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Does Your Family Have a Drinking Problem?

We do.

We are heavy drinkers.

The problem is that every time one of the kids gets a drink of water, they toss the cup in the sink if I’m lucky, and if I’m not, they leave it on the counter. Then, half an hour later, they come back for another drink, and YOU GUESSED IT, another cup!

By the end of the day my sink is full of cups that have been used once, and we are searching around for clean cups to use for dinner.

So, I bought this cheap placemat for $1 and marked with a sticker a special place for each child to put the ONE cup to drink out of every day.

The placemat stays on the counter and each child rinses his or her cup and returns it here after each use. At the end of the day, they are put in the dishwasher.

No more drinking problems!

This post is linked at Works For Me Wednesday.

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Comments

  1. Very good idea!

  2. Love It!
    Blessings,
    Dawn

  3. Great idea! In the summer we get water bottles and the kids decorate them for identification. Then they are ready to grab not only a drink at home but a drink for the road. I also found a cute glass minature pitcher at the .99cent store for the kids to pour water from, your placemat idea is just what we needed, thanks :) 6jellybeans@blogspot.com

  4. Jennifer B says:

    We have had that same problem. When I go to do dishes, there are 20 cups in the sink and only 6 of us! I use an Easter tray from Target but I love the stickers to assign a spot.

  5. You can’t have too many more kids! Whatever are you going to do when you run out of apples? ;0

  6. I only have 3 kids, but we do something similar. Each person (parents included) has a spot on the counter for their daily cup/galss. It works wonderfully for us.

  7. You are BRILLIANT Connie! :) We have the same problem here…what a simple solution! Thank you!! ;)

  8. Fabulous! I’m doin’ it!

  9. I love that idea! We have had that problem to and that is the perfect solution!

  10. great idea! my family are all heavy drinkers too! lol

  11. We use an old muffin tin…it’s kinda rusty, so not suitable for baking in. I keep meaning to spray paint it white with color coordinated wells for each cup… :-)

  12. I’ve always tried to have the kids re-use the same cup throughout the day but somehow the cup always gets lost, or I stick it in the dishwasher, etc, etc. So I love your idea of putting them all in that one central location. Thanks! (and my dishwasher thanks you too!!)

  13. The youngest 3 have assigned colored cups. Mom and dad have larger cups in their own colors. The oldest 2 kids are pretty good at keeping up with their own cups throughout the day. We also use those thick rubber bracelets for identification when we have guests.

  14. Great idea!

  15. Connie, that is brilliant :)
    I don’t have a whole heap of kids (just one, actually, who is too small to reach a counter top yet). I always try to leave out my glass to reuse and my husband is the one putting it in the sink and using 13 glasses a day. I don’t know if getting a placemat just for him will have the same effect.

  16. We use water bottles here. Each child has their own, in their own color.

  17. Jules green says:

    Brilliant! I was just praying the other day that God would give me ideas to help with being overwhelmed with the house/children, so I’ll take your solution to heart:) It drives my husband batty to find all those cups in the sink/on the counter… Thank so much:)

  18. What a great idea! Love it!

  19. what a fantastic idea. I was just thinking about this the other day

  20. brilliant!!!!!

  21. Lisa Beth W. says:

    You are so stinkin’ creative! Not to mention beautiful and smart and talented and witty… :)

    Thanks for sharing your great ideas with us!

  22. Heather Wawa says:

    How clever, Smockity! We do a different colored cup for each of our six kids but your idea is great as any cup can be the cup of the day.

  23. Love this idea! I have 4 boys and I have specific cups for each but sometimes after using them they get thrown in the sink with other dirty dishes and I’ll end up having to wash it 2 or 3 times a day with breakfast and lunch dishes. Thanks so much for sharing!

  24. Fabulous! Now, if only my children were old enough to read. My 22 month old know where the cups are and knows to put them in the sink, so for now I’m dealing with the fact that I have 20 dirty cups a day (with only 2 kids!), but one day, this might be my solution :)

  25. We have color coded cups. 4 kids, Tupperware kid cups in red, blue, yellow and green. They each have a color, it is always their color and they always know which cup is theirs. We rinse after use and put them in the dish drain (hopefully). At the end of the day they all go in the dishwasher.

  26. Awesome idea!

  27. Cindy Waddill says:

    We tried it all also, but I think the one my children liked the best was when we got a new pack of clothes pins and let them decorate them with the name on them and they had to clip there clothes pin to there cup each morning and use it all day long. At the end of the day they all got washed and the pins got hooked onto one of the wires of the 3 tired hanging fruit basket to be ready for the next day.

    This worked better for us than everyone having there own special cup, seems no one could remember which cup they had chosen, even though we made a big deal about going to the store to let them all big out the cups. But I had 6 children, close in ages.

  28. We each have designated cups (Thing #1 is pink, Thing #2 is purple, Thing #3 still uses bottles, but will be yellow, Mama Thing is green, and Papa Thing is blue). Everybody uses their cups, and at the end of the day, all cups go into the sink. Kind of boring, but nobody gets mixed up. Plus, we’re all always responsible for returning our cups to the kitchen. If we don’t, then we don’t get anything to drink! It works for us.

  29. Kathie VanDeraa says:

    In our family, each person uses either a special glass or cup, or different color of plastic cup, each day. It helps a lot!

  30. Kathie VanDeraa says:

    For family reunions, we use tall plastic cups and write names on them. Otherwise the expense for just cups would be – well – unaffordable!

  31. I grew up using cups with our names on them. Another thing that helped was having an igloo cooler on the counter with ice water. My mom would make ice in butter/Cool Whip/whatever containers and it would last a long time. Saved on opening/shutting the fridge a million times a day and made water accessible to 8 thirsty kids growing up in the desert.

  32. This is such a great idea! I am still using expensive cases of bottled water because we too have drinking problems and my kids (and husband) did the same thing with cups. I went for the extra expense over all the extra dishes – this idea could change that! And an extra bonus I wouldn’t find 25 empty water bottles in each of the kids rooms every weekend! Thanks! :-)

  33. What a fabulous idea! So simple, inexpensive, and easy to maintain too. We’ve tried giving each kid their own color of cup, but of course I can never remember which color goes with each kid, etc. Thanks for sharing!

  34. That’s a great idea! We ended up getting soda can ‘coolies’ & each child put one on their glass for the day.

  35. Genius! :)

  36. My my sons were little (they are now 28.5 and 30 years old) I bought a plain plastic placemat. I drew two circles on the placemat with a permanent marker and put their names in the middle. I also bought them each a cup in their favorite color. Did the same thing as here, but I also had the color coding for everything (toothbrushes, towels, etc, etc).

  37. We’ve been struggling with this issue lately. Thanks so much for the tip. AND, thanks to Metro Mama for the link!

  38. Great idea, LOve your cups. I would just check to make sure the plastic does not contain BPA

  39. Love this idea! Now all I need is a placemat. I wonder if I could use the superhero one we have. I will have to look and see if it has 6 spots on it for the 6 cookie crumbs. Happy day!

  40. I invested in those cute name cups at Toys R’ Us once and that is pretty much the only cup my four Amigos (ages 8-2) use. They have to be rinsed and returned to the counter after each use. The older ones, on the other hand…hmmm, the apple mat sounds like a good idea!

  41. Yes!! Mine do have a drinking problem and it goes exactly as you described it!
    But your solution is brilliant!! Why didn’t I think of this ? Gonna solve our problem VERY soon!

    Thank you!!!

  42. We do something similar for our 8 kids … I have a low sided, no name rubbermaid type of bin and wrote everyones name on the bottom of the bin with a permanent Sharpie marker. This catches spills too, when the littler ones are reaching up for theirs. Thanks for your blog .. its lovely! Feels like catching up with an old friend .

  43. LOVED this idea! Saw it and implemented it with my 8 kids about a year ago, but couldn’t remember where I’d seen it. Thanks for reposting! Now to pull out the sharpie and touch it up… :)
    Oh, one thing I added was a few extra circles with numbers (in addition to having a circle with each child’s name) now when we have guests for a few hours or a few days, I can say “just put your cup on #2″…

Trackbacks

  1. [...] just read about this idea at one of my favourite homeschooling blogs.  It’s another cute approach to reducing your [...]

  2. [...] Does your family have a drinking problem? ~ @ Smockity Frocks (such a simple but smart idea) [...]

  3. [...] See how Connie of Smockity Frocks keeps her family’s drinking cups organized. [...]

  4. 4 Moms Q & A says:

    [...] yes. We used to have a drinking problem, too, until I figured out this ingenious idea for managing cups. Now, my sink is no longer full of cups all [...]

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