Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Who's Clothes are These?!

Every now and then, a stroke of brilliance enters my brain. Since these occurrences are few and far between, I must not let a single genius idea pass without sharing it.

For years (about 3 or 4), laundry has been the bain of my existence. One factor that contributes to my overall frustration level is the sorting. Not pre-wash sorting, but the sorting of little pieces of clothing belonging to three girls who are far too close in size! The sorting is particularly difficult when it comes to those itty-bitty undergarments and socks!

About two years ago, I began writing the initial of the owner on the tag or seam of most items (mainly panties and socks, but every now and then on a shirt that I repeatedly found myself mis-sorting). While slightly genius, there was one flaw in the system - what happened when the item was handed down to the next child in line?!

Recently, another problem cropped up. There is no longer any size distinction in tops, pants, skirts (what few they have), sweaters, shoes, coats, and so on between the two older girls! While some styles clearly belong to one girl, there are others that could belong to either. Argh!

Today, I invented the dot system. The eldest girl gets one dot on every single item she owns. (Yes, a bit time-consuming. BUT, since we are doing our typical pre-school year sort, I am already emptying drawers and re-folding all items that still fit.) The middle girl - two dots. The third - three. (While she doesn't necessarily need every single piece of clothing marked the way the other two do, I've decided to dot to completion - it will still come in handy for when other people are folding and putting away laundry. You can thank me later, Grandma!)

The dot system also solves my problem of what to do with hand-me-downs. Just add a dot! Or two.

For the record, if you decide to employ the dot system, you'll need a permanent marker (Sharpie). And you'll want to be careful to put the dots on tags or on thick seams (like at the collar of the t-shirt or top edge of a sock) to avoid bleeding through. Eight-year-old girls are not too fond of having random dots on their clothing that all their friends can see.

I'd have posted a few pictures for you, but I am also sure that girls of any age do not like their undies displayed on the internet for all to see!

Joining in on Works for Me Wednesday this week (hosted by We Are THAT Family).


  1. You are BRILLIANT! I'm SOOO going to use this idea. I've been dealing with this problem for a couple years now with the boys (they're only 18 months apart and can wear the same sizes in some items), and I'm beginning to run into the problem with the girls. I could hug you for sharing this idea!

  2. I have a better idea! Which I learned frokm WFMW a few years ago. I dont have to sort whose laundry is whose because we just do each person's laundry...separately! Best system ever! And of course it easily segued into them doing it themselves. Now that my kids are older, 13 and 14, they do their own from start to finish, I never even see their laundry. My youngest, age 8, will sort her darks from lights, and then put away the folded laundry. Shes learning. one note, she doesnt have enough darks to make a load so i will combine her w mine, but at least it's not the whole fam in there. I hate laundry, this idea works for me!


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