How I cut down on laundry time

October 18, 2013 in Five Minute Friday,Organization

Laundry back up

image courtesy of tongdang/free digital images

The rhythm of a new school year was weeks old when I remembered an important check point. I needed to add a new responsibility to my girls’ chore list. I didn’t add anything the year before. And I forgot this year (clearly I need a new plan) but last year, I remembered. Problem was, what to add?

They already made beds, cleaned bathrooms, cleared dishes, cared for pets, put laundry away. I should start forcing the older one to cook but it was my first year home schooling and that sounded like too much work (because really the initial stage of new chores is all about how well mom teaches). I took the logical approach and asked. The oldest one wanted to do her own laundry. Really? What an awesome idea. I hadn’t thought of it ( my own mom did my laundry until I moved out at 18). Momentarily I considered that her doing her own laundry might cost more, but it slipped away in favor of  responsibility and less laundry for me. I can’t remember what the younger one choose–probably because neither of us followed through. But let’s role with the success story.

I bought my girl her own laundry hamper so she could keep her clothes separate from the pile at the bottom of the laundry chute (a brilliant invention!).  I spent the first three weeks teaching her how to use the washer and dryer. And she now, a year and half later, she still does her own laundry. Before a busy soccer weekend sometimes I remind her she needs to have a clean uniform and definitely clean soccer socks, but that’s it. On sheet changing day, she removes her sheets, washes and dries them, and puts them back on.

Other than making the girls clean the bathrooms, it may be my most time saving technique yet,

Joining Lisa Jo and other who love words today. Take five minutes and write, without overthinking. Today’s word: laundry.

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{ 7 comments… read them below or add one }

Kristin October 18, 2013 at 11:06 am

You know one thing I recognize that I need to start doing is teaching my older son how to do laundry. I have just always done everyone’s all together..but he is going off to college in a few years and needs to know how to use a machine! Yikes!! 🙂 Love what you are doing with your daughter though!!

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Jenny Irvine (@jnnyrvn) October 18, 2013 at 11:07 am

We homeschool too 🙂 and I have toyed with the idea of having my 8 year old start helping more with the laundry as life with 4 under 8 certainly produces a lot of it. This might just be the encouragement I needed. Thanks FMF friend.

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pruningprincesses October 18, 2013 at 12:14 pm

Jenny, I have friends who kids didn’t do their own laundry at 8 but they did laundry. Their mom would say, Will go put in a load of colors please? My girl was ten when she started doing her own laundry. Thanks for stopping by.

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Lizzy October 18, 2013 at 1:01 pm

I’m not sure that I’m ready (or the kids) to hand over laundry duty just yet but I have had a couple ‘aha’ moments with other jobs they can do. It’s wonderful isn’t it?!

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Becky Daye October 18, 2013 at 6:01 pm

Here’s to our laundry chutes!!! We just started having Lindsay do laundry (she’s 10) and it is still in the challenging stage (if she is doing a load, I don’t always remember to stay on top of it and she hasn’t quite grasped the importance of folding clothes neatly!). But, she’s getting there!
I love the idea of having them do their own sheets!!! Brilliant!
Love to you friend!

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Susan October 19, 2013 at 1:28 pm

I agree! Presorting the laundry as it gets dirty saves a ton of time for me. Unfortunately, my boys aren’t that thrilled with the idea. Sigh.

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Adrian October 20, 2013 at 3:26 am

I have boys and they’ve been doing their own since they were about 7. My youngest is 15 now and still doing it. They aren’t always very diligent about it, but at least I’m not the one doing it. I’ve got enough of my own. I’ve done 3 loads already today and I probably have at least 5 more languishing in the hamper – I work, so I need to be better about keeping on top of it.

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