Let’s talk laundry with kids. I will be the first to admit that it is not one of my favorite household tasks to say the least. It often feels never ending and can sometimes even feel daunting. **As write this post I want to be clear that we divvy up the chores in our home and laundry is one of the household tasks I choose to take on. Frankly I prefer my folding to the hubs ;) so it just works for us**
As a household with two working parents, what works in our home is to do laundry over the weekend. This usually works well for us….but when we go away for the weekend like we did this past weekend there is always some tricky mid-week catching up. Luckily this week we were blessed with a snow day with the kids at home and work postponed so it was the perfect time to play catch up….and I enlisted help!
My kids have “helped” me with laundry many times but traditionally it ends up with 2 kids jumping on my bed in a pile of clothes. This time it was different. We did it in their room and we had the extra time for me to really teach them and enjoy the process of folding the laundry and putting it away together.
Here is where we started. We dumped the kids’s clothes on the floor and began to sort by child. I have to admit that it’s easier when the laundry is already sorted by child/person but usually our kids clothes ends up together. Goggles not required to do this but highly encouraged. And YES we do wear Christmas pjs year round in our home :)
We then picked a category to start with. We chose pants. I wish I had a photo to show this process but I had only taken videos which I chose to not post here. I showed them how to lay out the pants, how to fold and match up the seams and fold so they could stand up on their sides. They were totally enthralled in the process. The best part was watching them show each other what they were doing. They were so proud of themselves and seemed like #konmari experts within minutes! Their sweet little hands patting down the clothes made this organizer’s heart melt.
We stacked the items by category before putting them away. Long sleeves together, short sleeves together, etc.
I am going to be honest. I did do most of this myself. And that’s ok. The important take away was the modeling I was doing for my kids. I was showing them that we care for our belongings. That it takes time but that we make the time.
But it’s not all sunshine and rainbows. Below you will see my 4 year old lying on top of all the clothes silently demanding the attention she deserved. It worked. Well played little one.
Here’s the finished product below. Tidy clothes (not by color) but by use and super easy for kids to grab at. My kids have been picking out their own clothes for years and I owe it to the #filefolding method we have been using to make it easy for them. Do their outfits match? Not usually. BUT they do it themselves and enjoy the independence. That’s a major win in my book.
It’s important to note that we do not file fold top drawer items for my kids. We use these drawer organizers from Bed Bath & Beyond and Ikea to keep it tidy
Heres my take away…
Tips for tackling laundry with kids:
Find a time for tackling laundry that works for your family (and adjust as necessary)
Enlist help when you can - if your kids are helping, be patient and try to enjoy the process
File fold the items that makes sense to file fold for your family member and actual storage
Retire clothing as needed (donate or recycle if they no longer fit or in good condition)
Set realistic expectations for yourself. Done over perfect is my motto.
Have some laundry tips you would like to share? I’d love to hear about it below in the comments.