Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Laundry, Part III

My closet has been invaded. Just before school was out, I put my foot down regarding the kids' care of their clothing and shoes. Tired of washing clothing that had not been worn (but that had been chunked into the hamper with dirty stuff) and of the assorted articles that were being stored on the bedroom floors, I confiscated almost all of the kids' clothing and shoes. I had them choose their favorite five changes of clothes, four pair each of socks and undergarments, a swimsuit, one jacket, and two pair of shoes as a starting point. Everything else is now in the master bedroom dresser drawers or closets.
Here's the deal: Every seven days when the children are responsible for taking care of their clothing and shoes they will have the opportunity to "shop" for an additional change of clothes plus a bonus item such as more undergarments, another pair of shoes, dressy clothes, or a swimsuit. My theory is that we will determine how many articles they are able to take proper care of with this little experiment. They won't get in trouble over laundry because there is no excess to overwhelm them. Last week they did not earn back anything. This week, I am staying on them because I want my closet back.
Today the duckies will be going through all the winter clothing to pull out any items that no longer fit, or that just are not a style that any of them would choose to wear. Those items can be passed along through our hand-me-down network so I can quit shuffling through them to search for a t-shirt in the mornings before I am properly caffeinated. The kids clothing that dominates my closet and chest of drawers has quickly become an irritant, but I can't really back down from my stand or the laundry will win.
If the kiddies take care of their laundry duties today, then I will be able to rid myself of one change of clothes for each of them. It will be tempting to offer them an extra bonus item just to move a little more of their stuff back to their bedrooms. Hmmm. Sorting through the winter clothes could be the way to an extra bonus for them as well as clearing the items that they will not be interested in earning back. That could work.

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