Need help with the laundry? Teach your kids to help!

Why We All Hate Laundry

If you’re like most moms these days, laundry is a never-ending, smoking, freight train. Piles of both folded and unfolded, clean laundry lie in extra rooms and bedroom corners, and dirty laundry bags seem like bottomless pits, as each time you return, the bag is vomiting dirty clothes over its opening, half of them lying inside out on the floor around the room’s “dirty laundry area”.

Why Laundry Never Ends

You wish you could hire some help around the house, but you can’t afford it. Your kids throw their neatly ironed clothes you just hung up back on the floor, exacerbating the already maddening laundry issue. Your husband’s dirty socks are all over the place, forget the kids’ clothes – finding his is hard enough on its own!

Why Should Kids Help with Laundry?

Many articles have been written on the benefits of getting kids to help with housework, but kids should help with laundry for the one simple fact that you need them to. Without everyone pitching in, other obligations begin to suffer. The best thing about teaching your kids to do laundry, though, is that it lessens the chance of them bringing it home to you when they finally grow up and leave the nest.

What Can Kids Do, and How Do I Teach Them?

If your child can walk and talk, they can help with laundry. Tell all your children to at least notify you if their laundry bag begins to overflow, and tell them firmly that all days-old clothes belong in the laundry basket, immediately. Hang a big, neon poster board sign in their rooms if you must, with the words, “If Your PJs are On, Put the Clothes You Just Took Off in Here! →”.

Consider discipline for not adhering to “Laundry Rules”. A time-out or a day without a cell phone is harmless and can be very motivating. Change the wi-fi password if you must, and then let them know the new one when they get their part done.

Children of all ages can also at least slide clothes out of the dryer into a basket lying in front of it, then drag that basket to a certain room for ironing and folding. Step stools are great for help with laundry if you have a top loading washer or a top loading dryer, and most warehouse stores sell folding ones made specifically for laundry rooms.

Older, school-aged children are more than capable of understanding how to fold a shirt, even if you must teach them the “quick-n-easy” way of just folding shirts in half one way, and then the other (horizontally, then vertically). If anyone in this age group throws their clothes on the floor after you have ironed them, tell them they will have to re-wash and re-iron those clothes themselves before they can wear them.

So, if you need help with laundry, teach your kids to help. You’ll no longer see mounds of dirty laundry everywhere!