I'm getting kids' wear organized - let's party!

09/21/2009 12:00 PM

11/17/2010 4:19 PM

My children's clothes are ruining my life. We're either looking for them, fighting over them, or engaging in heated debate over them.

The shirt that goes with the shorts is dirty. Somebody decides they can't wear blue anymore. The pants are too short, the shirt doesn't match, no two socks are the same. And everybody wants to mix stripes and plaids.

Well, I'm over it. There's a new sheriff in town, and she's riding in on her clothes horse. I bought a closet organizer. It's a simple contraption, it hangs on the closet rod, and it's got six cubbies in it. I use the first five for the five days of school clothes, and the sixth for sports.

Now. If you do this, let me tell you it is not enough to have that thing hanging in there. You have to make it an event. You practically have to throw a party and serve ice cream to make this work.

We have our cubby stuffing parties on Sunday nights. We start with picking out school outfits. I have boys, so the rules are pretty straightforward. You must have a top and a bottom. And combinations are limited to one solid and one pattern. Or a solid top and bottom. And you can't wear all black. Or pink. No tie-dye, no team shirts, no SpongeBob, and nothing that's been signed by an entire sports team.

Know this - there will be arguing. Lots of it. But remember that you are having six days' worth of arguments tonight, saving you from having one every day next week.

Now let the stocking begin. We always put on music. My kids like Smash Mouth, but you can use anything that's upbeat.

After the clothes, every cubby needs a pair of underwear, followed by a clean pair of matching socks. This is where you have to be organized, Mom. You gotta have your own little event earlier in the week, where you wash and dry everything you're gonna need. Have fun with it - call a friend, have a glass of wine and knock it out.

We serve the ice cream and then move on to the scavenger hunt for all things sports - uniforms, cleats, ball caps. Offer chocolate syrup and whipped cream as incentive for pre-packing a bag with their bat, glove, club or whatever that pesky item is that always hangs you up as you're walking out the door five minutes late.

I make it interesting by getting a laundry basket and telling them to load it up with the clothes they wish they could wear. And that after school they can pick anything they want and wear it. But I'll have to pretend they're not my children.

Then we get in a huddle - Dad says a few words about the upcoming week - and we do the family cheer:

"We got all our clothes together, couldn't be prouder,

If you can't hear us, we'll yell a little louder...!

WE'VE GOT ALL OUR CLOTHES TOGETHER..."

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