Thanks to Downy Ball for sponsoring today’s post. All opinions are ours.
When you have six kids, laundry is a never-ending reality. I need to do three loads of laundry every day just to keep on top of the piles of dirty clothes and sheets and towels. Even though it’s a lot of work, laundry is my favorite household chore, because it’s the one chore that I feel like I can actually finish!
Now that my older boys have started to help with washing their clothes, I have put together a little list of laundry essentials so that they always have what they need. Hopefully if they can master laundry, then we can move on to picking up their bedroom floor!
- Separated Hamper: I keep a hamper by the washing machine so that I’m always ready to do a load of laundry. The kids all bring their dirty clothes to the hamper, and in theory it keeps dirty clothes off the bedroom and bathroom floor!
- Supplies close at hand: I like to treat my laundry space a little like my pantry: I have everything I need close at hand, with backup and little used supplies (like the iron!) on the shelf above.
- A Well stocked Laundry Kit: Keeping everything close at hand means you don’t put off a chore just because you have to go find something. I keep laundry soap, fabric softener, a Downy Ball, scissors and stain remover on a tray on top of the dryer. A proper laundry kit should keep clothes looking better longer.
- Clean workspace: Nothing makes a job miserable like being surrounded by clutter. Laundry will be more peaceful if your workspace is more peaceful. For me this also means folding the laundry as soon as the dryer is done. When I let it pile up it stresses me out!
- The right equipment (1): One of the pluses in our Alaska house is that we have an extra dryer. Most of the time, the thing that gets backed up in the flow of laundry traffic is waiting for the dryer to finish. With two dryers there is never a backlog! I am fully aware that this is a luxury, but if you have the room, I highly recommend it!
- The right equipment (2): We use an old school top loading washer with an agitator. I had a repairman tell me that the best washing machine is one that is over ten years old. The new machines are often more expensive to fix than they are to replace. Your parents’ washer probably lasted over twenty years, but now it seems like we don’t expect them to last longer than five years. There’s something wrong with that. I love having an uncomplicated machine that never fails!
- Reminders: I have a saying on top of the washing machine to remind me to check pockets. Most of the time I find Legos, but there have been tragedies when I’ve missed crayons or markers. I have even found fishing bait in the washing machine once (only in Alaska!).
- Helpers: My husband was long ago banished from the laundry room because he doesn’t believe in separating anything, but I’ve been able to train my kids. My older boys are great about doing their own laundry, and my younger kids love tossing the Downy Ball into the washing machine and putting things in the dryer. The Downy Ball makes things easy, and a lot less messy! Age appropriate chores really helps foster a sense of responsibility, even if it’s just throwing the lint into the trash!
- Motivation: If you’re going to be standing and folding or separating colors, you should have something nice to look at. Right now I have some beautiful inspirational prints on the wall behind the washer and dryer. This would also be a great place for family or travel pics.
- A Catchall: I keep a little dish for all the things I empty out of pockets. I keep the change, but if someone is looking for a memory card, this is the place to look!
Thanks so much to Downy Ball for inspiring today’s post.