Friday, September 30, 2011

Laundry Answers:The Dot System

Writing little essays is fun but I figure I should put something helpful on this blog.

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.

Thank you, thank you, Aunt Robyn for this great tip!  It has made life a lot easier and left me with a little more time to enjoy the kids...

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.


  1. Hello stranger! What a great blog you have. And your Aunt is a genius. I have 4 boys and only one girl so I totally get the hand-me down confusion.

    Following you now. Check out my spot too:

  2. Thanks for inviting me! It's so fun to catch up with you, even if it's via blog. I look forward to any future posts you have!

  3. PS - your very welcome to stop in, with us. I think you can follow my hyer-link! If not,

  4. Hi Kathryn,

    I'm so happy you're blogging! And the laundry system is brilliant. I have four boys so I need something similar. But what do you do about a big gap? Danny is six years older than Sam, and I have a bunch of 4T clothes that don't fit anyone right now.

  5. Yep, the gaps are what I am trying to figure out right now. I have bins and bins full of clothes that are either too big or out of season. I am trying to go through them one bin at a time and I am only keeping a dozen outfits for each size. The more I have to manage the harder it its for me to keep up.