Are you overwhelmed by the mountains of laundry in your home? I see your posts on Instagram and Facebook. Other stuff takes priority. Laundry is often a burden and we wait until it's taking over to tackle it. What if teaching your kids to do the laundry could "lighten the load"?
Our laundry system isn't perfect. Life happens, and we get behind. But having a system has lightened the load the last few years. The kids do a large portion of the laundry and we don't have laundry crises very often anymore.
It's easy to think everyone else has it all together, but let's face it, laundry is a struggle for every family. Don't be discouraged if it is still a struggle. Take one step to make it easier and go from there. ☺️ It doesn't have to be perfect!
Here are a few things you should consider when teaching your kids to do laundry:
Create a laundry system that works for your family.
It's important to create good habits and a system that works for your family. Work is easier for children (and adults) when it becomes a habit. Think about the chores and habits you have each day. They come naturally because you have created habits (whether good or bad). Children will help more and complain less when they know what work is expected of them each day.
Each family functions differently, so there is no one-size-fits-all solution for creating a good laundry system. The important thing is that you have some type of routine and establish some habits.
You can get my free ebook with printable charts and a worksheet to help you create a good laundry system. It won't be the perfect fit for every family, but it will help you brainstorm some ideas that might work for you. I share what works for our family of 9, offer ideas for adjusting my approach, and share tips and resources for training kids to help with laundry.
Assign age-appropriate laundry chores.
Toddlers are eager to help fold and put away clothes. Don't worry about perfect folding! You can train them later. Take advantage of the eagerness to help and build good habits while they are young.
School-age kids can move loads to the dryer, help with sorting, and also with folding and putting away. Preteens should be able to start a load and see it through to the end.
Train the children to do laundry.
Kids need patient training to earn new skills. Laundry might seem pretty easy to us since we've been doing it for so many years. Don't forget how much you know about types of fabric, wash temperature, sorting, and stain treatment. It may take a few laundry training sessions to make sure the kids feel confident in helping.
It's best to have them observe, then gradually give them parts of the process, and then hand over the whole process. For example, you can start by letting them add soap and choose the cycle while you keep a close watch, then by giving them loads of towels to wash so they don't ruin nice clothes. Over time, you will gain helpful partners in your laundry system. Not only will your home chores be shared, but you can also have confidence that your kids will leave home knowing how to wash their own clothes!