By the time the teenagers were five and six years old, they had amassed an enormous number of pens, pencils and crayons.
Some had their names printed on the pens and pencils and others had a bit of 'Heath Robinson' labelling (shaving a bit off the end of the pencil with a trusty Swiss Army knife and writing their names on the exposed wood) to make sure each didn't end up with the other's colouring utensils - there was often 'war'.
But aside from the odd 'pencil gate' episode the biggest problem with their unfeasibly large pen collections was keeping them organised and tidy; they both had two big boxes, which was rubbish because they spent more time rummaging around for the right colour than they did colouring in.
I came across a great idea the other day and was a bit miffed that I hadn't thought of it before; you know how that goes, right?
The original idea used plastic utensil trays that have dividers built in to them so you can divide everything into their various types and colour families, which is a fab' idea in itself but does mean you've got to go out and buy them.
Then I mused a bit more about the big boxes my kids had, the more I wonder why I didn't make my own dividers out of cardboard!
I could have taken some cardboard, cut lengths to fit the boxes and then made slits in each length, slotted them together one over the top of another one at right angles to each other (does that make sense?) and hey PRESTO I would have had instant pen, pencil and crayon box dividers.
Calm and order would have been created out of chaos.
My youngest has a similar pen box at his dad's house - I'm going to put my divider idea to the test!
If YOU have any smart ideas as to how to keep crayon chaos under control (and you can't say NOT buy any, that's just mean!) then do let us know.