Wednesday, April 04, 2007

Works for YOU Wednesday: Childrens' accessories

Ah, yes...the ability to accessorize. They say it's what separates us from the animals. ;)

I need your help! I'm an overwhelmed mommy, with tiny little socks and hats coming out my ears. I need to find a way to either organize them successfully, or burn them. Please comment and give me any ideas you may have.

Here's the deal: I have 3 children all sharing a room. The way I would like to organize their socks is in an over-the-door shoe hanger that has clear plastic compartments. I've had it on the closet door for over a year, and while there are socks in there, it seems like there are just far too many to keep them in any semblance of order. We've got various sizes, colors, some gender specific, and of course those adorable socks that specifically match one outfit in particular. Egad! Sure, babies look so cute all decked out in matching hat, outfit, and socks, but come on...I've got bigger fish to fry.

So your advice is wanted. We live in South Texas. Realistically, my babies usually don't spend much time in hats or socks, however cute they may be. Do I just get rid of them? (The socks, not the babies, mind you.) Or is there a smart way to keep them, where I'll actually be able to find them when my child wears the outfit they belong to? And how about those pesky little hats?

What works for you?


Chelsea said...

For the cute socks that go with a matching outfit -- clip them onto the hanger with the outfit (or onto the outfit itself).

For all other socks -- we started from scratch last year. We dumped ALL the nasty, dirty socks and hit Target to load up on nice, clean, WHITE socks. Then I used a Sharpie to put dots on the toes of all the socks (one dot for the oldest, two dots for the next oldest, three dots for the youngest.). That way the kids can tell their socks apart and I can sort them on laundry day. AND, if a sock ever survives long enough to get passed down from one kid to the next, I can just add a dot.

Hats? We hang ours in the laundry room by the back door. They can grab them on the way out if they want, but my kids aren't big on hats.

Does that help at all?

Tamber said...

I keep B's socks in a 3-compartment divided box-thing (very descriptive, huh?) in her top drawer. The colored socks are in one, the colored in the next, and "fancy" socks in the last compartment. The hats I fold and wedge between the side of the box-thing and the drawer.

Since you are probably out of drawer space, you could also put a lot of the socks in clear plastic bags (the ones with the slide zipper would be most convenient, but the snack bags may be smaller and more manageable) and the put the bags in a clear shoe-box container (or larger, if needed) at the top of the closet, under the bed, or elsewhere.

If you find out how to make the over-the-door thing work, let me know! It seems like I would always want the sock at the bottom of the pocket, forcing me to remove all of the socks to get to the one that I want.

I hope that helps. Don't give up...I am sure there is a solution out there!

Candace said...

I am ALL about minimizing and getting rid of things we don't need! If you feel you have too many socks, well start packin' them up for Goodwill.

As far as the hats go...I keep only the pratical hats (like winter ones) and don't keep the cutsie hats that kids tend to rip off of their heads anyway.

Since we have groupings of kids that have similar size socks, here's what we have done: Two older girls with obviously larger feet have socks with different patterns on them, but can still be washed as "whites". The next three: Seth has white socks with gray on them, Sophia has white socks with purple on them, and Chloe has socks with pink on them (all the same brand and style). Again, they can all be washed in the "whites". Little Ethan's feet are still small enough to know his socks are his! So, there's never any confusion about socks, they're easily spotted and I don't feel overwhelmed with socks. I love the spring and summer because the kids mostly wear sandals.

Storing socks: Each kid has their own sock/underwear drawer. But even if they all shared one drawer, I could easliy spot which socks belonged to each kid!

My motto: When overwhelmed, SIMPLIFY!!!

Tami said...


I've been thinking about this on and off today, so here goes.

I used to do the dot thing on the socks. But so many people have raved about the Hanes socks, that I finally bought some - and they are great! I think these are what Candace was talking about. Here's a link, but don't buy them here, Target and Walmart carry them too:;girls;Girls_ByCategory;Girls_Socks&CanBuy=True

Each size has a different color toe and heel. So If I were you I would get rid of all of Emma's socks and buy a pkg or 2 of these. My girls ALL have white socks, and that is just fine for girls. For Garfield, I would also get rid of all his casual socks and buy the boy version of these Hanes socks. You'll be able to tell at a glance whose they are. And they all match!

For the baby, I would safety pin any outfit-specific socks and hats you want to keep to the outfit. Hairbands can go around the hangar. But honestly, I only have a couple of hats for my babies - my kids "hat"e them. :) To wash them, I love the mesh lingerie bags you can buy at Walmart. You can even keep it near the hamper and put baby socks directly in there after removal. But you'll be able to spot them immediately as different from the others' socks.

I have friends with boys who say they can't go to the all white socks for them because of dress socks. I concede the point. :) That's why I said to get rid of all his CASUAL socks and go to the Hanes. If you want dress socks for him, just always buy the same kind - so that they always match.

To store: I'm assuming from the post that each child having his/her own drawer for socks and undies is not a possibility. To use the shoe organizer, I would give each child a row. Then for instance, all Emma's socks can go across the bottom (she'd be more likely to reach them sooner to do this herself). If you go all Hanes, they will always all match. Tights would need to go somewhere, perhaps in one compartment, pairs of socks in others.

Then the next row, dedicate 2-3 compartment's to Garfield's white socks, one to his black dress socks, and one for brown socks if you desire.

Then the top row would go to Elizabeth. Any socks that are not outfit specific can go there. Downsizing is ok - it is a lifesaver if you have several (young) children. Does the baby really need 30 pairs of socks? If you don't want to actually get rid of the baby socks because the ones you keep out might wear out and future babies might need them, pare down and put the ones you don't "need" away in a ziploc bag for future use. But then again, do babies wear out socks?

You could do the same with matching hats that you hate to get rid of yet, but can't have out right now. Another option with the hats are the 3M removabe hooks. We use them for Christmas stockings, but you could hang as many as you need in the closet to hang hats on.

I think the only way the shoe thing would work is if you simplify the socks, so that all Emma's socks are one kind, for example. That way, no matter what, the top two socks will match each other. This also helps with the sorting, as the purple toed socks are quite obviously hers, and the blue toed socks are his. And they are both different than baby's. And since they ae mostly white, you can still wash them with whites in hot water.

Hope that helps - and made sense! I feel like I rambled! Take care!

Otherwise, look for drawer dividers (or make some) and dedicate each compartment to a child, or in Garfield's case, one to white, one to dress, etc.

Lora said...

Since this is very well covered, let me just add that for the cutsie hat/socks I use a large ziplock bag and push the hanger through so that it is attached to the proper outfit and I can do the same with hairbands/bows/bibs or anything else that goes with it. I use the larger ziplock bags so that I can get even a nice easter hat in there if needed. With the boys, I use the hanger for ties/belts that match a shirt/pants. This helps them with hanging it all back up later and less to store in drawers.

Grafted Branch said...

I have three girls. I've tried buying different cuffed socks, separate drawers, boxes within drawers, blah blah blah. In the end, we do the best we can and just know that socks are going to get lost. We try hard to be a good steward, but in the end resign ourselves to the reality that little socks are just one step above disposable. :)