Have you noticed that your kids have probably never lost their toothbrush? Or left it in the middle of the kitchen floor for you to step on? Yes, I know there will be a few of you who have horror toothbrush stories, but I’d expect they’re relatively few and far between. However, chances are their dirty clothes are hardly ever put in the washing basket.
I think the reason for it is this: where you and your kids use your toothbrush (usually the bathroom sink) is usually right next to where the toothbrushes are kept (either in a toothbrush holder or on a wall-stand next to the sink). Therefore, the laziest place to put your toothbrush after using it is also probably where you want your kids to put them! There are several nights at our place where the kids still put their toothbrushes next to the toothbrush holder, but at least they are in the general area so they know where they are for next time … and I can live with that.
How this toothbrush logic can help you with your dirty washing basket
The same concept can be used for ensuring dirty clothes end up in a washing basket and not spread out all over the house. We have a few washing baskets and use them in the house right where people take off their dirty clothes. Most nights our kids have a bath or shower and take off their clothes in the bathroom. Therefore, we have a washing basket in the kids’ bathroom (but a little bit away from the bath so it doesn’t get splashed!) and the kids put their dirty clothes directly in the washing basket before getting into the bath or shower.
We have another washing basket in our bedroom and also one in the laundry. We don’t have any washing baskets in the kids’ bedrooms, as at their current age they rarely get undressed in their own rooms. As they grow older, I expect this will change and we will reassess which rooms the washing baskets should be in.
Other storage examples where you can use the toothbrush logic
- Shoes: we have a wooden “cube” near our back door where we each have a small storage space and usually store the shoes that we have worn that day. As the kids are at school during the week and usually wear the same shoes to school each day, it means there are only a few pairs of shoes in the cube. The cube is also where their schoolbags go and the kids know it is their job to get out their lunchboxes and school notices and put them on the bench before they put their schoolbags in the cube
- Hairbrush and hair ties: our daughter’s hairbrush and hair ties are kept in a drawer next to the kitchen table, not in the bathroom, as either my husband or I do her hair at the kitchen while she is having breakfast. This saves us the extra step (and therefore time) of following her into the bathroom to brush her hair in front of the mirror. A couple of minutes saved on a school morning doing this can mean the difference between having time to check my own make-up and outfit in the mirror before heading out the door or not.