How Lisa Does Laundry
My main advice about laundry is to prevent clothes from getting dirty in the first place. I teach my kids from a young age to eat only in the kitchen, while sitting, and with a bib (if needed). I wipe their hands and mouths before they’re done. Clothes stay much cleaner this way. It may take time to supervise them while they eat, but it saves way more time in the long run, because I'm not cleaning up as many messes or doing as much laundry.
Then I make sure we don't wash clothes that are still clean. This allows me to keep our laundry down to about three loads a week. I do have four girls, which may contribute to our ability to keep clothes clean!
I wash towels once a week and bedding much less often. I do laundry once a week, about three or four loads, including towels. I don't have a specific day, just as needed.
- I look at my and the kids’ clothes when we take them off and decide if they should be hung back up or put in the laundry. We spot clean, if needed, and hang them back up. If I'm not in the room while they're changing, they put their clothes on top of their dressers for me to inspect. As they've gotten older, they inspect their own clothes, but I have trained them by doing it with them.
- When clothes are dirty, we sort them right into the baskets in the laundry room: one of whites and one for colors.
- Once a week, I wash and dry about three loads of laundry.
- I fold the clothes and put most of them away, but when my girls have become teenagers they either do their own laundry or put their own clothes away.
Lisa Hoelzer is the mother of four girls, 18, 16, 13, and 10. She shares her wise and compassionate parenting advise at at betterwayparenting.net.