Putting Away Clothes

By Courtney Tabor-... on Oct 18, 2016

An important skill for students to learn as they prepare for adulthood is being able to put away clean clothes. It is not enough for a student to understand how to put clothes in a washer and dryer; part of doing laundry, maintaining an organized living environment, and wearing clothing that presents well in public is having a way to neatly store clean clothing. Students with vision impairments may require specific instruction in order to understand how to fold or hang clothes neatly. In order for students to be able to use this skill, they must have opportunities for hands-on practice. In the following activity, students can practice hanging clothing to build independent living skills, organizational skills, and manual dexterity. This is also an opportunity for students to build skills that can be used in entry-level retail employment positions.

Materials

  • Laundry basket
  • Numerous clothing items, such as pants and shirts
  • Clothes hangers
  • Closet clothes hanging rod

Procedure

  1. Place clothing items, unfolded, into a laundry basket.
  2. Ask student to lie each clothing item out flat on a table or other large, flat surface. Encourage the student to explore and identify each item.
  3. Discuss ways to hang various clothing items. Model folding pants so that they can be hung neatly.
  4. Ask student to place each clothing item on a hanger.
  5. Ask student to hang each item on the clothing rod. Student should organize items so that they are neatly arranged and easily accessible (i.e. pants on one end of the rod and shirts on the other).

Variations

  • This activity can be adapted to address students’ specific abilities and needs. Students with advanced skills can work on folding clothes and organizing into drawers. Students who may not be ready to hang clothing can work on sorting and classifying clothing items.  
  • For students with additional disabilities, this is an excellent opportunity to work on positional concepts, such as above/below, left/right, top/bottom.
  • This activity can easily be done at home with family members. To add a community component to this activity, students can learn about how clothes are folded, hung, and presented by visiting a retail store.
  • Instructors can talk with a local Goodwill, Salvation Army, or clothing closet to learn about opportunities for students to learn and practice folding and hanging clothing in the community. This is a great opportunity for skill building, community engagement, and volunteer experience.

Collage for putting away clothing