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Once upon a time, a young boy decided to join the local swim team. Over the course of his two years as a swimmer, he became quite fast in the water…so fast that he began to amass a decent collection of swim awards (ribbons, and even the occasional medal).
In the past year, he began to amass even more awards, which was a good thing. Soon, he was bringing home multiple medals from a single swim meet on a regular basis.
When the first few medals came home, the boy and his Mom created a few fun wall displays with the medals, not giving much thought to a long-range plan for how to display future “swim swag”. After a few months, the “swim swag” wall began to get a bit out of control.
The boy’s mom (who was also a professional organizer) started to become distressed over the medal “clutter” that was overtaking her son’s bedroom.
She was also regretting the bad precedent she set by allowing her son to use push pins to attach the medals to the wall.
That’s a lot of holes for the Mom to patch down the road when it comes time to paint!
This problem became quite vexing and frustrating for the professional organizer Mom. She decided to put the project on the front burner at this summer.
The Mom started to research ready-made products for storing and displaying sports medals. Much to her dismay, these products were very expensive, and were not going to accommodate the volume of swim swag that her son was likely to generate over the next few years. So the Mom decided to create her own storage solution.
She purchased two 45″ Ikea Ribba picture ledges and 46 mini cup hooks to attach on the underside of the shelf (23 for each ledge). She inserted cup hooks in a staggered position every inch along the underside, using a drill to create pilot holes first.
She used 1.25″ cup hooks, which were the perfect size for holding the thick medal ribbons.
The Mom was quite proud of this low-cost storage solution (which was MUCH less than the pre-made storage solutions available).
It was then time for installation…
The Mom and the boy were very happy with the new 8′ awards display that graced the wall above the boy’s bunk bed. It served as an awesome focal point from the doorway leading into the room. The boy could even display some of his trophies on the top of the shelf (a great use of vertical space, which pleased his professional organizer Mom).
The medal clutter that once overwhelmed the other side of the room was no longer there (which also pleased the professional organizer Mom).
This story of sports medal clutter has a happy ending!
If the boy continues to bring home this volume of swim swag, the Mom has a plan for future growth. They can double up medals on each hook…
…and the Mom can engage in some additional Ikea-hacking and create a few more shelves on adjacent walls (or below this one, once the Boy outgrows his bunk bed and it’s removed). Hopefully, this new display space will at least be sufficient for the current swim season (the last 5 medals were brought home this past weekend)!
If you too are challenged by Swim Swag Clutter, I invite you to read another story where the Mom uses her magical organizing/DIY skills to bring order to swim ribbon chaos.
Do you have a story to tell about award clutter in your home?