Oh, laundry. It’s not a problem that’s going away any time soon, is it? That’s why I’m happy to invite my friend Heidi to the blog today to share a laundry tip that may just eliminate the “I don’t have any socks!” issue from your family’ s laundry discussion forever. (Now if she could just solve the problem of missing socks, we’d be golden!)
The #1 Tip That Changed My Laundry System And Gave Me Back My Life!
Ok, so that title might be a bit too dramatic, but honestly I really have more time now! And who doesn’t need more time?
I’ve been doing laundry the same way my whole life and you probably have too. I had a hamper for whites/lights and a hamper for darks. When each was full I would do a load of laundry. Then I would take it out of the dryer, into the living room, plop in front of the TV, fold, put into piles for each member of my family and ask them to put it away. That’s exactly how my mom did laundry too, so of course it made sense for me to believe that was the most efficient method.
My children are 10, 8 and 17 months, and I’ve had my older two helping with laundry for a little while now. I find that school takes a lot out of my kids so during the school year I don’t have too many household jobs for them. They are expected to help out around the house, keep their rooms clean (which really, do they ever stay that way??) and generally assist when asked. The only jobs they are responsible for is emptying the dishwasher and folding laundry with each child taking a week for one of those jobs. But my kids were constantly bickering and I could never keep track of who did which job last.
There was ALWAYS a response of “but I did the laundry last time…” I really couldn’t take it anymore.
Then one day I stumbled upon this tip on Pinterest. I wasn’t really interested in looking at it because I didn’t think my system was broken but I figured I’d just take a peak…and wouldn’t you know, it really did change how I view and do my laundry!
Here’s what I did:
- Moved the family hampers out of the hallway & gave everyone a personal hamper in their bedrooms
- My husband and I share a hamper with the baby.
- When my older children have a full hamper they are responsible to bring the bag of dirty clothes to the laundry room and ask me to wash their laundry for them
- I most often wash on cold for economic reasons so it’s no big deal to lump all their clothes together in one load
- When their laundry load is finished it is their job to sort, fold and put away in their own rooms
Simple. Not rocket science.
No More Excuses
But you know what it did? I no longer hear the following:
“It’s not my job…”
“I did it last time…”
“I don’t want to fold his/her underwear…”
“You didn’t hang my shirts up right…”
“I don’t have underwear…”
“I don’t have jeans…”
“I don’t have socks…”
If my kids don’t have the things they would like to wear then this is all I need to say: “Is your hamper full? Do you need to bring it down?” It puts the responsibility of clean clothing primarily on them and I no longer have to keep apologizing or saying “Just wear those socks again for today and I’ll do laundry tonight”.
Another plus…my husband and I always have plenty of clean clothes now. If your household is like ours, the kids have way more clothing than the adults simply because they are lucky enough to get hand-me-downs. My kids can go more than a week between laundry loads, but I need my favorite jeans washed more often.
Since I’ve switched to this new system, I’m not dealing with bickering, I’m not apologizing, I’m only putting away laundry for 2.5 people, I have more clean clothes, more time and more peace!!