Keeping Track of Cups & Towels

Sometimes it's difficult to keep track of whose cup is whose, isn't it? The more a family grows, the more one is required to come up with creative solutions to manage things that can easily pile up. Not only is it hard to keep track of which towel or cup belongs to whom, but continually washing more than is necessary adds up to bad environmental stewardship. Bath towels, washcloths, and drinking cups are the things that I've been tackling in this last month.

For towels and washcloths, I've bought two of each for each family member. So I'm green, Daddy's navy, Ethan is turquoise, Baxter is royal blue, and Maranatha is purple. And each person has two coordinating washcloths. No more wondering if your facecloth has been used on some little behind! (egads!) And no more running out of towels... everyone's got two. You use one for a few days to a week (the little ones bathe much less often, and you're clean when you use it anyway), the other one's in the wash. Oh yeah, and I bought some lovely white ones to have on hand for guests.

As for cups, I borrowed an old idea from a friend of mine... we have a cutting board that we've drawn little circles on and everyone gets one cup a day (minus coffee cups for adults). That way, there's none of this "no, MY cup was the blue one" business. Kids, you pick your cup in the morning and you keep up with it throughout the day. If you're not drinking from it, back on the board it goes. I wrote names in the middle of each circle and drew a picture for easy identification for the 2-3 year old range that doesn't yet read but can remember, "mine's the one with the smiley face." Here's a picture of it:
Yes, we currently have two empty circles. One will, obviously, be for the new baby when he/she is using cups. The other will serve as a guest spot until any future family members make their debut. And no, just because there are 2 extra spots doesn't mean that's our limit or something. That's just what would fit on the board. :)

14 comments:

sharyn said...

I love the board idea, Jess, as well as your execution of it -- it looks so cute. We have also struggled with the we-have-4,000-sippy-cups-yet-no-clean-ones-to-be-found issue. (Nor do I like the 4-year-old drinking out of the 19-month-old's ...) I ended up getting these rubber band things that fit around their sippy cups --green for one son, blue for the other, that also say 'no dairy' which helps remind other moms or grandparents not to give my lactose-intolerant little guys any mac n' cheese! (if anyone is interested the site is www.bumpyname.com -- they were originally designed for blind children, and have Braille lettering on the bands as well.)

The towels -- agh, that's something I still have to conquer. (especially the fear that our washcloth has been used for, um, other purposes! oh yes, it's happened to me ...)

-- sharyn

Anna S said...

What a cute idea :) Maybe someday, I will use it too for my future family, God willing!

Kim said...

It's ideas like that that make me wish I had kids RIGHT NOW, because they are so darn cute! And the towel thing is so sensible! Although I use two towels at a time (Hair/Body). But everyone who is not a male could have three, and the guys could have two.

Anyway. Super cute!

Tracy said...

Both are wonderful ideas. We do use colored towels for each person, but have a hodge podge of washcloths in the kid's bathroom. They use it once, and then in the laundry it goes. (I have 3 teens!, and an 8 yr old.)

I Love the cup system!

Anonymous said...

hi Jess,
We use a system of coloured cups in our house. For the children, we have yellow, blue, pink, light green, orange and dark green. This means that when one is left on the bench/table/floor (!), it is easy to identify the culprit :) They can rinse their cups under the tap after they have been used, and they stack on the sink through the day. Saves on washing up!
Likewise for towels (again, helps to identify WHOSE towel was left on the floor!). We try to keep to the same colours for other things, too (plates, bowls, pencil cases...). Keeps it easy to remember :)
siminoz

Anonymous said...

That is a very cute cutting board! We go through lots of hand towels, but keeping the kids to one sippy cup a day hasn't been too hard. We like the SIGG bottles for kids, but we only use them for water, because they can't go through the dishwasher.

Laurie B

Melissa said...

Great ideas!

Jess said...

And there's one more advantage I didn't mention:

Any "sweating" on the glasses gets easily soaked up by the cutting board, so you don't have to worry about watermarks on your furniture!

Brenda said...

I was JUST talking about this last week. I am going to hot glue coasters on a lazy susan and place it on the kitchen counter for this very purpose. The coasters will color-coded with our favorite colors. (Everyone knows everyone else's color already). The cups will be there all day.
I love the idea about the towels and washcloths, too. Hadn't though of that one!

Robin@MyPursuitOf... said...

Love the cutting board/ cup holder idea. Thanks for sharing.

Mom said...

I absolutely love it! Those ideas are wonderful. That will make your life a lot easier! Good thinking!

Elizabeth said...

And no, just because there are 2 extra spots doesn't mean that's our limit or something. That's just what would fit on the board. :)
LOL! You know your readers so well. You answered my question before I even asked!

Revka said...

Great ideas. My solution to the cup issue was to buy different colors of cups and assign each color to a family member. That is their cup to use, and if it's dirty, they have to wash it before they can get a drink. Sounds like your idea is just as good as mine. *grin*

Sheila said...

I love that cup idea! I think I might try it.