Doing laundry for an entire family can be a full-time job for any one person. The only way to survive the deluge of dirty clothes in a busy house is to delegate the massive chore out to each member of the household. As children go from toddler to kid, parents can teach them to pitch in and share the laundry load. If you’re wondering how to organize laundry in the house to maximize help, here are three helpful hints to help get the ball rolling.
Tip #1: The basket approach
Most grocery stores sell plastic milk-crate baskets. Buy as many of these crates as you have children. If you can find crates of various colors, assign each child a color of basket to make it easier to keep track of whose is who.
From here, make each child responsible for their basket. They load dirty clothes in the basket, and when it’s full, have them bring the clothes to the laundry room. Depending on the age, the kids can learn to run the load in the washing machine and switch it to the dryer, or you can move the clothes through the cycle yourself. Kids can fold the clothes and then each child fills his or her own crate with clean duds.
Tip #2: The washing machine hamper
For the family on the run, and the house laid out just right, there’s a shortcut to doing family laundry.
Instead of providing an individual laundry basket for each child, have them gather up all their dirty clothes each day and just drop them straight into the washing machine. When the load is full, run it, dry it, fold it, rinse, lather and repeat!
This approach might not fly with laundry perfectionists. There’s no way to really separate out colors, and every type of fabric gets washed together. For those who like to wash whites with whites, bright colors with bright colors etc, the washing machine catch-all solution might not be to their tastes. But for other families with less refined laundry tastes, the washing machine hamper method is an easy trick to keeping ahead of the dirty clothes avalanche.
Tip #3: Forget the fold
It seems like every family has a pain-point in the laundry cycle. For some, it’s hard to remember to gather up dirty clothes, for others switching out a load can be easy to forget. For many though, laundry makes its way from washing machine to dryer and then into what can be dubbed “Clean Clothes Mountain”.
If your laundry bottle-neck comes at the clean clothes stage, consider putting all the kids clothes in their respective piles and letting them dump them in their drawers. Most knit fabrics don’t wrinkle easily, and if the clothes aren’t stuffed in the drawer by the bushel, they clean clothes will look just fine for wearing.
Again, this method may stun the more laundry-conscious households. But for many with busy schedules and an influx of clothes to clean, the no-fold approach is a quick and easy way to keep drawers full.