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  • Writer's pictureLisa Y

Laundry Woes…An Update

laundry room with big piles of laundry

I figured it was time to write a new post on laundry.  I know my laundry routines have changed, and when I ask clients what chore they hate the most, I almost always get laundry as the answer!  So many of those people tell me that they do laundry EVERY SINGLE DAY!  Are you kidding me?

Once I got a peek into so many laundry rooms I realized why laundry is such a struggle for so many, and I am going to be brutally honest here…YOU ARE DOING IT ALL WRONG!  

I’m telling you there is a much better way to handle laundry.  FYI, Moms, this WILL help you but it’s going to involve your kids helping and doing their fair share, assuming they are over the age of about 8.  Yes, 8 years old is is old enough to begin helping with their laundry.  I don’t expect them to be able to do it all at first, but with your supervision, and gradually they will be doing it independently.  Trust me this works.  My kids are 17, and 14 and started learning at 8.  By age 10 they were doing it on their own.  Occasionally they have to ask questions, but that’s how they learn, and the point is they are doing it!

For starters, every member of the home will do their own laundry.  That means, each kid and yes, the husband could actually do his own too!  Now if you are that mom that actually enjoys doing all the laundry for everyone, you can just stop here.  But I want to ask you…do you do laundry for everyone because you are a control freak?  Or you don’t trust them to do it?  If that’s a yes, the next question is can you just let it go?  It will do you, and your family some good.  It’s a task your kids need to learn to do at some point anyway so why not start early?  The way I see it, every member of the family should do their fair share of household tasks.  

I should also add that you are NOT going to have mounds of dirty clothes in the laundry room.  While some homes may have a dedicated laundry space, many don’t.  It’s sometimes a shared space with a mudroom, or it’s in the basement combined with storage space, and sometimes its just a laundry closet.    Save yourself a headache and don’t leave piles of clothes laying around to be walked on or kicked around.  This is how things get lost.  So save yourself some stress and leave the floor clear so you can easily move around the space.  

You’re going to start by making sure each person has their own laundry basket/hamper in their bedroom.  I mean this is where they are most likely removing their clothes, right?  So this just makes sense.  

bedroom with a laundry basket

Then once a week, each person will do their own laundry.  It’s that simple!

They can pick the day they want to do it so it can become routine.  Once a week is just a suggestion to keep the laundry under control.  But if your son or daughter wants to wait 2 or 3 weeks, that’s on them.  They will complain they don’t have anything to wear, or  it’s too much to do but that’s their fault for waiting too long,  Their complaints are not a signal for you to jump in and do it for them.  Simply remind them of the tip for keeping in manageable.  Once a week even if you don’t think its enough stuff because a smaller load is much more manageable then an overstuffed load.  

Each person will take their own basket to the laundry area, and do it including switching it over to the dryer and then taking it back to their rooms to put away.  This is the point where you may need to help the younger ones.  Remember if this is done once a week per person, it should be a manageable amount, and won’t take too long.  

While the kids are still younger, this is where you will need to assist with some aspects of the process like making sure the washer/dryer settings are correct, or maybe with the pouring of detergent.  They may not be quite tall enough to get stuff out of the washer if its a top-loader.  So you will need to help there also.  But eventually they will be able to do it unassisted.  

With my kids ages (14 and 17), I am at a point where I only do my own laundry once a week, and another 2 loads for linens.  I do sheets and shower curtains in one load, and all towels(bathroom and kitchen) for the week in another one, all on Mondays because that’s a non-work day for me.  My clothing is done on Fridays.  I start the wash once I am out of the shower and while I get ready for work and eat breakfast.  Then it goes in the dryer before I leave the house.  Then its dry when I get home and I just have to put it way, which takes about 10 minutes at most since its only my stuff and only a weeks worth.  

My husband had developed his own routine on Sunday evenings after dinner.  My daughters have each developed their own routine as well even if it’s not a set routine per se.  They don’t really do it once a week, but sometimes wait until they are out of clean clothes.  But they are old enough to know and the point is I don’t have to do it for them any more even when they complain they are out of clean stuff.  Occasionally, one of them will ask if I can throw a couple things in with my laundry because they need it quickly.  It’s usually something they need for work.  

Do they always put it away?  No.  But it’s not left in the laundry room either.  Do they sometimes live out of their basket?  Yes.  Does that mean they sometimes have a pile of dirty clothes on their floor?  Yes.  But you have to learn to let go of that stuff.  It’s their room, not yours.  And besides, are your clean clothes always put away 100% of the time?  I’m guessing not so you can’t really get irritated with them for doing the same thing you do. 

My point is, if you follow at least some of the guidance in this article you could ease some of your laundry stress.  BELIEVE ME, IT WORKS!!

I'm not saying that this is a magic trick, and instantly you won't be doing so much laundry, but it will help you do less over time, and you won't have the massive piles on floor. And I must say it's been really nice not having to do laundry for everyone. Give it a try and see how it works for your family.

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