I hate laundry. More than any other task around the house, laundry is my nemesis.
Whenever the question comes up – “Would you rather have a chef, maid, or assistant?” My answer is always – a maid who just does laundry.
There are dozens of other chores I would rather do. Just to give you an idea, my husband’s last business trip was in January, and two of his shirts that I didn’t have dry-cleaned still have yet to be ironed. They’ve been relocated around the house about 3 or 4 times, and yet still need my attention.
When it comes to our growing family, one of the first thoughts I have about how it will be more challenging with 4 children, my mind instantly goes to the increase in laundry. Loading and unloading the car, trying to shop, getting ready in the morning, feeding times – all of these instances seem like a breeze – the thought of laundry literally makes me have to pause and take a deep breathe. Yes – I hate laundry THAT much.
The Laundry Issue
My kiddos have the amazing habit of putting any item of clothing that touches the floor, goes straight to the dirty hamper. I have literally found clothes I just put away in the dirty laundry without having been tried on. It’s SO frustrating.
Because I hate laundry so much, I start my kids young. My 2-year-old even helps to sort the laundry after it is cleaned. All of my kids sort the clean laundry, fold theirs and put it away. The deal is, if I wash it, then you need to put it away.
A couple of weeks ago I asked them to clean their room – they literally took everything off the floor and just stuck it in the hamper. I was so frustrated. They had toys, clean (even folded) clothes in there, along with shoes.
So I decided it was time to try something new because I really don’t want to nag anymore. Unsuccessful = new approach.
The Laundry Plan
I took away their laundry hamper. I literally stuck it in storage. My husband and I have a hamper in our room, so I told the kids that if it needed to be washed, they had to show me how it was dirty. Otherwise, it needed to be put away. Each night before bed they either put away their clothes, are took the dirty items to our hamper.
This may seem crazy, but I cannot tell you how much of a difference I have seen in my kids. They are taking the initiative to pick their stuff up, especially since they have no where else to dump it. They are also more aware of their laundry and seeing it in a different way. They are identifying when clothes need to be washed vs. not.
Not to mention, my oldest daughter (who changes 3 times before going to school) has been excited that she has less clothing to fold when it comes to laundry day.
My initial goal with this experiment was to just manage our amount of laundry, but in the end it has helped my kids in more ways that I thought. It was such a simple thing, hopefully in a couple months they habit will be established and they can get their own hampers back.