When you wake up in the morning and walk into the bathroom, do you stumble over a pile of children’s clothing? Do you wish that they would just pick it up without you having to remind them every time? Are you a new parent who wonders how you can solve this before it starts? There are a few methods you can consider to remedy this inconvenience. Fortunately, none of them involve you doing all the bathroom cleaning yourself.
Identify the Problem
The first issue that parents need to reckon with is a sense of obligation to someone else’s organizational design. All too often, people set up their homes in a way that doesn’t work for them, because they perceive that is how it is supposed to be done. As you go through the day, make observations about this particular obstacle. Ask the following questions: • What time do my kids usually bathe? • When do they often leave clothes on the floor? • What problems does this cause for me? Knowing the primary concern helps you determine the right solution. For example, children who drop their clean clothes on the floor and get them wet will have to find another outfit to wear. Kids who leave their dirty clothes on the floor after a bath need a place to put them.
Improving bathroom storage as part of your organizing regimen is a little different than the rest of the house, simply because bathrooms are often smaller than other rooms. To solve the problem of clean clothes becoming dirty, add shelving, racks or hooks that allow your kids to set them neatly for use after they shower. For dirty clothes cluttering the floor, you might set aside space in your bathroom vanity for a small hamper.
Protect Against Damage
The goal with almost any organizational approach is to get as much as possible off the floor. Nowhere is this more important than the bathroom. After all, if your kids get into a water fight during bath-time and soak the floor, whatever storage bin you have for the clothing will also get wet. Carrying dripping clothes to the laundry room isn’t anyone’s idea of a good time. Prevent this from becoming your problem by investing in solutions located near the ground, which is ideal for very young children, without taking valuable floor space.
Make Solutions Easy for All Ages
Although a lot of people think of toddlers and preschoolers as too young to get into good bathroom cleaning habits, you might be surprised how early you can start. One of the first skills babies develop is that of grasping an item and moving it from one place to another. This means that your kids can help you pick up their clothes by as early as 12-18 months. Make sure they can easily get to the basket or hamper to put in their clothing, without your help if possible. If you can establish this practice early, you will capitalize on their desire to show off their skills, while teaching a good habit for the future.
Respect Older Kids’ Changing Needs
As your children get older, you may realize that they should know better than to leave their clothes on the floor. Why do they keep doing it, though? Sometimes, you have to change the way you look at the space — to make it work for them as well as it works for you. If your older kids or teenagers have their own bathroom, talk to them about the bathroom storage and design. They may want a shelf or cabinet exclusively for them, to store their hair products, body washes and other gear. If you can help them re-imagine the bathroom to suit their needs, they may respond naturally by keeping it cleaner.
Reinforce the Habit
Remember the last time you tried to develop a new habit. It may have taken a few weeks to make it feel second-nature for you. This is also true for your kids. Once you set up a new system for organizing clothing in the bathroom, your kids might be eager to use it. After a week or so, you should prepare for a few slip-ups. Keep positive about the process, and maybe add a few incentives for kids who stick to the routine. Before long, they’ll be doing it without thinking. As with any good organizational habit, you might have to change tactics from time to time. When you pay attention to the reason your kids throw clothes on the bathroom floor, you can devise a solution that will minimize your bathroom cleaning obligations. As an added benefit, your bathroom will appear much tidier, which can decrease your stress and make your whole family happier!