Choosing Clothes and Keeping Them Organized
Organization Is Essential
Your child will have an easier time getting dressed and looking put together if their clothes are arranged in an organized and consistent way.
You might begin by working with your child to devise ways that they can keep their clothes in order.
- Put only one or two kinds of clothing in each drawer, such as socks and underwear in one drawer, t-shirts and sweaters in another drawer, and jeans in a third drawer.
- Use shoe boxes or buy dividers to separate different articles of clothing in a drawer.
- Assign a place for each type of clothing in her closet; for example, hang pants on the far left side of the closet with skirts next to them then shirts and blouses.
- Use small baskets or boxes to help keep items such as hair clips and jewelry organized.
- A tray is handy for keeping bottles of hand lotion, moisturizer, nail polish, and other small bottles or jars all in one place on the top of her dresser.
Choosing Clothes and Dressing Independently
As your child takes on more responsibility for picking out the clothes she wants to wear each day, help to develop a system to identify clothes and make sure they match. Clothing systems can make use of just about anything that is simple, inexpensive, and easy to remember. Here are some suggestions that may help.
- Start by showing your child how to find the labels and seams, so they’ll always know that they are putting on a dress, pair of slacks, or blouse right side out.
- Use tags to differentiate clothing. For example, buy aluminum tags with different shapes or raised markings and have your child decide what marking will identify each color for her. A tag with one bump can mean an item is blue, a tag with two bumps can mean the item is green, a square might stand for red, and a triangle for brown.
- Some children find safety pins simpler to use to identify their clothes. For example, one safety pin on the label of an item can indicate that it’s red, two can indicate blue, and no pins can mean the item is white.
- To help keep track of items such as socks or gloves, use safety pins or clips to keep pairs together in the wash and in drawers.
Let Your Child Set Up the System
When it comes to organizing clothing, it’s important that your child be the one to establish the system so that it makes sense. Encourage your child to keep a record of the system in braille or print. Then, if they need to check back to find out what, for instance, two safety pins on a tag means, they can do it on their own. Also, keep in mind that your child can probably identify some of their clothing by touch based on its texture or other unique characteristics.
School Mornings Can Be Hectic
You might want to have your child choose the next day’s outfit the night before and put everything they are going to wear in a consistent, convenient place. With that system, your child can get ready quickly without having to think about making choices.
By helping your child learn how to take care of themself, clothes, and appearance, you can increase their self-confidence, make sure their self-care skills are the equal of their friends’ and classmates’ skills in this area, and enable your child to achieve greater independence.