Happy Monday! If you are a busy mom, I’m sure the weekend included some (or many) loads of laundry, right? I am always amazed at home much laundry we have in our house when there are only TWO adults. Some days I feel like there is more than when I was a single mom with a baby.
Most of us know our family needs clean clothes but we also hate doing laundry so we procrastinate. And procrastination makes doing laundry even more unpleasant so we continue an ugly cycle, and unfortunately it’s not the spin cycle.
Here are 3 tips to put a stop to the cycle….
#1 – Create a Routine
Let’s face it, kids produce a lot of laundry, right? No matter the age, it seems like they product PILES of laundry. The easiest way to stay on top of the endless mounds is to make laundry a regular part of your schedule.
I used to do the Monday, Wednesday, Friday routine when it was just Belinda and I. Now, I do the Monday Friday Method. Some may need to do the Once-a-Day method. Whatever the need, put it in your routine. Start a load first thing in the morning, move it to the dryer after breakfast and fold it in the afternoon. When I worked outside the home, I would start a load as soon as I came home from work, move it to the dryer after dinner and fold it before going to bed.
#2 – Organize the Baskets
I know you don’t believe laundry could be pleasant, right? It is when you have control over it. Let’s be honest, picking up the dirty clothes then sorting them is an effort BEFORE you even begin the washing/drying process. The Peaceful Mom suggests gaining control by designating baskets for each type of laundry load you do. Of course, the toughest part could be getting everyone in the house to follow the rules.
The 3 Basket Method works like this: darks (colors might bleed), lights (colors will not bleed), towels (washcloths, rags and towels need to be washed in hot water). If you have a lot of white clothing you may want to add an additional basket for those clothes.
Another way to organize laundry is by child. Each one gets his or her own basket for dirty clothes, then wash a complete load of only his or her clothing. When the drying is done, the child can take the basket of clean clothes to his room, fold it and put it away. Okay, I can hear the skeptics now. It takes practice. Of course you also take the risk of clean clothes not getting put away and dirty clothes being thrown on top of clean. What is your best solution for this struggle?
#3 – Recruit Help
I will admit I was not very good at this. Belinda didn’t do laundry or put her clothes away. I tried it for a little while BUT the result was more trouble then it was worth. As a single working mom, I picked my battles and laundry was not one of them. The downside, when she went to college she was clueless on how to do laundry. Opps, I squirreled.
The truth is teenagers can help but even Toddlers can help match socks and fold small items like washcloths and their own pants or shorts. They can then carry the clothing to their room and put it away in a drawer.
Children as young as 4 or 5 can fold towels and clothing. The clothing may not be folded according to your standards but the point is to get your children involved. It will teach them responsibility and hopefully work yourself out of a job. Believe me, no one is going to open your linen closet and judge you for a few sloppily folded towels.
Children between the ages of 10 and 12 can start washing their own laundry. Post a written list of the steps and provide lots of supervision until they get the hang of it. (‘No, we don’t add bleach to the load with jeans.’) Then leave them on their own.
I challenge you to pick a laundry system. Since it takes time to develop a routine or a habit, write a note to remind yourself or set an alarm on your phone or put it in your planner.
Which system do you prefer to use for laundry – once a day or once a week? Share with us your best laundry tips.
Have a ThirtyOne-derful day!