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Organizing Kids Clothes: How Do I Inspire my Child to Wear a Variety?
We noticed a trend with our youngest, and it wasn’t pretty. The same things being worn over and over. Systems that other kids seemed to be ok with, wearing a variety of clothes that were clean, wasn’t a simple or natural system for our child.
We wondered, how do I inspire my child to wear a variety of clothing?
My husband and I tried to understand if it was because they liked the comfort of the same clothes, or were they simply lazy and continued picking up the same dirty clothes from the floor?
WE TESTED DIFFERENT SYSTEMS:
- Setting a specific day of the week to bring down laundry and do wash
- Confiscating clothes if they were worn too often and went in the “vault”.
- Setting specific guidelines for temperature (40 and below pants needed to be worn to school)
- Giving flexibility on weekdays, only require matching, clean clothes for Church. (Can change once we return home)
We wanted to give the freedom to choose their clothes, but with that freedom came unpleasant results. We hoped our child would learn on their own that it’s good to take care of oneself, and that included clean clothes.
I did some research while trying to understand our situation, because didn’t want to be insensitive. During my search, I found some describing this behavior being linked to sensory issues or even more serious possibilities.
That may be true for some. It is worth looking into if you see your child reacting to the texture of clothing, or they favor a specific type of fabric.
I believe our situation is related to not wanting to make decisions, and a pinch about control.
Too many choices and not wanting to put effort into coordinating clothes was a problem. Getting dressed is a simple task for many. We found in our situation that it was a habit that effected not only choosing clothes, but other areas in the everyday routine.
After all the ideas we tried, my husband came up with an idea that we prayed our child would be open to. I realize that this may not work for everyone, but if your child likes structure, this may be a good solution.
Starting at an earlier age with organizing kids clothes will help create the habit earlier. However, it’s never too late.
Here are the steps we took to create a clothes menu:
- Had child sort clothes they like from those they don’t
- Tried on the clothes they liked to make sure they fit
- Had child layout shirts, shorts, pants, under garments to match for each day (best they could)
- Made sure the clothes made sense they way they were laid out for 28 days. (Sunday to Saturday)
- Took Photos of each set with day of week placed in each photo
- Laid pictures out on sheet and printed out, creating a “menu”
- Inserted into folders, one menu for me, one for the child
- Extra menu so I can check each day that they are following the menu we set up
- Laundry needs to be done end of each week in preparation for the next week
Does it seem a little nutty? Let me tell you, it’s working great. Our child likes certainty and structure, and this gives them that. On the menu there is a pair of shorts and a pair of pants. That way we have hot and cold weather covered!
We will have to make adjustments when they grow out of clothes, or when the summer rolls around, but it’s worth it.
EXAMPLE PAGE OF CLOTHES MENU:
DAYS OF THE WEEK CLOTHES ORGANIZER
If you have young kids, having a system that holds clothes in specific spaces can make things easier.
We considered creating a drawer for each day of the week, but I think we were holding out that things would get better before having to implement a system.
Setting up this system from the beginning, creates great habits, avoiding the frustration of the same clothes being worn.
This can also be like a game, with the goal being to clear out each shelf! If they do, then they could have a fun reward. What ever you feel is appropriate.
DAILY CLOTHES ORGANIZER FOR KIDS
If you prefer to have your children’s clothes stay on hangers, here are additional solutions.
You can label each hanger with a day of the week. This is probably a more simple solution.
No pictures, no extra hanging shelves.
With the erasable plastic dividers, it allows you to change the labeling if your needs change. You can also use the dividers for sizes of clothing or season.
If you make this more of a game, or something fun to do, the kiddos may be more open to it.
If it feels like a chore or a punishment, they may just dig their heels in. Of course you don’t want that because you are already dealing with heels digging in with the clothes situation!
Work with your children to organize their clothes and implement a system, and keeping it fun! This is an awesome habit for them to learn and continue implementing well into adulthood.
HABIT FOR LIFE
There are a variety of solutions and one will be perfect for your child.
If you start this with your oldest child, the younger children will be interested in following suit because they have seen their older brother or sister create a cool system!
The bright colors for the organizers, labels, and hanging bags, make them fun and more appealing.
It’s up to you how much you feel you need to organize in each slot, hanger, or hanging bag. Let your child’s personality lead the way!
Your child may only need to organize shirt and pants for each day. However, some may need the complete outfit organized including under garments and shoes.