Share Your Dirty Laundry!

For most people dirty laundry is a never ending chore. You sort, you pre-treat, you wash, you dry, maybe you even iron, you fold, and your put away and then start all over again.

One of the tricks to living an organized life is to get help from other people to get things done. Is there a better task to start with than to delegate at least a part of the laundry chore to other members of your family? Let us show you how.

Sarah on ‘Chores Are Better When Shared’

“According to our research, over three-quarters of women say they are solely responsible for organizing their families. We just pile more on our plates than ever before and yet rarely seem to ask for help. Letting go of control enough to delegate can be difficult and even nerve wracking but it is worth the effort. With a little practice you can get quite good at it and free up some time to take care of yourself. Now who wouldn’t want that?”

Alicia on ‘Everyone Can Help’

“I find that everyone, no matter how young or busy, can help get the laundry done. Sometimes all you need to do is ask and make it easy. One of my favorite tricks is to have in each person’s room three laundry hampers. One is for whites, one is for darks, and the other is for dry cleaning. While that may seem like a lot of hampers, you have just managed to get the first task of laundry, sorting, done with no effort. Even my four year old puts her dirty clothes in the right baskets each night when she gets ready for bed. One friend of mine also has a Wednesday Pre-Treat Contest where armed with bottles of Spray ‘n Wash and Shout family members tear through their clothes to see who can finish the fastest. The losers have to fold the winner’s clothes.”

Here are a few ideas to get even more help with getting the laundry done:

#1: Try The Carrot or The Stick

Rewards or punishments are great motivators for getting something done. Set up a reward chart and each time someone helps with the laundry like washing, folding, taking clothes to the dry cleaner, give them a token. Let them turn in 5 tokens for something that is important to them. This does not have to cost a lot of money. Kids want to watch extra TV, have a later bed time or extra dessert. Husbands like control of the remote, time to read the paper alone on Sunday or a car wash. And don’t forget to reward yourself too. You deserve it. The stick treatment can work as well by tying laundry chores to allowances, but let’s face it the carrot is much more fun and motivating.

#2: Celebrate and Have Fun

Who says doing the laundry has to be a dreaded chore that you resign yourself to do? We think you can make it a fun family experience that people may actually even look forward to. Why not throw Friday Night Folding Parties? You spring for pizzas and a movie rental and everyone pitches in and gets the job done. One family we know makes it a competition. They hand out rewards for things like ‘Best Folding of a Fitted Sheet’ and ‘Most Improved Clothing Article (Stain Removal Award)’.