Choosing Clothes and Keeping Them Organized

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Organization Is Essential

Your child will have an easier time getting dressed and looking put together if her clothes are arranged in an organized and consistent way.

You might begin by working with her to devise ways that she can keep her 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 her 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 her develop a system to identify her 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 her how to find the labels and seams, so she'll always know that she's 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 daughter 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 to her. Encourage her to keep a record of her system in braille or print. Then, if she needs to check back to find out what, for instance, two safety pins on a tag means, she can do it on her own. Also, keep in mind that your daughter can probably identify some of her clothing by touch based on its texture or other unique characteristics.

School Mornings Can Be Hectic

You might want to have your child choose her next day's outfit the night before and put everything she's going to wear in a consistent, convenient place. With that system, she can get ready quickly without having to think about making choices.

By helping your child learn how to take care of herself, her clothes, and her appearance, you can increase her self-confidence, make sure her self-care skills are the equal of her friends' and classmates' skills in this area, and enable her to achieve greater independence.

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