Originally published on October 16, 2007. Still good tips that work for me…Don’t worry, there will be some new posts very soon!
Last week I went through all the kids’ clothes and cycled all the seasonal stuff. It’s not really my favorite thing to do, but I do have a few tricks that make it a little bit easier. So here they are, 6 tips and tricks to bring a little bit of good organization home to your family.
1.) Sterilite tubs are relatively inexpensive – I have three. One for hand-me-downs from Princess to Drama Queen that don’t fit yet, one for the girls off-season clothes that might still fit at the next season change, and one for all of Little Prince’s hand-me-downs and off-season clothes. These tubs are stored in the corner of Little Prince’s closet for easy access. Whenever one of them is given something that doesn’t fit yet, or whenever Princess outgrows something I can just add it to the tub. When it’s time to cycle the wardrobe I pull out all the tubs, empty the dressers of their contents, sort everything appropriately and put it all back. I’ll leave the tubs out for a day or two to catch other items that might have been in the dirty laundry and then store them away again. I do the same thing with shoes, and those that can be passed on get stored with the appropriate clothes.
2.) Use space wisely. The two girls share a dresser which is located inside their closet, as is Little Prince’s dresser inside his closet as well. They both have long curtain rods in their little walk-in closets and I’ve also added a lower wire shelf/rod in the girls’ closet. Having the dresser and curtain rods in close proximity helps with putting clothes away, as well as making it easier for the girls to get their own clothes and making more space in their tiny rooms.
3.) Organize and contain those teeny tiny socks. First off, all three of my kids have different socks. When I first started this, Princess received white quarter socks with purple toes, Drama Queen received white ankle socks with pink toes, and when Little Prince came along he got little boy quarter socks. Since I’m very picky about not folding socks together by folding the tops over (it stretches the elastic and it’s a pet peeve of mine), each girl has a basket in the designated “sock and underwear drawer” to contain their socks. Little Prince has little drawers along the top of his dresser so his socks go into one of those. This system makes it very easy for the girls to put socks away and find their own matching socks. And if one gets lost or ruined, it’s not that big of a problem, because the remaining mate still matches all the others. 🙂
4.) I pull out my magic marker. When the girls started dance class and it became important to keep up with their stockings and keep track of which was whose,.. I finally decided to throw years of frustration out the window and make it easier for everybody. I pulled out my magic marker and wrote their initials in the waistband in the back. Now when the girls get new tights (for church or ballet) I pull them out of the package and initial them immediately. No more wondering. However, I haven’t figured out what to do for black or navy tights yet – I’m not ready to pull out a needle and white thread, though that certainly is an option.
5.) Hang as much as possible. Since the girls share a dresser this is especially important. They each have one of the four drawers for their clothes. The other two are used for pajamas and socks/undergarments. Hanging things not only makes more room in the drawers for what can’t hang, but it also means there is less stuff in the dresser to become unfolded and it makes it easier to see what they have and pick an outfit. I often send the girls in there themselves to get dressed. When their drawers are stuffed full and they have to dig to find the pieces that much, the odds are much lower that they’ll actually come out without something that looks even remotely decent. 😛
6.) We have a shoe bin. Under the lower shelf are two stackable bins for the girls shoes. In a perfect world, the shoes would be organized in some fashion. But in reality they’re really just chunked into the bins. However, this is still a level of organization acceptable to me. Provided the girls put their shoes away in the bins (see, that’s really the key right there) then they will be easy to find later, thus making my life a little bit easier as well.