The MOB Society

Laundry & Boys: Five Practical Tips

Education, ParentingBecky Barnfather2 Comments
5 Practical Ways to Deal with Laundry and Boys
5 Practical Ways to Deal with Laundry and Boys

Laundry.  Right? It's one of those things that could easily become the most dreaded task in being a mom. I'm sure there are a handful of you who absolutely LOVE laundry, but for the rest of us there MUST be a way to get through it all without losing our minds! And, having boys means you probably have especially smelly, dirty laundry - and lots of it. What can you do to help reduce this laundry or make it easier - especially in having a teenage or preteen boy? Here are a few ideas that can help you, come laundry day.

  • At a certain age, start teaching them to fold and put away their own laundry.  I'm sure some of you moms who like everything to be in it's perfect place, looking perfectly lined up, and perfectly coordinated are not going to like this. But, this is something we, as moms, must learn to let go of - perfectionism. When your son is, say, 7 or 8 begin teaching him to fold his own laundry. Nope, it won't be perfect, but have him fold it and put it away in his own drawers. Resist the temptations of re-doing it all. He'll get better at it, just be encouraging.
  • Make him do his own laundry. In our home, when you turn 10 you start doing all your own laundry. Each kid is assigned a laundry day and is expected to do their own laundry on that day. They each only have about 2 loads a week and the washer can be adjusted for a small load or larger load {they toss in a load before school and another after school}. But it usually comes out to about the same as what I would wind up doing if I did all of ours. As a side note, this has been AMAZING that our kids do all their own laundry. An older, wiser mom told me she did this with all four of her kids at age 10 and I thought she was nuts -- and then, when I was getting so overwhelmed trying to "do it all" my husband said to find a way that I wasn't the one doing it all. I started my kids on this and they've done great. I only do laundry for my husband and I now - plus sheets and towels - and it's so freeing! Plus, my kids are learning to be independent. I can remember going to college and there were girls there that had never done their own laundry before!  Again, if it doesn't go in their drawers perfectly, you have to let some things go.
  • Have a laundry day. This is how I do my laundry. I pick one day each week that is the day I do my very best to stay home all day and just do the laundry. I set the timer and stay on top of it. Once the laundry is folded and put away, I'm done for a week. I don't think about it - unless there is an "emergency" load - again for a week. I'm the type that likes to get things done and move on ... OR
  • Do a load a day.  This isn't something I do, but I know that some swear by this. Maybe if you have younger kids this might work best for you. Throw a load in each morning and fold and put away - RIGHT away. I've tried this, but for me, I totally forget about it and then I found it a few days later. Find what works best for your family.
  • Print up HOW you do laundry.  I have a printable that I made - it's HERE - for my kids so they have it to refer to in the laundry room for stains and all that. We use all natural ways of cleaning {no bleach, non-toxic, etc.} so it helps them to have it up in my laundry room.
  • Take the Stinky Smell Away. One thing my son is required to do is to use baking soda in each load of laundry - it helps take the stinky smell away and freshens up the laundry.

As with all things around the house like chores and responsibilities, be sure you are patient when teaching your kids to do something. It's a skill you have spent years perfecting. Don't hover over them. Don't expect perfection. Be encouraging and give them time to learn to do it right.

Has laundry taken over your life? What can your boys do to help you out?

Headshot 400 x 400
Headshot 400 x 400

Becky is a blogger, speaker, piano teacher, wife, and mom to two children - her son is 15 {he has autism} and her daughter is 10. She is passionate about motivating women to organize and have a relaxed and calm home {as much as possible}. She's not OCD and not a perfectionist - just a girl who loves to organize. You can find her blogging at www.OrganizingMadeFun.com