How can I make laundry less of a chore?
Real Mom Problem
“I do laundry once a week and it's out of control! I feel like I end up doing 20+ loads at a time! I think I need a new system. How often do you do laundry?”
- 1. Get your kids to help out with laundry tasks they're capable of doing based on their age
- 2. Do one load per day or set days for certain thing (e.g. all sheets and towels on Sunday) so the laundry doesn't build up to an impossible amount
- 3. If you have older kids, teach them to do their own laundry
- 4. Set up a laundry system the whole family can follow
- 5. Keep an organized laundry area to make the process easier
Real Mom Solutions
Not many people LOVE to do laundry, but it doesn't have to be the worst chore in the world. See how these moms make it a little easier!
Our Expert Mom Says...
It all starts with attitude. I remember I hated doing laundry, until I witnessed firsthand the suffering that other people are dealing with. When I saw a child who only had one shirt, I no longer detested laundering my children's mountain of clothing. Get an attitude of gratitude and laundry no longer becomes a chore.
I also love the time I fold clothes because I use it to listen to my favorite podcasts. Pair your laundry with your favorite music, podcast, or television show, and you won't mind the work so much!
Another favorite "folding" task is for my two youngest daughters to climb up where I'm folding clothes. They help me fold while I tell them stories and it becomes wonderful together time.
Another way to make laundry easier is to not let it build up. You can do this by making a point of doing a load every day or every other day. This helps prevent the mountain from forming. Make it a habit to get up, get dressed, and stick one load in the washer. And at a set time during the day, get the clothes out of the dryer and fold them immediately. Most people grossly overestimate how much time it takes to fold a load of laundry. I've actually timed it--six minutes! Now, everyone has six minutes during the day. Why not take a timer and make it a contest with yourself to see how quickly you can do it?
Keeping a hamper or basket by the back door or in the garage is another excellent way to make laundry less of a chore. When kids come home from playing in the mud or slide tackling in soccer games, they can just toss their clothes in the basket on their way in. This works really well -- up until they're too old to go running around the house in their underwear!
Hannah Keeley is the producer and host of the national television series, "Hannah, Help Me!" She is also the author of "Hannah Keeley's Total Mom Makeover," founder of the mom website, hannahkeeley.com, and the mother of seven rambunctious kids! Hannah has appeared on the "Today" show, "Fox and Friends", TLC, and has been a frequent guest on the "Rachael Ray Show". She has also been featured in "The Wall Street Journal," "Better Homes and Gardens," and "Real Simple" magazine.
The Moms of CafeMom Say...
I only have small baskets in the laundry room, and when they are full of dirty laundry, I do a load. I've found it so much easier than having baskets in every room and having a schedule.
My 14-year-old does her own laundry. I fold laundry and hang it up when necessary and each person is responsible for putting their own laundry away, even my four-year-old.
I sort our laundry by person and day: my husband's laundry gets done on Mondays; sheets and linens are on Tuesday; towels are on Wednesday; Thursdays are free days (I only do laundry if I have to); my laundry gets done on Fridays; my boys' laundry gets done on Saturdays; Sundays, my 12-year-old, Avery, does her own laundry. Sorting it by person and doing one person's (or thing) a day works out better and means the laundry doesn't build up.
I'm finding if I just sort the clothes into piles as we take them off, it makes it much easier when it is time to wash them.
I have a canvas bin for each family member. When the wash is done, I fold it and sort it into the bins. After that, it is my family's job to carry the bins to their respective rooms and put the clothes away. Then the empty bins come back downstairs for next time.
A laundry room with space to store laundry needs and fold and hang clothes is a wonderful thing! I think everyone should have a laundry room.
To make laundry easier, the towels everyone uses go in a towel hamper, and we all help fold them when they're clean. My daughter's clothes go in her hamper. She washes them and puts them away. My son's clothes go in his hamper. He helps wash them and puts them away on his own. I wash my husband's and my own clothes and put mine away. My husband puts his away when he gets to it.
Teach your teens to do their own laundry -- it's a skill they will need to know!