The laundry is never-ending. As soon as you get it completed and put away, someone throws something in the hamper. It is a job that goes on forever. Today, laundry can be complicated, with many different fabrics that may need special care. To make matters worse, laundry rooms are often small rooms and sometimes you are working in a closet. Where are you to put all the many items necessary to do the wash and what do you do with the tools, such as laundry baskets?
Tips for helping the daunting task of doing laundry not so daunting:
- Teach older children to do their own wash. In my house it is a “right of passage” when a child enters sixth grade. At this age, they are tall enough to reach the top of the washer and dryer and can understand the basics of washing clothes.
- Keep a laundry basket specifically for socks, rather than sorting them for each person. All socks go into one basket; each family member can sort through for their own socks.
- Once clothes are folded, have each person be responsible to returning their own clothes to their room and putting them away.
- Use clothespins to mark stains on clothes that may need extra attention. Additional clothespins can be attached to each person’s hamper. When they have a stain, the clothespin can be attached as it is put on the hamper.
- Install cabinets on the wall above the washer and dryer to hold detergent, stain remover, fabric softener and any other materials you have. The higher cabinets will keep these chemicals away from younger children but allow older children to reach them.
- Keep mesh bags near the washer to hold small items to prevent them from getting lost in the wash.
- Once you develop a system, be consistent with following it and insist your family follow the system as well.
- Choose what works best for you. For some, dedicating one day a week to completing all the laundry is easiest, while others find that completing one or two loads of wash each evening is best.
- Keep a hamper in each bedroom and one in each bathroom or use laundry baskets for each bedroom.
- Have a laundry basket available for each member of the household. When you complete a load of wash and fold the clothes, sort them directly into the baskets. They will be ready for each person to take them directly to their room.
- Download a stain removal chart and post it by the washing machine. This will help in finding the right solution for each type of stain and will help your clothes last longer.
- Keep two extra laundry baskets nearby the washing area. Use one for clothes that need mending and one for items needing to be dry-cleaned. Have one person in the household responsible for taking and picking up clothes from the dry cleaner each week.
- Keep a small container in the laundry area to hold buttons and other small items found in the wash.
- When purchasing a new washer, consider spending the extra money for a large capacity washer to reduce the number of loads of wash you must complete.
- Have young children do your wash with you. They will learn as they go and be ready to do their own wash as they get older.
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