By Susan Layden
Now, the clothing part of the laundry. This is where I think people need to think through their process, when it gets done, who is responsible for it, how it gets completed. Each family is different. The size and composition of each family differs as well. Whether or not the woman works outside the home, it seems she is still most likely the one in charge of the laundry. Not always, sometimes the man helps out or perhaps is at least responsible for his own laundry. But often, the woman is the main person handling this task.
When my family was all in the home it was clear whose clothing was whose – man, woman, boy, girl. When my children were infants I did their laundry separately from the rest of it. As they got older, I sorted by whites, lights and darks. This could be more difficult to do in a house of two or more boys or girls close in age, where size might be difficult to differentiate. If that is the case in your household, perhaps each child’s laundry should be done by itself. Then it is clear whose it is and where it goes. Depending on the age of your children, it is not a bad idea to get them to help match socks and perhaps put their laundry away, especially by the time they are in the latter elementary grades or middle school.
Each family needs to establish who will be responsible for what, if one person sorts, launders and puts a load in the dryer. Will someone else fold and put the laundry away? Are the children old enough to do their own laundry or do the parents still need to take care of it? This is important to establish and to be held accountable. Work schedules and travel for work need to be taken into consideration. And, oftentimes there is one person that might simply be better at following through with this. It takes cooperation. Just because it is boring or not “fun” is no excuse for letting this go. Otherwise, you have piles and chaos. Putting away clothing will save you time, energy, and frustration. The household will look better and run more efficiently and you won’t be spending time searching for a particular item. But remember, one complete load washed, dried and then put away. Then the next load can be tackled for each family member. How does this sound to you?
I think it is also important to look at the laundry space. Do you have a separate laundry room or simply a closet with a washer and dryer? Can the surface of the washer and dryer be used to fold clothes? Do you have a hanging rod to pull items out of the dryer and quickly hang up? Can you add this rod to your space or is there room for a free standing clothing rack? This helps with the process itself. Do you have space for a hamper or basket to hold towels or sheets or to put folded clothing in and dispersed to their respective closets and drawers? Or will laundry be sorted and folded on a kitchen counter or dining table – some work surface? If this last phase is where you struggle, put on a movie, tv show or music to help pass the time more quickly. It doesn’t take that long to complete the process if you just stick with it and really put it away.
Next Week: Susan Talks about Overabundance & the issue of having too much