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How To Raise A Pick-up Artist

Here is a surprisingly simple way to ensure the messy pilers in your house get (and keep) their clothes off the floor.

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THE CREATIVE SOLUTION | Do you live with a daughter who changes her outfit multiple times before bouncing out the door in the morning leaving a mile-high mound of clothes behind on her bedroom floor? Are you providing shelter for a son (or maybe bunking with a partner) who, instead of emptying his pockets and hanging up his pants, drops his drawers by the side of the bed before tucking in for the night?

After confiding my annoyance at the ongoing piles threatening to devour the bedrooms of my young, my tidy friend Tara suggested I use an inexpensive tool that had worked miracles at her house.

“A pantry won’t immediately motivate your kids to put their clothes on hangers and stash them in the closet,” she said, “but it will be a giant step in the right direction.”

“Wadda you mean a pantry?” I shot back. “You’ve been in my kitchen and you know I don’t have such a thing.”

SO WHAT THE HECK IS A PANT TREE?

“I’m not talking about a kitchen pantry, silly,” she replied. “I’m talking about a “pant tree”—it’s an altogether different animal, and anyone can easily get one of these.”

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAA “pant tree,” she went on to explain, is a coat rack with a higher calling. A good coat rack like IKEA’s PS 2014 (shown here) has a wide, stable base and enough solid wood dowel rods to hold a closet-full of pants (when you string them on by the belt loops) and tops (when you drape them over the ends).

“For me it was first things first,” Tara said. “I wanted those clothes up and off the carpet, and a pant tree is just one step removed from the closet.”

She says it worked perfectly for her messy tribe because it was easier for them to fling their belongings over a coat rack and then find them later than it was to be continually rooting through a pile on the floor. —Annabel Lee

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