Saturday, October 22, 2011

Ruling Over My Laundry Pile

There is nothing like the change of seasons to bring on an eruption of Mount Washmore.  This time it has made me rethink our laundry system because apparently it is just not working.  First of all, the laundry is not getting done.  Second, I am doing it all, the kids should be helping more.  They are 10, 7, and 5, so no more excuses.  Lastly, if I am fortunate enough to wash, dry and actually take the clothes out before they are completely wrinkled, they sit in all sorts of places, except in their proper place - in our drawers and closets.

Most people will organize their laundry system by letting clothes pile in bins, marked with each child's name.  Then, once the bins are full, they put them away.  This does not work for us right now because seeing all those clothes to put away makes me want to put it off, not to mention that it totally overwhelms my kids.  Also, part of doing the laundry every day is so we need less clothes.  This would not work if we only put the clothes away once a week.  This is not just with laundry, I find just about anything multiplies if I do not put it away right away - mail, kids' artwork, toys, etc.

The solution is to make sure I put in a load first thing in the morning, if I wake up early enough, the load will be dried by the time I start homeschooling.  Because lets face it, once we start school, that is pretty much it for the rest of the day as far as household management is concerned.  To get more help, that is done correctly, we are going to put the laundry away, right away, and as a team.  After breakfast, I can wipe down the dining room table, which I need to do for school anyway.  Then the kids take their spots standing by their seats, and I dump the laundry in the middle.  I hang or fold the clothes and they run and put them away, pretty much one item at a time (mostly tops and bottoms).  This keeps them busy while I fold or hang the clothes. It helps to be faithful in the small things first!  Once they master this, my hope is they can also hang and fold their own clothes.

This part takes some training.  First time I found my pants in my 5 year old's drawer.  Also, I like sweat pants with sweat pants and jean with jeans.  If it is not done the way I want it to, I know I will end up doing it myself, and besides, showing them exactly how to put clothes away helps the task seem achievable for them.  My kids always need the helpful reminder, "We get done faster, if we do our work right."  Next time I think I need to add about being a careful listener too, my post put away inspection finds many "now how did they get that out of what I told them to do" examples.  Hopefully this whole scheme leads to "many hands make light work," clean clothes and our laundry problem solved!

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