The smalls are in that phase where they change clothes 20 times per day. I wouldn’t mind, except they are just old enough to get the clothes off the hangers but not old enough to get them back on. So I have to.
I love this stage!
Here is a bird’s eye view of the smalls closet after a morning of “play”. This was only one day’s worth. I cleaned it up the day before and the day before that. Notice how the clothes are stacked about a 2 1/2 feet high against the door? My guess is that they were really all over the floor to begin with. Then they realized they were going to get in trouble for this, so they pushed them into the closet and somehow managed to close the door. “There, all clean” they thought!
After this happened many times I decided that clearly this had to stop. So this is what I tried that didn’t work first:
I asked them in my sweetest mommy voice to please stop tearing all of their clothes off the hangers.
I made them clean it up with me. (they weren’t as cooperative as I hoped)
I offered treats for everyday they kept their closet clean. whatever
I just cleaned it up myself and then told them NEVER to do this again.
I asked them if they liked living like this.
We sat down and talked with them about respecting ones things better (they are 3 and 4)
I threatened punishment if they did it “ever again”.
I purchased a child safety door knob lock. It’s a plastic cover for your door knob that spins around unless you pinch it and turn. (it’s supposed to keep kids out, but not mine.)
I put them in time out
I denied them sweets
Then I did this. I only go in their closet once per week now because the chair is really hard to move. When I do go in, I get 7 outfits for each girl. I put those in my closet and dole them out – 1 per day. If you spill on yourself, too bad.
No, I’m just kidding. I let them take them off while they dry out.
The room isn’t very show worthy this way, but I’m not picking up clothes for 20 minutes each day either.
The extra bonus was that the big girls saw this and are way more vigilant about picking up their room now. So I plan to leave the smalls closet this way until they are 10 and 11. Think I can hold out?