Pool towels

pasmackMay 28, 2011

At this time of the year, pool towels are in daily use, and I would appreciate help on how to organize them.

Yes, I know, the perfect solution would be to have my children hang them up to dry after each use, and once a week toss them in the laundry basket. That's not happening.

Instead, what I have is:

1. A wet towel spending several days at the bottom of a pool bag and emerging moldy and smelly.

2. Or a pool towel tossed in the laundry hamper after only one use.

3. And bath towels being used at the pool.

Any ideas?

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Maybe picking out a certain color (even white) would help. Is there a place the children could hang the towels, outside? make a special bag just for the towel?
Do you have an outside area/cabinet/shelves for pool supplies? Large plasic trash can labeled pool towels?
Hope that helps a bit.

    Bookmark   May 28, 2011 at 9:45PM
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With my kids, if I made them breathe in, deeply, the smell of the stinky towels, that would cure them!

I like the "certain color"

You might also consider giving each kid only ONE towel, with his name on it somehow*, and then they'll be happier about it and take better care of it.

Sometimes having too many actually leads people to not take such great care of it.

*here's how I got a pool towel that my kids didn't lose (actually, it was a craft I did as a b'day party favors; all kids made their own):

I printed their names onto sticker paper (using a laser printer; not an ink-jet, bcs the ink will run when wet; if you don't have a laser printer, print onto reg. paper and use that to trace around onto sticker paper). One BIG letter per sheet.

I cut out the letters, and peeled off the backs, then stuck them onto the towel.

I mixed acrylic paint w/ water--VERY watery; it's almost impossible to be too watery. Put it in a cheap-o spray bottle, and misted the paint over the towel.

When the paint was dry, I peeled away the sticker letters, ironed the towel, etc., following the directions for heat-setting acrylic paint on fabric.

    Bookmark   May 28, 2011 at 10:05PM
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We used to have a pool. At the beginning of summer, I bought each kid their own pool towel, a "bath sheet" type. Got them at Target, TJMaxx, etc. Different color/pattern for each kid. No need for a name. Just told each child "This one is for you only." Each child was then responsible hanging their special towel over a fence or outdoor clothes line to dry for the next day. I'd wash them about once a week. But drying in the sunlight kept them from getting stinky. Now that the kids are older and the pool is gone, I use their towels as rags for cleaning and mopping up.

    Bookmark   May 29, 2011 at 8:33AM
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They each had their own beach towel that they picked out. They were to hang them over the chairs when done and bring them in at night because by then they would be dry. They were to hang them in the bathroom for the next day. At times they would forget and leave it on the ground by the pool so the next day it was all wet. They didn't get another one so they learned that it only takes a minute.

Now they are older and never really use the pool.

    Bookmark   May 29, 2011 at 11:20PM
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I think this is a great question because it illustrates a typical situation in family life. Your "here's what I have" situations contain the tension between what you think should not be happening--bath towels should not be used as pool towels; you should not have to handle moldy towels-- and what actually does happen.

I mean that in the best of ways, because I have been there as a parent and am STILL there even with young adult DD's. It is a great example of, who's got the problem, who's going to keep the problem or who new is going to have a new problem. The reason to look at it that way is that it helps you evaluate different solutions. I think any solution that will actually address the fact that you think you should not be doing what you are doing now (and I agree!) will require some combination of "organizing" and some child discipline. So you are looking for the right mix for your family. My experience is that moms and dads in different families often have different comfort zones regarding what they are willing to "fight" over with children., what things they feel very secure about requiring vs. are ambivalent, and different consequences they're willing to let the children suffer (er, "experience") and which of those cause too much heartburn in the adults. To put it more supportively, know your parental weak spots and don't create a system that stresses those 'cause the kids will go right for it.

So it can be useful to go right to the point of that--what children's rules or requirements make you feel really good about your parenting and how do you think you would handle children's failing to follow the system, the rules, whatever(because they will at times) --and design your organization to fit that.

It can be a domino effect. For example, the one-towel thing can work great because then the kid has the problem. OTOH, if the towel is soaking wet and the kid walks dripping through the house, that MIGHT be a problem for some parents, or, it might be a lesser problem and you let that go if your sense is that they don't actually like dripping either and will alter behavior.

There is never a perfect solution--meaning, you can't control exactly how the behavior flows, so you risk that pressure in one area causes another area to spring a leak. But, you can think about which of the issues is a) the greatest burden (this can be actual time and effort OR psychological stress--they are not always the same) on you and b) the greatest values you want your kids to embrace. It's a balance.

We are being good parents by trying to use adult organization skills to make it easier for children with lesser skills and maturity to do what is right and good. In some of the solutions above you can see how people let go of a House Beautiful-type of outcome in favor of simplicity--too high expectations of photo-perfect poolsides and matching towels stacked neatly while you sip wine by the pool--would lead to high failure rates. But you can't get away from having some ground rules and expectations. Just pick your own rules and battles. And you know your children best, so you may have some great ideas about their quirks and how to help them succeed.

This is a univeral issue and comes up in all sorts of discussions when we all try to organize our home lives and deal with kids picking up their rooms, doing chores, keeping up with homework.

    Bookmark   June 3, 2011 at 12:46PM
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This thread prompted me to get oranized with the pool towels. THANKS everyone!

I have an enclosed breezeway between my house & garage. I bought 4 of those big stick-on plastic hooks - the ones that hold more than 5 pounds. I put them in a line on the breezeway wall. I also bought a really big wicker basket at a garage sale (the size of a small trunk). The boys hang their wet towels and swim trunks on the hooks. I roll up clean pool towls and put them in the big basket on the floor under the hooks.

It all looks cute, too. I will try to figure out how to post a picture. I've never been able to figure out how to put pictures on ThatHomeSite!

    Bookmark   July 1, 2011 at 8:52AM
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We use a towel tree by the pool to hang our towels while swimming( I hate towels all over the chairs and tables) and then we have hooks right outside the back door to hang our towels when finished swimming for the day. Every two days i pull them in to wash and dry and everyone has their own towel colors. I would love to build a pool house with at least a drier in it next summer.

    Bookmark   July 4, 2011 at 9:05PM
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