On school days, we know what the morning rush of getting kids dressed and out the door is like for busy parents. Occasionally we find out that something a child wants to wear needs laundered or repaired and we’re scrambling to put together a plan B outfit.

You may have the back to school wardrobe shopping done but if you are still weeding out closets and shopping for the change of season (like me), here’s how you can prepare now so it’s a little less stressful in the early morning hours.

  • Have older children take responsibility for washing their own clothes (I know, I know – you’re thinking: good luck with that). 😉
  • Dictate a special laundry hamper for uniforms and other “rush items” that need to be cleaned first, as well as a hamper for “dry clean only” clothes.
  • Check clothing labels for the best cleaning conditions and techniques. If a label says “dry clean only,” or if you are unsure of how to best clean an item, bring it to US for advice.
  • Keep a sewing kit and stain stick close by for quick fixes when accidents happen. Be sure to blot a stain rather than rubbing it; this can cause the stain to spread.
  • Dry jeans inside out, to prevent fading.
  • Buy the same style and color of socks to make matching during laundry a breeze. And, remember our blog post on laundry mesh bags? Great idea for socks!
  • Usually you want to use the warmest water that the clothing can tolerate but hot water is only necessary if you are sterilizing your clothing. You can use cold or warm water when laundering to save money on the electric bill.
  • Sort your whites and colors, even with warm/cold water. Washing whites with colors will cause them look dingy and gray more quickly. If your whites start to get grey or odorous, add a cup of distilled white vinegar to the laundry. It will whiten them up and remove the odor.


  • Make sure snaps, zippers and buttons are easy for young children to undo. This prevents accidents and frustration.
  • Plan outfits the night before, to lessen the morning rush. (Again, I know – it’s great idea but sometimes hard to get into the practice).
  • Have extra mittens, gloves and hats in an easily accessible area. Children often lose these items and don’t realize it until you are running out the door. We keep them all in a basket by the door to the garage.


  • Thoroughly clean summer clothing before they go into storage. Invisible stains can yellow over time, and soils in the fabric can attract insects to your home.
  • Store your cleaned clothing in cardboard boxes in a dark, dry place that has a regular temperature, such as under your bed or in a closet. Never keep dry-cleaned items in the plastic bags or other types of plastic. If the garments have even a hit of wetness this will cause mildew to develop and create water stains while in storage.
  • Store clothing out of direct sunlight or artificial light, since overexposure to light has been known to cause color fading or yellowing in whites.


  • After getting the items out of storage, check for fading or small holes (the result of insect bites).
  • Sweaters and coats can gather musty smells in storage. Fine haired sweaters can get pressed flat in the heat of the attic or under some other storage items in a closet.
  • Professional cleaning rejuvenates and imbues clothes with a “like new” appearance. Many insoluble soils collect in the fibers of clothing. Over time they wear away at the delicate threads until a hole eventually develops. Dry-cleaning removes the soils that home washers can’t.

What do you do to cut down on the stress of the morning rush with your children and their wardrobes?

– S.O.