Several months back I was--once again--trying to switch out winter clothes for summer clothes in all my children's drawers. I pulled out the buckets and buckets of hand-me-downs from the garage and started sorting through searching for what would fit which girl this season (we have 1 boy and 5 daughters). I was drowning in an ocean of pink clothes!!! In desperation I called my husband's aunt, Robyn. Thank goodness for amazing in-laws. Robyn has raised 7 daughters (and 2 sons) so I figured she would have some advice. She taught me The Dot System and it has been a life saver!
Here's the deal:
Assign a number of dots to each child, in order. The oldest gets 1 dot, next kid gets 2, etc, etc. Then in every one of the oldest girls clothes I put one dot on the tag or inside of the collar, underwear, or whatever with a laundry marker. I got a set of baskets, one for each child, and put the same number of dots on the basket with the child's name in permanent marker. Now, when I do laundry I don't have to think, "Who does this belong to?" I just check the tag, see 3 dots, and know it goes in the 3rd girl's basket (the one with 3 dots on it). Anyone could come in my house and do my laundry and everything would go in the right baskets. I didn't assign my boy any dots. He is the oldest and the only one that wears all those basketball shorts and tshirts.
When girl #1 grows out of a shirt I just pop on one more dot in the collar and throw it in girl #2's basket.
Now, do not go thinking, "Oh man, she sits and plays with her kids. I don't do that enough." These are the times we whip out the camera...not when we are barking at them to stop playing and clean up the dad-gum house." We all have our good moments and our bad.