Folding laundry has grown into almost a full time job in our house as our kids grow. Everyone pitches in to get it all washed and put away each day.
Blake, 11, puts it in the washer, moves it to the dryer, and then brings it back for sorting. Paige, Faith, and Brooke help me fold and everyone puts their own clothes away, even Nathan (3).
A couple methods that make this run more smoothly, aside from assigned tasks, involve marking the clothing and sorting as we fold.
When clothing first arrives in our home we try it on to make sure it fits, and then it gets marked to designate who it belongs to. In our house, the boys are not really an issue because with 8 years between them we don't ever mix up their clothing.
The girls are another story. All two years apart and sometimes barely a size apart, I found myself spending a lot of time looking at clothing sizes while folding and sorting. I started to lose appreciation for matching outfits.
Then we wrote initials on the tags. The 'P' somehow morphed into an 'F' and then we rounded that into a 'B' as the article of clothing made its way through the girls.
Another homeschool mom suggested a more efficient method of marking that we have switched to and it has sped up our laundry folding. We put a small dot corresponding to which girl wears the clothing (oldest - one, second- two, third- three, etc.) Paige's clothing gets one simple dot with the permanent marker near the top of the tag, Faith's has two, and Brooke's three. New clothing is marked accordingly, and as clothing is grown out of we simply add a dot to the tag and it gets put away for the next child.
The dot is clearly visible without having to search or unfold tags to read a size:
Clothing without tags (even underwear and socks) can be subtly marked for easy sorting also:
Then, while folding laundry we stay in one central area, usually my bed, but in this case, the couch. Each child's clothing goes in a row together. Then they can come and carry their laundry to their room and into the proper drawers.
It only takes about 10 minutes to fold a large load of laundry and with everyone having their own job, I don't feel like I have a laundry monster to worry about any more.
I forgot that this was supposed to be a backwards edition of Works for Me Wednesday, but going along with the laundry theme . . . two issues we face with laundry are items left in pockets and remembering to pre-treat stains.
Does anyone have any reminder tools, habits or routines that help take care of these dilemmas? Cleaning gum and crayon out of the dryer are no fun! And, that blueberry smoothie hardly ever comes out after the heat sets it in. Any tips (on preventing these scenarios, rather than dealing with the fallout)?