Little clothes, colossal task

Little clothes, colossal task

Little clothes, colossal task

No matter how many times we warn our children, their wardrobe always remains untidy. To help you keep the space organised, Susheela Srinivas offers some practical suggestions and asks you to involve the kids in the process

Ask any parent to name one chore that is exasperating. Invariably, the response will be trying to keep their children’s cupboard in order. Very often, they just dump them in reachable shelves or on hanger rods. At times, we can even find their clothes being strewn all over. As a result, all the efforts put in by the parents to tidy the kids’ cupboards often become a frustrating endeavour.

More often than not, children do not seem to understand the need to keep their clothes neat and tidy. And when one needs clothing for their immediate need (be it uniforms, innerwear or handkerchiefs), they invariably are frantically looked for at the last minute.

Setting it right

Hence, it’s time to set things right. And if done with careful precision, it need not be so daunting. What would help considerably is if the children also aid in the process. This can help teach the little adults important lessons in being responsible. To get started, here are some suggestions to keep your kids’ cupboards well organised:

* First, remove all the clothes from the shelves. Search for damaged, torn,
undersized or stained garments. Decide which need to be discarded, donated or altered. This way, you will be extending their life.

* Encourage children to hoard less. If some clothes have lost the fancy of your children simply because they have gone out of fashion, encourage them to use those clothes during playtime or as homewear. Once they grow out of them, you can pass them on to younger siblings or cousins.

*  Have hanger rods fitted at heights that are reachable for your child. Hanging up dresses is much easier than folding and stacking. This also helps your children to easily locate their clothes.

*  Label shelves with names for specific clothes such as jeans, trousers and blouses. Even in shelves with hangers, a separator label can be hung to divide the different type of clothing. Arrange them accordingly and instruct your child to do the same. This way, they will learn to organise things on their own without your help. If your child is too small to read from the label, you can paste a picture of the item that goes in to the shelf. Teach the child to look for the picture and then organise.

Specific spaces
Once you have done the general tidying up of the cupboard, it is now time to get down to organising it according to the specific types of clothes that your children have. One way of organising is:

*  Allocate an entire shelf for school paraphernalia. Hang neatly pressed uniforms. You can pin their badges to them at this stage so that they do not forget them. Similarly, collect all school ribbons, ties, belts in another small tray and keep it in a shelf that will catch their eye.

*  Keep all sportswear and gear like headbands in one shelf. Keep socks in a small plastic bin along with the shoes. Once they get the hang of it, you will be surprised how well your children keep their things in order.

*  For party wear and other occasions, keep a separate shelf for the clothes. Also, attach the required accessories in a small zip-pouch.

*  Keep all winter clothing neatly folded in a trunk or suitcase. This will leave more room for regular outfits. Else, hang them and keep in a shelf with mothballs to prevent them from being spoilt.

*  For open-shelf wardrobes, use wickerwork baskets, plastic bins and trays, all neatly labelled to locate things easily.

*  It is preferred, for hygiene reasons, to separate shoes from the closet. This keeps unwanted odours and dirt away from the clothes.

*  Don’t mix all the family’s clothes in one closet. If space is a constraint and you are sharing spaces, then allocate separate shelves for each person.

*  Never store clothes and toys in the same space. This can lead to terrible clutter. Store all toys in lowermost drawers or preferably in a basket or bin away from the wardrobe.

*  Make sure that there are no locks on the children’s wardrobes.

*  Never store precious jewellery or accessories in their shelves.

*  To keep the closet well-maintained, get them into the habit of choosing the outfit when it is on the hanger itself and never by pulling out and then deciding. If they change their mind, let ‘one out, one in’ be a rule to follow.

*  Hang their slings and purses to a peg on the wall where they can reach easily. Instead of cramming them all with their clothes, consider putting them on stands or plastic trays near the dresser. This will give more space for clothes.

*  Any shelf that is stacked only to half its height is an indicator for an additional rack. Add a separator to double up the space. In addition, the stacking is minimised and fishing out from a stack of three or four clothes is any day better than from a bigger pile.

*  Having a light fixed above the ward-robe or one inside to illuminate is a good way to scan all the corners of the closet keeping things in view.

Keeping the closet tidy is an ongoing process; allot some time to it. It  is important to have patience and not get distracted. Once you are done, all you have to do is ensure that it is maintained. So, keep these pointers in mind and convert a daunting task into a comfortable one.

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