Laundry is the bane of my existence. It is a meaningless, frustrating, multiplying, never-ending chore. I still haven’t learned not to get excited when I see the bottom of the dirty clothes hamper, even though EVERY TIME IT’S HAPPENED (all two of them), IT’S BEEN FULL THE VERY NEXT DAY! My mom tells me it will not always be this way, but she also tells me it will be a lot worse before it gets better. Right now their clothes are little and they have yet to develop B.O. Just wait a few years…
But I have recently employed a new trick that at least keeps two of our three clean clothes baskets empty. Here’s the step-by-step tutorial:
Step 1: Have kids (actually, if you skip this step, you’re already better off, as far as laundry is concerned, so we’ll assume you’ve already surpassed step 1)
Step 2: Survive the infant and toddler years (may the force be with you)
Step 3: When your kids hit age three or so, start having them “help” you put away their laundry. This will not be helpful in any way and will undoubtedly decrease your laundering effectiveness, but it will be worth it in the long run. Don’t skip this step! Eventually, they’ll figure out how to wrestle that hanger into a shirt collar and how to
fold a pair of pants wad up a pair of pants and get it in the right drawer.
Step 4: When your kids are all four and above, periodically ask them to put away “20 articles of clothing” before they get to do something they care about, like reading a story or eating. Challenge them to race each other. Encourage siblings to take misplaced articles and throw them in their competition’s laundry basket while saying, “In your face!” Simultaneously, get your kids to become deprived tech addicts by having lots of technology available, but only permitting limited screen time.
Step 5: One summer, decide to give your kids a 10-minute “bonus technology turn” IF they empty their laundry basket for the day.