Are you looking for simple tips for helping kids learn to put away their clothes because you are overwhelmed with what seems like a never ending battle? I can understand that battle. No matter how many free chore charts I printed off I just couldn’t get my daughter to put her clothes away. She’s a hyper child, full of spunk. Worst yet, is the fact that she loves to get dressed, all by herself. It seemed that every time I turned around she was walking out of her room with a different outfit on. One minute she’d be wearing a sweater dress with a cute pair of leggings and the next minute she would be in an Elsa costume with a hat on and a pair of gloves.
The thing is, I’ve always wanted my children to have a dress up chest. It’s been a life long dream of mine, even before I had children. Is that odd? My son is my oldest, although only by a few months, he may or may not put on a super hero cape but my daughter thinks she’s a model. Suddenly, the dressing up and trying on new clothes became an issue of not putting clothes away.
Clothes began to pile up in their bedroom floor and before I knew what to expect it was near impossible to tell what was clean or dirty. With each kid we encountered the same problem, laundry all over the bedroom floor. This has caused me a lot of frustration over the years and that frustration has only increased as my daughter has grown older. You see, she is a social butterfly, my son is an introvert. The methods used for teaching him to put away his clothes simply didn’t work for teaching her to put away her clothes.
My husband and I have tried everything from reward systems to time outs trying to overcome this annoying battle. Finally, we’ve found a system that works for us, the best thing is that it’s so simple.
- With my son was younger we discovered that a traditional dresser wasn’t the best option for us, this was mostly due to the size of his room. At the time we were using a bookshelf and fabric bins to hold his toys but as he grew older and we discovered that a dresser would be too big for his room we opted to use the shelf and bins for his clothing instead. Not only did this take up less space but suddenly he was picking up articles of clothing from the clean laundry pile and dropping them into the corresponding bin. That’s when we decided that this would be the only method we used with young children.
Color Coded Bins
- You’ll notice in the image above that we use many types of bins. This is done on purpose. For my son’s room we use red bins for his underwear, socks, and pajamas. We use black with the ring style pulls for his shirts and a solid black for his pants and shorts. In my daughter’s room, we use the lighter pink for her underwear, socks, and pajamas. We use pink with pull handles for her shirts and pink with ring style pulls for her pants, shorts and skirts.
Helping Them Know What Goes Where
- This was the greatest obstacle we faced when trying to get my daughter to put her clothes away. My son just knew where ever thing went and quickly outgrew the phase of his life where laundry was pulled out everywhere. My daughter, as usual, is a different story. When she went looking for something she would pull each bin out and dump it onto the floor. Then when we would ask her to put her clothes away she couldn’t figure out what went where and while searching for something would take each tote off of the bookshelf and lay it on the floor until she found the one she was looking for. Once I came up with the idea to draw an image on the bin to help her correspond what went where the issue went away. Suddenly she knew where everything was and she became excited about putting her clothes away.
Helping Them Get Excited About Putting Their Clothes Away
- It’s not often that my kids get to play on their iPad. This is a reward for them. We either monitor the amount of time they spend playing on, we sit there and play with them or it’s something that they earn by completing chores and making wise decisions throughout the day. It’s not that I have a problem with my kids playing on technology, it’s just that I’d rather them not become addicted to technology because as many of us know, that’s easy to do. However, there is a laundry sorting game for young kids on an app by Tiny Hands, the name of the app is Raccoon Treehouse. Since my kids came to associate laundry sorting as an iPad game it was easy to convince them that laundry sorting in real life is also a game, keep in mind, my children are young.
Will This Method Work For Your Kids?
It’s easy to argue that what works for one kid may not work for another kid. I completely agree, that’s why I pointed out so many differences between my son and daughter. My daughter will run into a room full of people and say “hello everybody!” with her arms up in the air. Then she will run right up to her friends and give them the biggest hug that she possible can. My son on the other hand will walk into a room only if my husband and I are right there by his side, he’ll be as quiet as he can possible be in hopes that no one will see him. If someone walks up to him and says hello, he will try to hide, despite how close he feels to this person. My children are very different from each other and yet these simple tips for helping kids learn to put away their clothes has worked for each, that’s why I believe this method will work for your kids, no matter what their personalities are like.