When Kim Kardashian West recently posted the first unfiltered picture of her youngest, daughter Chicago, the world took notice not just of how much Chicago looks like her siblings, but also of her adorable outfit.
Two-month-old Chicago looks so sweet in a pink button-down onesie and white bib—and if you read the label on the clothes, you might be surprised at what you’ll find.
“My kids’ clothes have their name ironed into them on little labels,” Kardashian recently told Elle.
While Kardashian West is a celebrity for the modern age, her method for keeping kids clothes organized is pretty old school. Labeling each little outfit makes total sense in a household where there are likely various staff members handling laundry, but it also makes sense for those of us who are our own personal assistants.
As Lauren Hill, the blogger behind Mama’s Laundry Talk, points out, in families where kids are close in age or if you’ve got more than one child of either gender, figuring out what goes where can be a bit tricky—especially when there’s a pinch hitter in the laundry room.
“If anyone else puts laundry away besides the mama, they aren’t likely to know which clothes belong to which child,” she writes.
In some households (like mine) mama’s not the one in charge of the laundry (that’s dad’s domain around here), but labels can make sure either parent, or even a babysitter, can find the right dresser.
Labeling a child's clothes as you buy them (or when you get boxes of hand-me-downs from their stylish cousins) can make things easier down the road, too. Some daycares, summer camps and schools require children's clothes be labeled with their names.
There are a few methods to putting a child’s name on their clothes. Kardashian prefers iron-on labels, and you can easily follow her lead and order custom labels online from companies like Mabel's Labels or Label Daddy or even design and print your own at home.
Some crafty parents may prefer to sew name labels into their children’s clothing. You can buy long lengths of ribbon embroidered with your child’s name on Amazon if sewing’s your thing.
But what about hand-me-downs?
Chicago West probably won’t be rocking North’s hand-me-downs, but plenty of parents outside Calabasas prefer to pass clothing from sibling to sibling when possible.
When the time comes for big sister’s shirt to go to little sis, you can try removing the original iron-on label and replacing with a new one. Some parents have had success ironing the old labels (with steam and on a low setting) to re-melt the glue before peeling them off.
Semi-permanent peel-and-stick labels are another option for clothes you expect will be handed down, and are easier to remove than the iron-on kind.
Mark without names—use the dot system
When you know you’re planning to hand down clothes, you might want to avoid putting names in them at all, but that doesn’t mean that you can’t label your kids’ clothes in a way that makes figuring out whose jeans you’re folding super easy.
The dot system basically works like this: Your oldest kid would get one dot on each clothing tag, your middle kid gets two and your youngest gets one. When the oldest outgrows something you just throw another dot on the tag and it now belongs in your middle kid’s closet. Genius!
Organized laundry, organized life
Whether you use iron-on labels, sew-ins or the dot system, having a system for your kids’ clothes can bring structure to a part of family life that can easily become chaotic. For Kim Kardashian, a system is necessary. “If things aren’t organized, I flip out,” she told Elle. “I know where everything is, and I. Do. Not. Lose. Things.”
And if North, Saint or Chicago ever loses a jacket, the lost and found will know exactly who it belongs to.
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