“My second favorite household chore is ironing. My first being hitting my head on the top bunk bed until I faint.” – Erma Bombeck
Does the thought of all the laundry you have to do overwhelm and discourage you? If so, you’re not alone. Laundry is one of those things we tend either love or hate!
I used to hate it—but in all honesty, I don’t anymore. I love the smell of clean laundry. And I REALLY like grabbing shirts and dresses out of the dryer before they need to be ironed! Mmmm. Lavender fabric softener is my new guilty pleasure. 🙂 But I won’t tell if you won’t!
No matter how you feel about this age old chore, it’s always good to feel like you’ve got the best of it instead of the other way around. No, really! You can! It’s important. And you don’t need a laundry “room” to be really great at getting a handle of doing laundry. In fact, I devoted a huge part of a chapter to laundry in “The Busy Homeschool Mom’s Guide to Daylight” because I honestly believe that if we had a better system, laundry would not be such a chore.
So without further adieu, here are FIVE of my favorite laundry tips! Let me know what your favorite tips are – if they make my next article, I’ll send you a free copy of my book.
Train your children to do laundry. I’m not kidding! If your child is just three years old he is not too little to start training. A three year old can put laundry in the hamper. She can help you put the clothes into the washing machine.
So often, moms find themselves overwhelmed when a quick glance around the room reveals a much bigger issue: children who could and should be helping simply are not.
Start when they are little. By the age of eight, my kids can run both the washer and the dryer, and they can measure the detergent too. Teens can do their own laundry. Tweens should be helping by folding the baby’s laundry. You get the idea. Put your kids to work! Yes it’s more work for mom initially but the payoff is worth it, and believe me when they move out they will thank you for training them to take care of themselves and others.
Early and often. Fly Lady says, “A load a day keeps the chaos away”, and I could not agree more.
Around our house, the first load is started first thing in the morning. We often run three loads a day but two for our household of 10 is about average. Two loads a day. Kitchen towels pile up and we do them twice a week. My point is—we are doing a lot of little loads to avoid the massive laundry “day” that is sure to pile up if we don’t.
Use a system. This cannot be over-emphasized. 🙂 Systems work! And usually, any system is better than no system!
I wrote about our system at length in my book but I can simplify it by saying that in our house, each BEDROOM has it’s own laundry basket. Here’s how it works:
1. Child fills up his or her laundry hamper.
2. Mom or children start a load and run it through.
3. When laundry comes out of the dryer, it is immediately sorted into the basket that corresponds to the room the child is in.
This makes the CHILD responsible for his or her own laundry. It works. BONUS: It forces the child to think about the amount of clothes they throw in the wash each day. 🙂 And I’m ALL for that!
Think before you buy! In other words—if you have a lot of people in your house, if it wrinkles easily or if it will require extra care, maybe it’s something you should just leave in the store. Yeah. Just say “no” to more work in the laundry room!
Get caught up. Have a laundry-folding party! In our house, when we get behind (and believe me, it happens) then my solution is to gather the troops, dump all the clothes out on the floor and have a FOLD-FEST.
The last time we needed to do this was … mmmm… two days ago. 🙂 I had been gone and we had about eight loads of laundry that needed to be folded and put away. With my kids helping, we got it all done in just over an hour!
hint: if you need to have a fold-fest, take a washcloth, get it wet and throw it into the dryer with the clothes that are too wrinkly to wear. Give it about ten minutes on medium heat. Voila! No ironing!
Ready to Git ‘er done? Train your kids to help, get a system and get moving! You’ll be glad you did!