child-friendly/ handbag-friendly size of measure 28cm across by 18 cm down (7 inches by 11 inches) and they come in a variety of colours and designs.
Thingy bags are listed on my Etsy Shop. To purchase yours, click here.
Jo-Anna’s Attic is a home-based company operating in Wellington, New Zealand by stay at home Mum to three Jo-Anna Hohua. Jo-Anna focuses on designing one of a kind items for babies and children where style meets function. All items are high-quality eco-friendly products hand made in New Zealand by Jo-Anna herself in her home sewing studio.
You can visit Jo-Anna’s online shop here.