How to Simplify the Laundry and get the Kids involved too!

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“I LOVE Laundry!”  Said NO mom ever!  Oh, the dreaded laundry.  That chore that has to be done.  That chore that brings out the worst in us (at least it does for me!)

We've all seen the memes on facebook and Instagram.  You know…..the ones below that tell true life stories.

Ask my husband, I'm the worst when it comes to laundry.  This is my story:

It piles up….I finally get the drive and get it all washed in 1 day!…..Success!….but then it sits in the “clean” laundry baskets for days, sometimes weeks……We get to the point that we are looking for clean clothes from the laundry baskets and not in our closets (but which basket has the clean clothes and which one is dirty?)….I finally find a good movie to watch while I fold ALL the laundry (by this point, it's already piled up again)……After I fold it, it goes neatly back in the laundry bin so I can put it away….later….It doesn't get put away….We are back to finding clean clothes from the laundry baskets…..they aren't neat and folded anymore….back to the good movie and refolding laundry….on and on it goes!

Am I the only one!!!

Well NOT ANY MORE!!  I'm happy to report that I've found a system that works for my family, that most importantly works for me!  My relationship with laundry has gradually improved over the last couple months. It's getting washed, dried, folded (sort of, more details on that later) and put away, by my kids, in a timely matter.  I've had such huge success that I thought I would pass it on in hopes to maybe help some of you other moms in the same laundry dilemma.

Before we proceed I need to say that I'm fully aware that one system might not work for everyone.  I'm also aware that we all have different needs and we all have different sizes of families.  These tips that I'm about to explain mostly pertain to doing the kids laundry.  That's right, I no longer do OUR laundry all at once.  I do the kids, separate from mine and my husbands and the household items like towels and linens.  Laundry's not hard when it's just you and the hubs at home.  Laundry gets hard when you add dirty little boys (I have 4 of them) and/or girls to the equation.

The general idea of this system is to get organized in the laundry room, pre-sort the laundry (but not like you might think; whites, darks, etc.), wash/dry, sort into bins, then have the kids put away their OWN laundry.

So here it is…How to Simplify the Laundry and get the Kids Involved too!

Step 1. Get Organized in the Laundry Room ~ I knew I wanted to get my kids involved more and help out when it comes to their laundry.  So I headed to Walmart in search of some stackable bins with handles like these you see in the picture below.  Each of my older 3 boys got 2 bins each (one for pjs, and one for pants/shorts).  I also found 3 cute smaller bins to hold each of their socks and underwear.  I didn't purchase bins for my 2 year old, as I had some old milk crates that I wanted to use for his laundry.  Along with the bins, I purchased colored plastic hangers; red, blue, white. (If you already have some at home, use those, but you'll need a different color for each kid).  I brought down this adjustable shelf from our garage to use to hang clothes on.  I love it as it also has shelves for other items I might need to store after folding.  If you don't have something like this, install a hanging rod!  This is how I set up the laundry room:

Milk crates for my 2 year old's laundry, stackable bins for each of my older 3 kids pjs and bottoms,
color coded hangers 1 color assigned to each kid, bins for storing socks and underwear
More on how to implement this system in step 4.

Step 2. Pre-Sort the Laundry ~ If you look up organization ideas when it comes to laundry on pinterest you'll find just about the same thing – Pre-Sort the laundry in 3 piles; whites, darks, colors.  This is probably how your mom taught you too.  I decided to throw this concept out the window!! When it comes to my kids clothes, I now sort their laundry in these 3 piles; shirts, bottoms, pj's/socks/underwear.  I don't care what color it is!  Shirts, or anything that goes on a hanger, goes in the shirt pile.  Shorts and pants go in the “bottoms” pile.  All pjs, socks and underwear go in their own pile.  (I do need to take this moment to say that yes, I wash white shirts with blue and even red ones!  I wash khaki pants with levi's.  Trust me, laundry folding and putting away is so much easier presorting like this.  Now please use some common sense. Of course I don't wash a BRAND new red shirt with my kids white uniform tops!  If you have new clothes, you might want to wash them separately a few times.  I know my kids clothes, and I'm sure you know your kids clothes.  I know that my kids wear hand-me downs, they wear clothes from consignments sales, the DI and from garage sales.  Their clothes have been washed A LOT and they don't ‘bleed' anymore.)

Sorted laundry.  Yes, I washed that white shirt with the red one and it did not turn red!

Step 3.  Wash and dry ~ Like the meme below “Washing is a must, drying is understandable, but folding and putting away is taking it too far!”  Washing is a must so get to it!  Wash each pre-sorted pile.  Wash all the shirts together, wash all the bottoms together, wash the pjs/socks/underwear together.  Drying is also a must, and if you are anything like me, it's true success when you remember to transfer it to the dryer!

Step 4. Fold (sort of) ~ Folding and putting away laundry in the worst task, am I right?  So guess what, I stopped folding and I stopped putting it away! (at least the kids laundry)  I don't fold their clothes, I sort them into the kids' bins and onto their hangers.  I do this right from the dryer.  For example; I grab the fresh clean load of bottoms and start storting them in the kid's bin.  For me – Arlo's pants go in the bottom bin, Cache's pants go in the middle bin, Cam's pants go in the top bin, Boone's pants go in one of his little milk crate boxes.  DONE!  Grab the shirts out of the dryer.  Arlo's shirts go on the red hangers, Cache's shirts go on the blue hangers…. you get the idea.

My organized laundry room after doing the kids 3 loads of tops, bottoms and pjs.

Step 5. Put away ~ This is the fun part.  This is where you call down the kids, have them grab their bins and put their laundry away.  Have them grab their special colored hangers and hang up their shirts in their closet!

My adorable kiddos putting away their laundry!

There you have it!  My simplified Laundry life and I LOVE it!  I actually get excited now. I've turned into this laundry nerd.  I was actually really excited to write this post! I hope you find it helpful.  I would also love your feedback!  Would you try it?  Does it works for you?  Please just don't leave a nasty comment that your sons white shirt turned red!  Remember you know your kids clothes, be smart about washing new ones, especially red ones!

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3 thoughts on “How to Simplify the Laundry and get the Kids involved too!

  1. Emilyface says:

    Great system! I laughed because I follow your old routine exactly! The leaving it in bins, then finally folding it and then leaving it in the bin again, haha. I second the motion that laundry doesn't need to be sorted by color… I only have one son, but I wash ALL of his laundry together. (He doesn't have much laundry so there is no need to split it up.) My husband and I barely sort our laundry as well. The only separate loads I do are for towels and occasionally I will have enough pants/jeans piled up to do a separate load of them. Otherwise they are just all thrown in together. Ain't nobody got time for sorting laundry! (I know most people would gasp in disbelief at my methods, but seriously, I don't see a need for a pre sort…) If our laundry "room" wasn't just a space for our washer and dryer then I would get some of those bins because they look great for sorting as it comes out of the dryer!

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