Tuesday, March 16, 2010

51 March Featured Space: Kids - Clothing Control

Welcome to the second edition of storing kiddy clothing.  As you may recall from the first post, we answered an IHeart Answering question regarding storing away excess kid's clothing, that are being saved as "hand me downs".  This time around, I am going to focus on storing clothing that is current and on hand for daily usage.

I often receive a common question on how I get my kid's to help out with picking up and lending a helping hand around the house.  Well, it's not always simple, but I do what I can to make it easy for them to help, and as you will see in this post, great helpers they are!  And that's because I equip them with some tools to keep their clothes nice and neat!

I am a believer that labels are extremely amazing tools in keeping any humble abode, an organized and tidy space.  They offer short and sweet descriptions of item contents, making it easier to find things, easier to put things in their own special places and easier for all family members to keep their things put away as well!  I also think that too many labels out and about in the home, may appear clutterish {which is my nemesis} and are best used either behind doors, with decorative containers, in a decorative way and in children spaces!  Another question I receive frequently is "how" do I make all of my labels, so I will make sure in this edition, to share my step by step process of some uber adorable kid's clothing tags.

A family of five = massive amounts of laundry pileup.  And more than any one single person should try to manage on their own.  Therefore, I decided it was time to get my happy little helpers involved in the process.  First important step - pair down.  I also chatted through this a bit in my original post, and it really matters here as well, that there aren't too many articles of clothing clogging up the drawers.  In this situation, less is more, and I promise my kids have never come home from school crying because someone picked on them for wearing the same clothes too many times in a row.  Not day after day in a row, but week after week type of stuff.  The two major benefits of kid's not having a massive clothes overload, is that it is less overwhelming each time an outfit must be put together AND they will actually fit into drawers nice and neatly.  And don't forget, it's ok to swap out clothes seasonally if drawer space is limited!

So, now with the total amount of kid's clothing paired down, I got my kids involved in two easy steps.  First, I created them some pretty snazzy labels for their drawer fronts.  Yep, little pictures on each drawer, indicating the contents.  This worked SO incredibly well that I am thinking of creating a couple of more for the ol' hubster... just kidding love muffin!

Here is the play by play of creating these awesome little clothes indicators:

First, I dug around on the Microsoft Clip Art Website to find the articles of clothing that I was looking for, and pasted them all into Microsoft Word:


And then I printed them out:


And cut out the specific clothing pieces to my personal liking:


From there, I traced a tag making rim, on the backside of some cute scrapbook paper:


I traced around the outside because I knew if I traced around the inside it would be too small to fit into the rim.  So, I figured I would just trim down the edges a bit for the perfect fit.  I also traced on the back of the cute paper {which was pretty girly flowers} because I didn't want to worry about pencil marks getting on the front side.  I then cut out each tag from the scrapbook paper and glued them down to a solid sheet of cardstock to A: make them stronger and B: make the backing solid instead of pretty flowery:


Then, I ran the pieces of cardstock through my magical laminating machine!


Once they were covered in a protective film, I cut them out AGAIN:


Looking pretty fantastical already right?  Oh, but I wasn't done yet!  Next, I trimmed them down a bit {once I got the first one trimmed perfectly to fit inside the label rim, I used it as a template to stick to the tops of the rest to trim down, worked like a charm!}  Once trimmed, I popped them inside the label rims and used my little scrapbook hammer to lightly tap the edges, which then secured the rims around the labels:


And then they were done!


Well, done being made, but now they had to be put onto their respective drawer fronts.  We have drawers for PJ's, Socks & Undies, Long Sleeves, Short Sleeves, Pants & Shorts.

For my two older boys, who happily share their personal space, I used small Velcro pieces to affix the labels.  On my one son's drawer fronts, I couldn't resist how perfectly they were going to fit right onto the drawer pull itself, so that's where his went!


First, Velcro.  Second, Label.  Third, there is none, you are done!


They fit oh so wonderfully on his drawer pulls, I just heart how they turned out, and so does he which makes it even more awesome and worth the time!


For my older son, he didn't have the same drawer pulls, so his went straight above the pull on each drawer:


And I don't think they are too clutterish or gaudy at all.  In fact, the silver metal rim tag, actually gives it a nice finished look that really makes it look like they were meant to be there, and doesn't draw negative attention to the space!


Lastly, for my little one's dresser, which is in another room, I just punched a hole in the top and used some ribbon to knot the tag around his drawer pulls:


Yep, SO easy!


And again, cute enough to keep on display without screaming an eye piercing eeeeek!


So, what you all may be finding yourselves asking... cute Jen, but do they REALLY work?!  And my answer to you... "Oh yeah baby!"  These little labels are probably one of the most effective things I have ever done around the house to make life easier for us.  My 3 year old puts away all of this own laundry, and also picks out all of his own clothes each day.  Yep, I can't even get a grown man to do that, so for my 3 year old to be miles ahead of my husband, had my jaw dropping to the floor!  Again, only kidding my love.

So, that was the first step, and earlier I had mentioned it actually took two steps to really make this effective!  Step one covers the outsides of the drawers and step two goes to the depths of the insides.  Scary right?

So here was my issue.  My kid's knew where their clothes were meant to go, thanks to their sweet little labels, and since my older two can read size numbers on the tags, they would sort down the clothes to each kid, and then jam them inside the the drawers and run outside to play.  Yep, they were getting put away, however, they would pull them out and go to school all wrinkly and stuff.  So, I ran to the Container Store where I picked up this amazing new bff to my boys:

And at first I thought the $19.99 price tag was a little steep, but I was as desperate for a solution as Tiger Woods is for... well you know!  So, I used my favorite online coupon finder website, and snagged 20% off plus no shipping since I picked it up at the store.  And yep, worth EVERY single penny!

I would like submit this photo as exhibit A, a messy drawer full of short sleeve shirts:


Yikes, an organizing freak's nightmare.  However, after a couple of quick seconds hanging out with the Flip and Fold laundry folder, the drawer quickly went from drab to fab.  Enter exhibit B:


Check out all of that new found space!  I mean really, no more downsizing for us!  We have a laundry folder now, fill up those drawers!  Only kidding!  But really, the one stack had 7 shirts in it, and they were flat as pancakes!


 Again, this is impressive stuff here.

And for your visual entertainment, I would like to submit exhibit C, a super quick yet absolutely amazing video, of my sweet and adorable little 5 year old, Peyton, folding his own clothes:
Pretty fantastic right?!  And isn't the little man a cutie?!  Stay away ladies, he is already spoken for!  And what you didn't see in the video was his little bro was hanging out on the sidelines cheering him on!


Ok, my final kid's clothes drawer tip and trick for the day.  Plastic storage baskets or empty shoe boxes.  They make amazing sock and undiewear caddies.  I would show you, but I have issues placing photographs of my little guys skivvies on the internet, so use your imagination and know, it's another easy peasy option that works like a charm with the little guys {and gals}!

So there you have it, in less time than I invested in typing up this blog post, I was able to serve up two simple ways to get our kid's a lot more involved with putting away their laundry.  And what's great is their sense of pride when they realize how easy it is and how great their drawers look when they are all done.  And if I can make my kid feel proud, while also getting dirty work done, then I am one happy mommy!

What about you fine folks?  How do you get your little ones excited about helping out with laundry?  Anyone have a fun game they play with the kids to get them to find sock matches?  Share your dirty laundry secrets, I promise, they are probably the kind you will be excited your neighbors {and fellow blog readers} are chatting about!  





51 comments:

  1. CUTEST video EVER! Good job making an easy system for the boys, these habits will stick with them for life :-)

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  2. I need a shirt folder for my husband! Do you think it's too early to start training my 7 month old? ;)

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  3. great idea! and the video is so cute too.

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  4. Peyton, you rock! I showed my daughter, Alyson, your video and she was very impressed. She is five years old - same as you! She told me to get her a shirt folder because she wants to be able to make a video as well.

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  5. Hi Julie! Thanks for the comment! Peyton says, "I like what you just said, you should make a video and send it to us to see, from Peyton". He was pretty excited to get some feedback from a little fan! He has a huge smile plastered accross his face!

    xoxo,
    Jen & Peyton

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  6. I love these ideas and I love love love your blog. It is genius. My question is that we don't really have dressers because I just don't like more stuff in the room so we hang up almost everything. So the kids can't reach the hang up clothes. Do you have any thoughts or should I invest in dressers because it would be nice for them to put their own clothes away!

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  7. What about a cute step stool? Like this one? It could be painted to match their room?

    http://www.ikea.com/us/en/catalog/products/60178887

    It could always be useful somewhere in the house or used as a side table somewhere in the future... just a thought...

    xoxo,
    Jen

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  8. ADORABLE! I have to snag one of these. Where did you get that cute rug?

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  9. The rug is a Circo rug from Target. I haven't seen them in the stores lately but they may still have them online. :)

    xoxo,
    Jen

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  10. Oh my! Those are some cute boys. They will definitely make some Lucky ladies very happy one day. My husband was well taught by his mom and it was WONDERFUL to not have to "train" him how to clean and do laundry. lol I love your blog-so inspiring.

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  11. I have to say I took your idea for the plastic shoe boxes for my three year old daughters undies and socks and also for my eleven yr old son. Two months later....they are BOTH still putting them away where they go....I'm totally trying the shirt folder....I hope its as successful!

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  12. wow...awesome work :) hats off to you dear :)

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  13. interesting blog. It would be great if you can provide more details about it. Thanks you

    Baby Clothing

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  14. where did you find your laminator? Is it pricey? how about the refills? I've been thinking about getting one for home organization as well as w/homeschooling.
    thanks!

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  15. @jenifer: I found the laminator at Target or Walmart for under $30 and the sheets are sold at Big Box Warehouse stores for far less than office supply or department stores.

    xoxo!
    Jen

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  16. Ok...I'm running off to The Container Store FIRST chance I get, buying 3 of those, running home to my husband and kids to demonstrate and show them the video. My husband will no longer have an excuse for not folding clothes. Do you have a suggestion for the fact he just grabs socks outta the basket to wear....AND THEY DON'T MATCH!!!!!!

    Honey
    @Mondorfment

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  17. We safety pin socks together before they go in the dirty clothes so there is no matching up to do later. It works great! When we put away laundry, the socks just get tossed in the plastic basket for socks.

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  18. What size are your rim tags? I have only seen really small ones in our office supply stores. Trying to get my three year old's room organized.

    THANKS!
    Stephanie

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  19. @Stephanie:

    I found the rim tags at a scrapbook/craft store. They are made my makingmemories.

    I believe they were these:
    http://store.scrapbook.com/mm-27156.html?utm_source=google-shopping-feed&utm_medium=cpc&utm_campaign=google-free-shopping-feed&utm_content=mm-27156&kw=mm-27156&cmp=GSHOP

    and these:
    http://shop.scrapbooks.com/mm-26800.html

    Thanks so much!!

    xoxo,
    Jen

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  20. I have issues w/ my girls & putting clothes away & putting them away PROPERLY. They're 7 & 11 so if your little ones can do it, mine have NO EXCUSES! I so need to pick up one of those folders & I love those drawer labels! Adding them to my To Do list!

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  21. I bought both the full size flipfold and the flipfold jr. and I have to say I love them. The problem we're having is we bought them a few days ago, and the jr's bottom section broke off today. We're not being hard on it at all, and use it on a flat surface. I'm hoping that it was just a fluke, but reading some reviews, we're not the only one that this has happened to.

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  22. @Anonymous,

    Such a bummer, I would return/exchange it, we have had ours for two years and it still works great!

    xoxo!
    Jen

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  23. I have been using the flip-n-fold for 5 or so years and love it!! After 3 or so years mine broke and I hunted for another - it was such an awful month without it ;)

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  24. OMG i am inlove!! this is awsome.. go peyton!! I am trying to get my boys in the habit of putting their clothes away... I was wondering though... what size did you print out the clip art?? I can't find them on that microsoft site you posted can you please share the images if you still have them?? you so inspire me to do this for my girls and my boys room... thanks again...

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    Replies
    1. It doesn't seem as though they offer those images any longer. Boo. Maybe just do some google image searches or see if Microsoft.com has any other clipart that could work. Sorry friend!

      xoxo,
      Jen

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  25. I love the idea of the Flipfold, but I hate getting ripped off. I'm in Sydney Australia and we are only able to purchase these from one website that I am aware of so far. For me to purchase a adult one and a junior one I'm looking at ($44.99 adult & $42.99 junior) plus an additional $18.50 postage. Considering the dollar here and in the US is comparative it really annoys me to purchase these. All that beind said, I can feel myself inching closer and closer to purchasing them.. oh dear! Love your ideas, just wish I was in USA.

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    Replies
    1. So sad that they don't have a less expensive option in Australia! They are great, I wonder if there would be a way to make them for cheaper?

      xoxo,
      Jen

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  26. Jen - I just found your site while searching for some ideas on how to convert my daughter's closet into a desk space. Yes, I'm a 40 year old with kids but Jen, you are officially my hero!!

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  27. Hello, I'm new to your blog. I know this post is from a couple of years ago, but I have a few questions: 1. Does the flip and fold work for pants, jeans and shorts, or only shirts? We hang up all of our shirts (even t shirts) to save dresser space, and right now my boys' "pants" drawers are driving me crazy. They just cram 'em in (if they even put them away at all). Maybe I just need to invest the time to make my boys learn and practice folding pants/jeans?
    2. I often see what looks to be a great idea, but wonder if it really works in the long term. So I'm just wondering, now, 2 years later: Do your boys still fold and put away their own shirts? I fear that in my family they would think it was cool at first, but would quickly realize that it's still "work" and lose interest.
    3. (This question might be beyond the scope of this blog, BUT...) how do you organize/manage clothes that may have been worn for a short time but aren't actually dirty yet? Do they go back into their drawers? Or does everything go straight to laundry land even if it's only been worn for a few hours?
    Thanks for your great blog---I'm enjoying catching up!

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    Replies
    1. Hi Amy!

      1. It doesn't work for pants, just shirts.
      2. We moved our two younger boys together in a room and they no longer use a dresser, only hang their items {shirts/pants}, so they don't use the folder any longer but our oldest son still does.
      3. If the kids only have their clothes on for a short time, they can wear them again another day. Jeans are always worn 2-3 days depending on how worn they are. We try to limit how much laundry we have to do because with a family of five, it absolutely adds up quickly.

      xoxo,
      Jen

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    2. 3. (continued) Once they have been worn, do they get folded up and put right back where they came from until they're worn again? Or is there some sort of staging area to keep them fresher? Are they worn 2-3 days in a row or intermittently with other items?

      I'm really curious about this as well! Mine always end up going in a pile on the floor - which just becomes laundry once I've forgotten what's at the bottom...

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    3. I have a drying rack where the clothes I intend to wear again (jeans, hoodies, etc) are placed in hangers. I know some people who have hooks at the back of their doors to hang theirs but I prefer using hangers so they get aired properly and not get crumpled.

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  28. What an awesome post! Thanks so much for sharing! I found this amazing tag puncher to make the process a little easier via Creative Memories http://www.mycmsite.com/sites/hollycm/Content/Shop/Product.aspx?pr=InspectOffering&s=637571&dpr=BrowseCategory&ds=/Hierarchy/Paper%20Scrapbooking/Tools/Shape%20Makers%20and%20Punches
    very neat!! Love the shirt folder-and the cute kid who folded them! :)

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  29. Hi Jen, can you tell me what kind of adhesive you use to stick the labels on the drawers..I am worried about damaging the furniture. Thanks alot...this is going to be my next project. Thanks for helping me get organized.

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    Replies
    1. Hi Cheryl!

      I used simple Velcro circles from Target. I believe it was made by 3M.

      xoxo,
      Jen

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  30. Where did you get Peyton's tall and skinny dresser? I really need something like this for space saving!

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    Replies
    1. Hi there!

      It was actually part of the bunk bed set that we had purchased from Ashley Furniture Homestore.

      xoxo,
      Jen

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  31. I love this idea! I can't wait to try this with my girls! Thanks!

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  32. question...where do you get the tag making rims?

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    Replies
    1. Hi Valerie!

      You can find them at most craft and scrapbooking stores. Check check out the embellishment sections.

      xoxo!
      Jen

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  33. Love it!!.. So need to get two for my twins. They refuse to fold anything because they claim they cant ..lol

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  34. great idea! and the video is so cute too.

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  35. Hi, I have 3 boys too and my younger boys always get so many hand me downs from my older boy. I feel like they have too many shirts but I don't get rid of them because I think "Well, they MIGHT wear them one day!" So.... do you have a rule for the # of shirts that each boy really needs. Thanks. Love this blog!

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    Replies
    1. Hi Vanessa!

      I try to consider a typical week {7 long sleeves, 7 short sleeves, 7 pants & 7 shorts}, and then add a couple of extras for those "just in case" moments and also keep one dress outfit and one hooded sweatshirt.

      Hope that helps!

      xo,
      Jen

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    2. Thanks for such a quick reply! That does help. I think I need to go through their clothes and donate/consign many of them. They have way too many shirts. Thanks again.

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  36. As always, super cute, but I have to share a lifesaver for me. When I put kids clothes away, I put them away in the drawer in outfits. Makes it easy for anyone to grab something that goes together. I could still see a labeling system of play clothes, dress clothes, socks, underwear, pjs, etc!!

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  37. Totally agree about putting stuff away as outfits!! My hubby gets my three boys out the door in the morning and, I love him to death but, his idea of an outfit and mine just don't jive.
    Mom in MN

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  38. toooo much inspring. done like a professional. love to see all your projects. your blog is first blog that i am reading from A to Z. honestly speaking never get bore...
    keep bloging jen.

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