A toddler or preschooler usually outgrows her clothes every year. When you factor in a wardrobe for each season, you're talking about a lot of new clothes — and a lot of potential mess. If the drawers, closets, laundry room and your life have been consumed by your kid's clothes, it's time to call in some help. Once you get a system in place, dealing with your child's clothing gets a lot simpler.
Speak with experienced mothers about how they organize their children's clothing. Most moms have a system in place, such as a box under the bed to stow away out-of-season clothing or anything that doesn't fit. This includes clothing you bought on clearance for the next season. What a waste to buy clothing on sale and then forget where you stashed it. Keep winter clothes in one labeled box and summer clothes in another so you can find everything quickly.
Ask a friend to come help you. You know that friend — the one who is super-organized and makes parenting seem so simple. Swallow your pride and ask her to spend a day with you. You could even offer a service like babysitting in return. Have her help you sort through and pare down clothes and then come up with an organizational system.
Hit the library for books on organization. If the thought of revealing the chaos to a friend makes you cringe, read a few books on organization instead. A few to try: "Stephanie Winston's Best Organizing Tips," by Stephanie Winston, "Clutter Rehab," by Laura Wittmann, and, "The Busy Mom's Guide to a Happy, Organized Home," by Kathy A. Peel.
Hire a professional. A professional organizer may charge $30 per hour or more to help you, but she'll get you organized with a system that you can use forever. Your sanity is worth spending a few extra dollars on.
- Children's clothing is hard to resist and easy to buy, especially when it is on sale. Reduce your clothing headaches later, though, by buying only what you need. Does your daughter really need 10 pairs of tights? Not likely. Most little ones get by just fine with no more than seven shirts and seven pairs of shorts or pants per season. Three or four pairs of shoes is plenty.
- One common problem you may face is your toddler's penchant for changing outfits many times a day. Your little one can completely destroy your organizational efforts in minutes by pulling everything out of a drawer or closet. Try hanging clothes on a bar out of her reach or even installing child locks on the drawers until your child's a bit older. Older preschoolers can help put away laundry and tidy up everyday.
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