When I am having a conversation to a mom about family and household challenges one thing that comes up with out fail is Laundry. Now I know that we have been discussing parenting strategies and practical child rearing things, but laundry is a dark cloud of doubt that hangs over us. We tend to feel, if I can’t get the laundry right, can I do anything right? You are doing a great job rather you have 1 load of laundry or 4 loads of laundry to wash and fold. Now for me the washing and drying part is simple it is the folding and putting away that slows me down in the race to clean clothes. Laundry is not going any where if anything it will continue to multiply, until you have an empty nest then you may miss it. But, for now here are some practical tips to make laundry not so over whelming.
1. Set a schedule. When you set a schedule you can impliment it to where each family member has a certain day to have their clothes washed. You can set a day for just whites or just dark colored clothing. Set a time as well. Tell yourself “I am going to wash clothes from 6:00pm until 8:00pm this week.” Then be on it. When the washer is finished put it in the dryer and keep your cycle going. With my washer and dryer 2 hours of consistent laundry will allow me to wash, dry and put away about 3 loads of laundry. That may only scratch the surface but you have completed more than if you ignored the ever growing piles.
2. Gather the troops young and old. Something tells me mom or dad that you didn’t wear that 6T shirt yesterday. Since you did not wear all of the clothes yourself you should not be expected to wash all of them yourself. I know that you may have a specific way of washing. And there are rules to conserving the quality of clothes when you wash them. So let this be a lesson to your little ones. Make it into a game. “Let’s see how fast you can put all of the white socks in this basket.” You are teaching colors, motor skills and there is one less task you have to do yourself.
3. Use the Get To method of thinking. We talked about this in a previous blog but just to recap when we take the get to approach to our to-do list it brings a sense of gratitude. Think and say “I am so grateful that I get to do my families laundry. I am thankful that we have clean clothes to wear.”
4. Do laundry often. Just like any task if we tackle it while it’s small it will be easier to accomplish and we will feel as if we actually can do it. It is easier to wash the mole hill of laundry than the Mt Everest of laundry.
5. Get a systematic method. This can tie in with the scheduling and can go farther to the actual separation of clothes. Do we wash the jeans first? Do we check pockets as we are loading the clothes or during separation? Find out what works for you and do that over and over again. Then you will have a system that you can do with your eyes close.
6. Separate daily. Have a basket for dark colors and light colors. As well as any other category that you may have. Put them for your children’s use as well. Then when it is time to wash one task is already complete.
Ok as always I love to hear from you. And thank you so much for reading. Share your laundry stories and what works best for you and your family. Connect with me on facebook and twitter. Happy imperfect parenting.