. Handling Children’s Wet Waterwear
Are the swim suits, beach towels, multiple flip-flops, goggles, and water toys out at your house? What a mess they can make in your home and back yard. Which belong to you and which are the neighbors? Where do you put the dripping wet clothing items and towels when the children come in from their play? How do you organized the toys and paraphernalia so they can find everything again easily?
Here are some ideas to make this summer just a bit more organized (at least for you):
1) Assign one swimsuit, one set of flip flops, and one bath towel to each child for the entire summer. Label GENEROUSLY as necessary. New swimsuits, flip flops, and bath towels are only given out with good reason and after a hefty penalty (i.e., a tough, tedious summer job). This helps children learn responsibility and maturity (often the hard way).
2) Assign goggles and toys, too, to each child. This means everyone in your family has something(s) for which they are responsible to clean up, even if they didn’t play with it this time around. Or, have one day a week when there is a “life guard” in charge of finishing up the swimming event for today by making sure everything is cleaned up.
3) Have an outdoor dressing room. Hang an umbrella upside down from the roof of your overhang eve, or from the garage roof. Use the metal tips as holders for an old shower curtain. This makes a small, private dressing area for children taking off their wets and getting into their dries.
4) Hang an outdoor clothes line, down low, and teach the children to hang their swimsuits using the clothes pins (which are left on the line for the children’s convenience). Have “labeled” bins for the toys, goggles, and flip flops. If you are going to be doing this all summer, make it as easy as possible.
5) Offer a snack (a regular routine at our house) once the swimsuits and towels are hung, the toys put away, and the flip flops all stored.
Its wonderful to have the kids outside playing, its nice when they clean up their own mess, and its great when they can find what they need again tomorrow for the next day in the water. Good luck. It won’t be perfect every day, but at least it can be nicer.
Find more helpful ideas in the House of Order Handbook.
Photo used with permission of sxc.hu.
Here are several photos of the hotel style clothesline I use for wet clothes and towels in the summer.
I purchased the clothesline online from a hotel supply store, it is also sold at some home goods stores, however I have not seen it at discount retail stores. It is very easy to install and the line itself retracts back in, so it is out of the way and out of sight when not in use. The water from the wet clothes drips right into the bathtub instead of my floor!
Also, I installed it so low enough that when I close my shower curtain, no one can even see the wet suits hanging to dry! ~Danielle S.