5 Simple Rules to Reduce Child Laundry

by Ivory Soap

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photo from parents.com

With six people in one house, I am lately obsessed with reducing laundry.  A few month ago, I reported in THIS POST that I was trying a new laundry experiment.  I reported the results HERE and then my new shoe shelf innovation HERE.  After months of experience, I feel I have arrived at a realistic child laundry philosophy.  (P.S. This is only for people who dress themselves. Babies, who can go through four outfits on a bad day, don’t count.)

1.  Use a shoe shelf, or other hanging weekly clothing organizer.

The picture above features an organizer from One Step Ahead.  It’s $30.  I use a $12 hanging shoe shelf and just tell them to work from the top down. No labels.

2.  Keep extra in-season clothing out of reach for them, but in reach for you.

Once in a while, we need an extra outfit or set of panties.  No sweat. I can get them, short people can’t.  Golden.  And this step is crucial to keep you from putting off the laundry.  Who wants to get that down every day when there’s precisely one week’s worth of clothes laying in the hamper?

3. Fill the shelves once a week.

If I don’t do laundry on Saturday, the kids are naked.  This is a great incentive to get the laundry done.

4. If they care, let them pick.

My daughter likes to decide what day she wears things, so she does the Saturday night stuffing.  One set of panties for each day, one set of bottoms, or tops.   Make the teenager do their own picking, if they care so much.  I used to LABEL them all, but now almost everything matches everything and who wants to sort all those laundry marker letters on the tags?  Not me.

5. Keep it dark; hide the socks.

I don’t do lights and darks anymore.  I only have darks. And unless it’s in the rules for where we’re going, I avoid socks entirely. Come winter, I’ll have to break down.  But, until then, I SHUN them.

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{ 5 comments… read them below or add one }

KimH August 29, 2012 at 3:23 am

I wish I’d have seen something like this when my kids were little. How much easier my life would have been
My granddaughters closet looks very much like that and has since she was born.
Its just awesome! 🙂

Tami Lewis September 1, 2012 at 5:49 am

I am the same way about only darks for the most part and no socks. . Great minds think alike!

LeAnn September 29, 2012 at 3:18 pm

What about pajamas? My boys go through a pair a day…do you have you kids have one or two for the week?

Ivory Soap October 2, 2012 at 3:27 pm

We don’t have pajamas. Isn’t that awful. They wear the t-shirt from the current day with underpants. Same as their mama…. I have heard, however, from people who wear them, that you can use one or two a week if you put them under your pillow when you make the bed.

E. Santini December 12, 2012 at 1:15 pm

This is how it went when I was growing up:
We had clothes for school only,
clothes for church only,
and Play clothes. When we arrived home from school we changed into our play clothes and we wore the same ones every day, all week long. We hung up our school clothes to be warn again at least one more time unless they were soiled or stained.
I did not ever do this with my own four children but now that they are out of the house I often where the same thing around the house for a couple more days, changing only if I need to go run errands. My husband I also use our towels for three or four days. After all , you should be clean when you take your shower or bath, why get a clean towel every time?

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