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Does anyone else have kids who throw clean clothes on the floor? Please say it’s not just mine. My oldest is capable of doing her laundry, but I often scoop up an armful of clothes from my girls’ room if I’m on my way to the washing machine. And every time I’m loading the clothes into the washing machine, I notice that the very same clothes from the floor are the clothes that I washed and folded, sometimes even the day before, and have not yet been worn.
You would think that occasionally I would find a load of only dirty clothes, but no. There are always clean clothes mixed in with the dirty. Always.
Every. Single. Time.
Maybe it’s my kids’ ages, or a little girl’s desire to try on several outfits…or maybe it’s that they kneel down in front of their dressers and fling clothes behind them while they search for whatever outfit they want to wear that day. No matter why it happens, re-washing clean clothes is a waste of time, energy, laundry soap, and water – not to mention the unnecessary wear and tear on the clothes!
I was getting so exasperated that I realized I really need to focus on teaching my kids the habit of putting away the clean clothes they decide not to wear, and throwing dirty clothes in the hamper.
But while we are working on the habits of cleanliness and orderliness, I took matters into my own hands and developed a system to keep the clean clothes OFF of the hangers and ready to wear. The best part is, it only takes about 5 minutes per week!
Here it is:
Ok, just kidding. It’s not exactly that simple. But I discovered that if we pick out their clothes a week ahead of time and hang them up, they are not hunting for clothes in the morning and making a mess. Even better, we start school earlier, their room stays cleaner, and THERE ARE NO CLOTHES ON THE FLOOR!
Here is the very simple system we use:
Using 7 hangers, each marked for one day of the week, they choose their outfits a week in advance. We hang them in their closet, and they know exactly what they are going to wear every day. By the following Tuesday, when they are out of outfits on hangers, we start over.
We have only been using this system for a few months, but so far I LOVE it! The girls don’t complain about their outfits because they chose them. If the weather changes unexpectedly, it’s no big deal to swap out an outfit. This quick system has worked incredibly well to stop the hunting and gathering of cute outfits resulting in clean clothes flung all over the bedroom floor. One of my favorite benefits is that their closets have stayed relatively neat because they aren't digging through them every day!
A few notes:
- On the kid’s laundry day (Tuesday), by evening we have all of their laundry folded and ready to put away. I have them go ahead and put their pajamas, socks, and underwear away in the dresser, leaving shirts, pants, shorts, and skirts out.
- I let one of my girls open the Weather app on my phone and we take a peek at what the weather looks like on the 7 day forecast. That way they can plan on weather-appropriate outfits throughout the week.
- We add accessories! Especially for Sunday, it’s so convenient to have tights, special hair clips, sweaters, etc. hanging on the hanger with their dresses. It’s even easier to have their nice Sunday shoes lined up under the dress so that there’s less hassle before church.
One thing that we are working on right now is carelessness. I feel that my kids have little regard for their belongings. I think this system is helping them to take better care of their clothes, but I still want to address the underlying principle of carelessness.
Have you had to deal with bad habits in your kids? Have you found any methods to instill good habits instead?