Our Little Laundry Helpers

As I was doing a little laundry yesterday, I thought it would be worth sharing a little trick that has been working well for us.

Back in early summer, I picked up three plastic tubs from the seasonal section of Target.  They are lightweight and the perfect size for my little guys to carry around the abode.  The addition of quick vinyl labels assigned a bin to each boy.

We are always looking at ways to improve and tweak our laundry process to make it easiest for everyone.  Our kids have always been responsible for putting away their own laundry, however, in the past, they were also responsible for sorting it and putting it on their hangers, then putting it away.

For my youngest two, this sometimes went OK, and other days, it was a bit of a battle.  By the time the laundry was sorted down, they were bored with the process, distracted, and typically jumping on their beds three minutes later.  That is when we started sorting things down for the kids, straight out of the dryer and into each of their bins.

This was already a huge help for us and the kids, and the laundry process definitely got better.  But, we also noticed how time consuming it still was for them to battle putting all their clothes on their hangers, my youngest definitely was not a fan.   And now that school is in full swing and we are trying to maximize our time in the evenings, the hubs and I thought we would help them out and streamline the process a little bit more.

With a stack of their hangers on the dryer...

As we pull the laundry out of the dryer, it goes right on a hanger and right into each kid's bin.

My oldest son doesn't hang his clothes, so we just use the top of the washer to fold them quick.  Anything that doesn't get hung, such as socks, undies, pajamas, etc..., are just tossed right into the bins with their hanging clothes, and they sort those down on their own.  Once all the laundry is sorted by kid, the bins of clean clothes are distributed to each boy's bedroom and they can put their clothes away each day after school.  When they get their clothes put away, they gather any empty hangers, toss them in their empty bins and carry them back to the laundry room.

I knew it was successful the first time my kids got their laundry done in less than a minute and came out with giant grins giggling, "that was soooo easy Mom, thanks!"

For me, sorting all of our laundry straight out of the dryer doesn't add much extra time, so I don't mind doing it.  Could I also take a few extra seconds to just hang up their items and put things away for them?  Sure.  But we are believers that the kids should take responsibility for putting away their items, including laundry, so although I have made it a bit simpler for them, we still ask they take that ownership of putting it all away.

Other things we have found helpful:

  • We keep a single small hamper at the end of our hall in-between the kid's bedrooms, that they share {vs. one in each bedroom}.  They take turns bringing it to the laundry room every day or two.
  • We purchase socks that have different markings on them, based on size.  My oldest son has grey heals and my younger boys do not.  This makes it simple to sort down which socks belong to which boy.  
  • We recently added a garment bag to the side of the kid's hamper so they can toss their socks inside, then, the bag can just get tossed in the wash and socks don't go missing {thanks for the suggestion readers, this was because of you and it rocks our socks off!}.

Anyone else have similar methods?  Or are you doing something completely different that is also working wonders?

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