Posted by: Sound Organizing | January 19, 2011

“MOM, WHERE’S MY SHIRT?”

Laundry is the dreaded chore of every household and it usually falls to one family member in particular, most often to Mom.

I give my clients the straight up honest remedy to this problem: “Don’t do it.” The response is the sound of chirping crickets. But I am serious.  Stop…doing…laundry. I’m not advocating a feminist protest or anti-housework rally here but simply a division of labor. The rule is really quite simple: if your child is old enough to get a driver’s permit or go the movies alone, he is old enough to wash his own clothes. Spouses can also fend for themselves.

Laundry is not difficult. A rug cannot vacuum itself, the floor mop itself or the shower scrub itself but laundry washes itself. With proper training anyone can wash clothes.  Your kid’s algebra homework is more difficult.

Here are some suggestions to help in the laundry world:

Every family member of capable age does his/her own laundry. (I was doing my own laundry when I was nine.)

-Excess creates laundry.  Sort through clothes and linens and donate what you don’t wear or want. Once paired down, fine-tune the remains.  Does each family member really need ten bath towels or five sets of sheets? The more you have, the more there is to wash, fold, and put away.

 -Each person has one laundry hamper. When it’s full, it’s time to wash.

 -A mesh laundry bag is a great way to wash socks-keeps them altogether.

 If laundry still falls to one person:

-Establish a set laundry day. Every family member must have their clothes in the laundry room on that day or they won’t have any clean clothes.

 -Only run a full load and keep everyone’s laundry separate. This eliminates the problem of sorting through a pile of clothes to determine who owns what.

 And if all else fails, you can pay someone to come in to do your family’s laundry or drop it off elsewhere.

 Finally, some parents will moan to that their kids simply won’t do their own laundry. They certainly won’t if mom steps in every time to do it for them. They will get the hang of it pretty quickly when they don’t have clean clothes!

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