Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Imperfect Organization: Children's Dressers

I have 3 boys, 2 cats, and a fish.  I am so glad that the cats and fish don't wear clothes because I can hardly believe how many clothes 3 little boys can go through.  Manasseh seems to think he needs to wear 2 outfits a day (before and after nap) and a pair of pajamas at night (which he takes off before he goes to sleep).  We have cloth diapers, wet underpants, blankets... laundry, laundry, laundry!  Some days I feel like I just can't keep up with their dirty clothes.

A few weeks ago, while folding laundry and watching them play, I got brilliant.  See, I hate folding laundry.  It might be my least favorite household task.  I also have some high dislike of putting folded laundry away.  I looked at my capable preschoolers and decided that they are able to put their own laundry away.  Unfortunately, putting their own laundry away means that some of it gets unfolded while it gets dropped into the dresser.  I have to decide not to control their dresses.

*BING* That's organization point #1!  My kids can put their laundry away - that takes away one organizing task for me each day.

The next solution came later that day when Cassius (then 2) was trying to get dressed - because if they can put their clothes into the dresser, they can take them back out.  He was confused about which dresser was his and which drawer had shirts/pants/underwear.  He was overwhelmed by the long stack with 12 drawers. 

I fixed it. 


Now each dresser is color coded - Green for Manasseh, Red for Cassius, and Blue for Azariah.  The clothing pictures follow the color scheme and the words on the drawer are also printed in their favorite colors.

*BING* #2 - The boy's dressers are labeled and color coded.  Cassius now can confidently go to HIS own dresser and get out whatever article of clothing he is instructed to get (this also helps with putting clothes away).  

We have increased independence and responsibility by making these 2 incredibly simple changes to the boy's bedroom.

How do you organize your child's personal space to allow for more independence and responsibility?  


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