Big families are awesome on so many levels.
"The more the merrier" is absolutely true at our house. We love our chaos and our noise and our pack-like presence. We always know we'll have someone to talk to in a crowd. It's awesome!
However, "the more the messier" might be a more appropriate phrase on many days!
And this is the most true in one room of the house: the bathroom.
For that room, I have only one word that springs to mind: Gross. And also: *sigh*.
I have tried a bunch of different things to deal with the mess in that room, but towels really seem to be the bane of my existence there. They are everywhere, at all times, and in all states of dampness and mustiness!
I grew increasingly weary of always asking "Whose towel is this ___(fill in the blank: on the floor, wet and bleeding its color onto all the dry clothes in the hamper, lying in the hallway outside, beside the toilet on the floor, you name it, I have found a towel there)___."
I tried a lot of solutions to this problem, and ultimately, I landed on this one which has solved at least the "whose towel is this" part of the above question above. (The random places I find said towel continue to surprise me... but I've largely given up on that.) LIFE IS TOO FREAKING SHORT, PEOPLE.
Anyway, we have moved to a color-coded system for all things in this house. One of them is towels. Each child picked their favorite color. (You could always pick their color for them. BECAUSE THIS IS NOT A DEMOCRACY. YOU ARE THE QUEEN OF THE CASTLE.) For me, it just so happened that I had enough humans to basically clean out the towel color selection at Walmart, and those colors just so happened to coincide with their favorites, so lucky them. THIS time.
For us, my husband is white, I am green, Child 1 is blue, 2 is purple, 3 is turquoise, 4 is pink, 5 is blue, 6 is gray.
In the spirit of minimalization, I got rid of the other random towels that I have had since the dawning of time. (Or since my marriage's inception.) I keep 2-3 sets in the spare bedroom chest of drawers so that when the Grands visit, they have towels of their very own which are different from all of ours. (Because there are 8 people already in this house, when we add two guests, sorry -- but we still have to use the guest bathroom because 3 showers is not enough! So guest towels are unique to avoid confusion.) I bought each child 2 towels of their color, tossed out all the random ones, and voila! No more confusion about who I need to yell at when I find a towel lying on the floor beside the toilet where two little boys use the bathroom. (Enough said.)
One thing to note: I am a complete and total cheapskate. I had to take 3 Valium to find the calm inside my heart and head to help me give away perfectly good towels simply because they were the wrong colors... and then SPEND PERFECTLY GOOD MONEY on replacement towels simply because they were purple or green or pink.
But I TRIED sewing on colored ribbons and assigning particulate places on towel rods for particular people. THOSE THINGS DON'T WORK. They look precious in the Pinterest pictures all hanging side-by-side on hooks with those precious little colored ribbons. But skip it. First off, it's a huge pain to do all that sewing. And putting them on with a safety pin won't hack it. And ain't nobody up in here with the cash to embroider all. the. names. yo.
For me, it was worth the cash outlay to know instantly whose towel I see without having to pick it up (from the floor beside the toilet -- YUCK) and dig around for a colored ribbon. I can calmly walk by from the hallway, glance inside, and instantly know whose face I need to get into without ever entering that Shrine To Bacteria.
But you do you, man. If you want to try it another way, GO WITH GOD, SISTER.
Otherwise, pay the man for the colored towels and feel the blissful joy that will ensue afterward.