Laundry – Divide and Conquer

Posted by on Aug 16, 2014 in Guess the Activity, Laundry | 0 comments

Laundry – Divide and Conquer

As your family expands, and the kids grow up, your laundry system may need to change. This group of posts has been discussing many different methods of getting the laundry done. Even if you have done laundry the same way for years, an alternative method may work better for you as your family changes. In this post, I’ll talk about the “divide and conquer” plan.
Many families separate laundry only by who wears it. Jessica’s laundry is washed separately from Brian’s and Rick’s. This system can be used when one person does all the laundry, or when Jessica, Brian and Rick each do their own. Some families assign each person a particular day to do their own laundry.
Just as with any method, there are pros and cons to divide and conquer. One advantage, if the kids are old enough, the laundry chore can be divided among many, instead of just one person. Some parents feel assigning each kid a day to handle their own laundry is a good way to prepare them for living on their own. If each person is assigned a specific day to do laundry, they should be responsible, not only for washing, but also putting their clothes away. This keeps piles of laundry from sitting around waiting to get put away. If you use this method, you can choose to either, have every type of clothing thrown in together, or to separate in some way. Most families using this method have each person wash everything in one load. The advantage in only doing one load is that less water and energy are used to run one big load than two small ones. However, since the dryer is heated for only one load at a time it’s not being run as efficiently as it could be.
In addition to the extra energy used by the dryer, there are other disadvantages to this system. Most of us have seen the disastrous results when an item bleeds color onto other clothes. If everything is in the same load, rather than sorted by color, some clothes may become an “interesting” color. With everything together, different types and weights of fabrics are combined in the same loads. Jeans will be rubbing against lighter weight blouses causing the blouses to wear faster. Lighter weight items will also be in the dryer longer than necessary to allow the heavier items to dry. Water temperature must be safe for the most delicate items. This may result in things like socks and underwear not getting completely clean.
If you use this method, each person should have their own basket to collect and carry their clothes to and from the laundry. Specific rules should be developed, and monitored, to make sure each person actually completes their laundry, including putting it away, during their assigned time.
Next post I’ll discuss the “today is laundry day” system.

Learn along with Nikki as she and Elizabeth, the Professional Organizer, get the house organized room by room.

Copyright© 2014 Elizabeth Tawney Gross, Organizing For Everyday, LLC

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