Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Homestead Tip-Laundry for Preschoolers

Isn't this sign adorable? I found it a few years ago at a craft store down in Texas. I love the simple cottage-y look that is reminiscent of white sheets drying in the sunlight over a green field. Ah, can't you almost smell the wildflowers in your mind? Unfortunately that's not at all how my laundry room looks! It's combined with a bathroom, so usually the laundry section is tight and cluttered versus bright and airy! Grrr... BUT one thing that has helped substantially is to get my kids to sort their clothing rather than dumping it into a heap in the corner. How was I able to accomplish that with an almost-3 year old and two 6 year olds? Well, I will happily share!

I got this canvas, divided laundry hamper from Jo-Ann's. It's compact because it's meant to go in a dorm room, which means it fits nicely in a corner of my children's bathroom (which also happens to be the laundry room!). They usually carry some version of them during 'Back-To-School' time, and then mark them down 70-90% in September and October.

As you can see, each section has the label of what type of clothes to put in it. When I saw it had plain white lettering, a plan was birthed in my resourceful little head. I took some colored, permanent markers to color in each letter of what clothing was to go in the slot. By doing this, it gives my children a visual picture of what colors are generally associated by the terms 'Light', 'Darks', and 'Colors'. In addition, it made it possible for my non-reading 3 year old to be able to sort her clothing, too. We've been using this system for over a year now, and it's been working like a champ. It makes me (and subsequently my family) very happy! Total cost: $1.79 plus ink. Very centsible!

This started me thinking about other options in which to apply the same color-coded principle. Here's a few I came up with:

*Get white 5 gallon buckets and paint/draw the lettering on in the appropriate colors. If you can score the buckets from your local bakery for FREE, then all you'd have to pay for is the ink in the lettering and a little elbow grease to get the icing labels off.

*Get file crates (or even better FREE milkcrates) from the grocery store, and label those.

*Keep an eye out for tall, narrow baskets on clearance/secondhand, and hang cute labels on them.

*Forget the lettering and cut up squares of fabric scraps with pinking shears to pin/glue to your containers.

See? The possibilities are endless, and your homestead will be all the better for your time and creativity! Happy laundering :)

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