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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