Hi, I’m Susan and I blog at Organized 31. I’m thrilled to be sharing organizing tips with you here at Ask Anna. We’re a military family, so most of my organizing tips are low cost (often using recycled items), flexible and non-permanent since we never know when and where the next move will take us.
It’s that time of year when families start thinking about kids’ school clothes. Organizing school clothes can help your child become more independent, make the mornings go more smoothly and make mom’s life a bit easier. With 3 children and an active duty husband that is not usually available to help in the mornings, I’m always looking for anything that makes our school mornings easier and this tip on how to organize school clothes works wonderfully for us.
Take 5-10 minutes with your child each Sunday to select 5 outfits for the upcoming school week. A quick glance at the calendar will let you know if you need to plan for any special activities; gym, art, a field trip or special theme day. Select socks or tights and underwear to go with each outfit.
Fold all the items for each outfit together (my children made me promise to never show underwear when I started blogging, so just include underwear when you organize your own daily outfit) .
Fold the clothes together into a bundle with the shirt on the outside. Simply fold a dress neatly with the socks or tights and underwear in the middle. This allows your child to immediately see and select the outfit without opening the clothes bundle up. When you are done folding, you will have 5 entire outfit bundles.
Find several cardboard boxes to re-purpose. You want a box that has a side panel wide enough to fit around your clothes pack.
Cut the box so that you have a “U” shaped divider to fit over your clothes bundle. If your box is too small to fit over your child’s clothes bundle, then cut the back panel off so that you have an “L” shaped divider. Label the side panel with any special activities your child does that require a special outfit on that day. Have your child help you decorate and create the labels. I chose to handwrite the labels because I still smile when I see my mom’s handwriting and I hope my children feel the same way, but you can certainly use a label maker or stick-on letters.
File your clothes bundles like file folders in your child’s clothes drawer. Filing allows your child to immediately see each outfit when the drawer is opened (no wrestling with a pile of clothes to find the outfit on the bottom of the pile). And don’t worry, the filed clothes stay neatly organized even in the drawers of an 11 year old boy.
Use the dividers you made to identify which outfits are to be worn for those special activity days. Allow your child to select the clothes each morning from the outfits you prepared together. Depending on the age of your child, you may have to remind them in the morning if it is a special activity day. With a quick reminder they should then be able to select the correct outfit to wear.
This system of filing preselected complete outfits has worked wonderfully for our family and you’ll be happily surprised how much it can simplify your school morning routine.
Susan has TONS of organizing ideas on her site, here are just a few more of her great ideas. Head over to her blog to get all the details.