Sunday, July 22, 2012

Dots on Socks as Labels

There are dots on the socks,
Spots by the toes.
What do they mean?
My mommy knows.

"Dots on Socks" sounds like a lost Dr. Seuss book.  But it is actually an easy way to keep track of which socks belong to each child.  This is not my idea, but one that I've embraced and want to pass on.

Growing up, my mom had three sons that were within four years of age of each other.  So there were plenty of white tube socks, in the same size.  From what I recall, each boy had a particular color dot, or location of dot (i.e. black dot on bottom, red dot on bottom, or black dot on toes).

With my four girls, who similarly have only a spread of five years from oldest to youngest (wow, that doesn't sound possible, but it is), I started to use a similar system.  Just as my daughters' blog names are colors, I color-code in many areas of our home life.  However, I ran into the problem of my girls wearing non-white socks that are more difficult to color-code (can't see a pink dot on a pink sock very well).  And then, if we are able to hand-down socks (more likely to be done with tights or dressy socks, let's be honest), how do I change a yellow dot to a pink dot, and then purple dot?  As for using initials, my daughters' names each start with the same letter (we didn't start out with that intention, but that is a story for another time), plus drawing a letter on each sock is a bit difficult to execute well.

I don't remember where I came across this idea, as it has been a couple years, but it is brilliant: 

Mark the socks (or other clothing articles) with 
* one dot for the first child, 
** two dots for the second, 
*** three for the third, and so on.  

Using this method, it doesn't matter what color of marker is used (grab the nearest).  And when it is time to pass the item on to the next-in-line child, simply add a dot.

What method(s) do you use to mark ownership of items within your home?

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