Tuesday, October 19, 2010

The Laundry Chore

At our house, 'CHORE DAY' is on Monday.
This is the day that all our household cleaning is done, including all the laundry.
Yes, I only do the washing 1 day each week...this just works best for me.
I do not wash a load (or just a single item) later in the week just because someone needs a particular shirt.
I encourage our children to plan out what items of clothing they may need for a certain event/activity, as not to dirty them beforehand.

Here is how I divide up our laundry chore:
I do all the washing, drying, folding & distributing.

Our sons are responsible for bringing their dirty clothes down to the laundry room on Monday morning, emptying it into a basket.
They also do any pretreating of stains (this is done, if possible, immediately after the stain has occured).
They also must have all their laundry put away before bed on Monday nt.

Every bedroom has a laundry hamper...& only DIRTY clothes can go here!
(We use wicker hampers like the one below)

Teach children that just because an item of clothing has been worn doesn't mean it's dirty!  (This, of course, excludes the underwear! lol)
We'd probably all be surprised to know the number of clothes being washed that aren't even dirty.
Not only does this increase your amount of laundry, it's increasing your cost (soap, softener, dryer use, etc).
In addition, clothes will fade & look worn out much quicker.
So, establish the rules about when an item is tossed in the hamper.

Here's our general practice:
  • If you've only worn it to church for an hour or 2, or to town for a quick errand, hang it back up in the closet.  (Wash after a wearing a couple times).
  • Anything denim always fits best after wearing a time or 2, so wash when dirty/stained.
  • If you've worn it all day long, especially after being outside or working, put it in the hamper.
  • Underclothes, wash after 1 wear, of course;)
      **For babies/small children, adjust accordingly. 

Here are another 3 ways to cut back on the amount of dirty laundry:

1)  PJ's:  No need to wear a clean pair every night.  They're only being slept in & are not getting dirty.

2)  Towels:  Use more than once before tossing in the hamper!  The body is clean!
I have installed an additional shower rod (just the tension rod type) a few inches out from the back of the shower wall.

This is the perfect place to hang the damp towels so they'll be dry for the next use.
Pull the curtain closed & these towels are out of sight, keeping the bathroom nice & tidy.
Each person needs to remember the color of their towel & always use their own.
After a few uses, put in hamper, only if DRY!
Wet towels in a hamper ruins clothes!
(All damp towels are placed on washer lid)

3) Do not let small children (& teenagers) change clothes over & over throughout the day! 
Unless there are special circumstances, 1 outfit should get anyone through the day.

Helpful hints:
~I have a 'sock' basket on the shelf in my laundry room.
This is where any individual (clean) socks go until the match turns up, which is usually in the next load.

~I make my own laundry soap (recipe on another blog) & always buy fabric softener when it's on sale & use coupons.  I buy 4 or 5 at a time, if the price is right.
I keep dry color-safe bleach to use on loads that may need it...& I use liquid bleach for my whites.

How to get children on board with the laundry chore:
Take time to explain to them WHY things operate in the household the way they do.
This will get them on board with helping out.
Show them scripture about being a good steward, not only with money, but with resources & time!
And most importantly, don't just tell them, show them....& show them again, sticking with it until it's become habit.


  1. so glad you excluded the undies from rewear! :) lol great tips.

  2. I love your blogs...they have been helpful with trying to get a routine adjusted with 3 little ones to make things easier...cause days can be very overwhelming when your the only one of 5 that tries to keep it together!!! And laundry is the worst I say clean your room they bring all their clothes dirty or not to the washer cause they think its the easy way to clean lol for them any way!! Keep up the blogs they are awesome and encouraging!!!!

  3. Rita, so your sweet comment just officially made my day! Mommying is hard work, isn't it?! I promise though, Rita, those days pass quickly. Hang in there.