Organized Laundry Plan Made Simple and Easy
Tired of the laundry chaos? Want to create an organized laundry plan but feel it is overwhelming?
Laundry is the hidden beast that lurks inside my house, hiding in the closets, under the bed (behold the missing sock!) and crowding out my peace and quiet. With a family of 6 there seems to always be more laundry to do, and at this very moment the clothes on their bodies are getting dirty creating even MORE laundry! I just can’t win!! But wait, maybe I CAN have organized laundry–if I have a plan.
Create an Organized Laundry Plan
Step 1- Dirty Laundry Has a Home
Each bedroom is equipped with it’s own laundry basket. The kitchen also has a laundry basket to capture dirty dish towels and stray socks that seem to multiply throughout the day. That makes a total of 5 organized laundry baskets to manage.
By two years old kids can be taught to toss laundry into the basket when it is dirty. You might get some kids who ‘clean’ their room by throwing all the clothes on the floor into the laundry basket, but that’s a topic for another post :).
Dirty Sorting Baskets-In the laundry room are 3 sorting baskets, one for darks, one for whites/lights, and one for towels. You may divide your laundry up differently but this works for our needs. I use these baskets to sort the household laundry (dish towels etc) and the parents laundry. (Baskets from Ikea)
Step 2- Towels Have a Home
In our home a major problem with too much laundry is the amount of towels that end up in the wash. To solve this problem I bought towels in different colors- one color for each child. This way I know who left their wet towel on the ground after a shower and they can be responsible for hanging up their towels after bathing. They are also in charge of washing their towels weekly.
Step 3- Assign a Laundry Day To Each Kid
To keep an organized laundry room, each kid is assigned a day to wash their sheets, towels, and all laundry in their dirty basket in their room. I also start a wash load each morning of household and parents laundry if there is enough dirties in the sorting baskets for a load. For example:
- Monday-Household (Mom)
- Tuesday- Everest (12 yo)
- Wednesday-Household (Mom)
- Thursday-Household (Mom)
- Friday- Sierra and Savannah (9yo and 4yo)
- Saturday- Rivers (15 yo)
- Sunday-Day Off
To help me remember to check the wash load during the day, I put an alert on my phone until I got in the habit of always checking to see if laundry needs to be swapped. I try to let the older kids be responsible for switching their wets to the dryer, but I’ll be honest, sometimes I do it for them if I’m walking by the laundry and hear that it’s done.
If your kids are still younger than about 9, they will most likely not be ready for independent laundry duties. But you can still divide up the days the same way if that helps and start to have them ‘help’ at their current skill level. Maybe they help by pouring in the soap, or dragging the dirty basket from their room to the laundry or sorting the towels. My 4 year old is the official towel folder of all dish towels so she still contributes.
Step 4- Clean Laundry Has a Home
Individual Clean Baskets-For returning clean laundry to its’ rightful owner, I put three laundry baskets in the laundry room that are different colors-one color for each kids bedroom (you could also use storage containers with labels). When I pull out laundry from the dryer that is a mix of the kids and parents clothing I quickly toss the clothing into the correct persons’ basket. It is then their responsibility to return and put away the laundry in their rooms. You could decide on a set day each week for baskets to be emptied, or do it as part of morning or bedtime routines.
Step 5- The Dreaded Lost Socks
I hate matching socks. We have a giant basket of mismatched socks but I can never find a matching pair. As a way to manage this I am using a strategy my mom taught me. I bought a big magnet that sits on the dryer and holds safety pins. As socks are taken off or put into the wash, they are safety pinned together. That way folding them becomes a breeze. No more lost socks!
This is a newer laundry system for our family and thus far I am loving it! I have extra time each day, the laundry is always caught up and I don’t have to wonder if I have rumpled wet laundry hiding in the dryer.
Better still, I am teaching my kids life skills that they will need as independent adults. Win-win!