Laundry: Family members can help

You’ve had a long day. It’s after midnight. You lock up the house and head to your bedroom exhausted and looking forward to the little bit of sleep you’ll get before starting another busy day. You turn on the light to your room and suddenly remember you’re not done for the day. Looming on your bed like a mountain that must be conquered are several loads of clean clothing waiting for you to fold.

Doing laundry doesn’t have to be a daunting task that leaves you feeling defeated at the end of the day. Putting a few systems in place may be all it takes for you to conquer this never-ending chore.

Getting everyone in the household involved should be your first priority. Start by purchasing a laundry hamper for everyone’s room or a central one that every family member uses. Make it a rule that only the laundry in the hamper is what you’ll wash. Anything left on the floor will not get done that day.

Next set up your laundry room efficiently so you can streamline the process. This room is used frequently, yet you may be storing things you hardly use in this area. Eliminate the unnecessary items.

Folding from the dryer immediately will simplify the laundry process. Purchase a plastic tote, preferably with a handle, for each family member. Label each tote with their name. Keep these totes near the dryer. A small shelving unit to stack the totes will keep them off the floor and makes sorting easier. Bring the totes at your feet while sorting clothes from the dryer if lack of space prevents you from storing them in the laundry room.

Create a space to hang laundry that doesn’t get folded so you can hang clothes straight from the dryer. If you do not have built-in hanging space, there are many products on the market that can temporarily be set up to hang clothes on then collapsed and put away when not in use.

Clothes from the dryer can now be hung up at once and folded clothes into the individual totes for each family member. By doing this, everyone will find their clothes quickly without rooting through everyone’s clothes. When rushed to get out the door this can be a real time saver.

Children who are old enough can now be responsible for putting their own clothes away from their tote. The best time to get children to put their clothes away is when they need something from you. The next time your child asks for something; can I have a friend over or will you take me to my soccer game, your new response is, “Sure, after the clothes in your tote are put away.”

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