Need parenting advice- laundry mess

slo

My tag used to say - I'm a Tonga Toast Junkie :-)
Joined
Feb 28, 2004
Sounds very familiar - my DD23 was the same way at about the same age. It used to make me so mad.

I first threatened her that if she continues, then she’ll do her own laundry. She felt I was bluffing and continued.

I second threatened her that for every piece of laundry that is like your picture, inside out, or I know for a fact is an item she threw in the hamper after wearing it 5 minutes, then the item is going into the garbage. She felt I was bluffing again and continued.

I third kept my word on the second threat and started putting all those items in a garbage bag, but did not throw away and hid the bag. Eventually she asked me why she couldn’t find certain items and I told her I threw them away and she FREAKED OUT. I let her sweat it out a little and then I handed her the bag, showed her how to use the washing machine and dryer and walked away. I never washed another piece of her clothing items again.
 

QueenIsabella

DIS Veteran
Joined
Jan 17, 2016
I taught my kids to do laundry at about age 10 or so. I do most laundry on Sundays (sheets and towels separately--I did them yesterday). They each bring down their hampers, and I wash everyone's stuff. No hamper? No wash. If it's Tues day and they "have" to have something for tomorrow? You know where the laundry room is. I do an occasional load during the week if there's a lot of stuff for some reason--say, DH has been working in the yard, and there's smelly stuff. Also after camping trips.

DS15 is like your kids--he'll throw anything into his hamper, clean or dirty. I told him, unless he wants to do his own laundry, stop doing that. So far, so good.

DD18 is now in college. Her dorm has free laundry. Even though she's 3 miles up the road, she's never brought laundry home to do (or have done).
 

jo-jo

DIS Veteran
Joined
Feb 28, 2011
I agree with everyone else. Let them do their own laundry. At first they may do 6 loads with 4 things in the load, but soon they will find out that shirt I put on for 20 seconds can indeed be worn again.

Now saying all that, my DS and DD families throw everything in one load. DS uses something called color catcher . Suppose to keep everything not turn out pink. My DD's family the kids start doing wash about age 10.

My DH and I do have about 6 loads, but I do wash old school. Whites, lights, dark, red (I wear a lot of red), jeans, sweats, towels. Now the loads aren't very big and sometimes I will mix a couple of light blue shirts in with whites or a sweat shirt with towels, the number of loads may drop to 4.
 

slo

My tag used to say - I'm a Tonga Toast Junkie :-)
Joined
Feb 28, 2004
The reason why they don’t do their laundry is because it’s just simply more efficient combining different pieces of clothing together that fit in the same cycle. We have our “family” laundry loads not my person. If enough jeans are dirty in the household and I do a load for jeans.Ideally in our laundry room you would have a different loads sorted and then whoever, most likely me or my husband will then toss them in once there’s enough to wash for a cycle. For me having everyone do their own laundry seems a little bit chaotic and then what happens if I wanna wash my clothes but then I see that my kids are using the machines. Then our laundry room turns into a laundromat fighting for machines. The main issue is the mess before it even gets the laundry room.

This is how I do laundry too.
I still do DD18s laundry, and she knows after seeing what happened with her sister, to not be like she was. She’s grateful that I do her laundry and she can start doing her laundry when she goes away to college in August. She‘s not spoiled, she helps out around this house in a million other ways. She’s a great kid in every way, so I’m ok with doing her laundry. Also, it’s very easy to do things for someone when they genuinely appreciate it. If she was a pain in the butt like her sister, she’d be doing her own laundry too.
 

Frozen Canuck

DIS Veteran
Joined
Jun 10, 2015
We use a laundry sorting system in our home. I have a hamper for whites/bleach, light colours, and dark colours. You could have a hamper specifically for jeans if you want. I also do towels as a separate load and the kids take care of their bedding. My kids know how to do laundry, but I still tend to do it for the whole family for the same reasons as you. It is just easier to run a load of laundry when one of the hampers is full. The kids have laundry hampers in their rooms to put clothes in that they remove. It is up to them to get their items into the family laundry hampers. Everyone is responsible for sorting their dirty clothes themselves. If it isn't in the hamper, then it doesn't get washed at our house. And those clothes, etc. all over the bathroom??? No way! I might give a couple of reminders initially for items left out, but after that, any clothes I found would just go into a plastic trash bag and placed in an out of the way closet. Anyone who was missing something would be directed to go and check the bag and deal with their items. If they weren't claimed, they would eventually get donated.

I know you didn't ask about this specifically, but someone mentioned above about how they check for stains as they put the laundry in. At our house, items that are hanging on the side of the hamper are known to need stain treating. I guess you could use a separate hamper for stained items or have stain remover spray handy, so people spray their own stains before dropping their items in the sorting hampers. I don't have the time to search every item for stains.
 

chattadisser

DIS Veteran
Joined
Apr 15, 2010
Another vote for having them do their own. Yes, there will be some clean clothes that gets washed but who cares, you're not dealing with it anymore. Mine have been doing their own laundry for years now. Oldest DD does hers on Sunday and everyone in the family knows that that is her laundry day. Now that said, the laundry room gets treated like a laundromat, you leave wet clothes in the wash and someone else needs the washer, they may put it in the dryer for you or they may just put it in a basket and use the machine. The point is to not leave it sit, they have to learn that no one in their college dorm is going to put their clothes in the dryer for them. Honestly after letting go of this and just letting them do it, it works great. Yes, they sometimes do loads that to me are too small and don't wash their clothes often enough but you know what, I don't have to do it and that outweighs it all.
 

mjkacmom

DIS Veteran
Joined
Feb 20, 2006
This is exactly how it is by us. We also have front loaders. plus I have a European machine And the shortest cycle is 59 minutes. It takes over an hour for the dryer to dry. It’s not like in the US where a load of laundry is washed and dried within one hour. Plus we hang up 90% of our outside clothing.
I’m in the US with large front loaders, 45 minutes to wash, over an hour to dry. I have two adult kids who live at home, I do laundry because I’m still milking my SAHM job (plus all of the cooking and cleaning). When all of the kids were home I’d do two loads a day. Nor I put a hamper in the upstairs hallway, I remind them to get their clothes off of the floor and put it in the hamper. I deliver their clothes clean and folded to their rooms.
 

izzy

“I slapped Ouiser Boudreaux”
Joined
Dec 9, 1999
I read this a long time ago (maybe here?), but it always stuck with me. A mother was having a problem with her kids being slobs and throwing clothes - worn and not worn - everywhere. She finally started gathering up clothes, locked them away (where I don’t remember), and made the kids do chores to ”buy back” their clothes. She assigned dollar amounts to various chores, and assigned dollar values to various articles of clothing. She wanted to teach them to respect their belongings and living conditions.

Having said all of that, I’d make them do their own laundry. 😂
 

SteveH

Where's my Mai Tai?
Joined
Sep 8, 1999
...My one thought this morning is that I no longer do laundry for them...
Every parents in their own way so I'm not going to criticize just tell you how we dealt with our 2 boys.
By 13 they were doing most of their own laundry, before that laundry was brought down Saturday morning sorted lights/darks and turned right side out. By the time they were 14 they 100% did all of the own laundry. My wife and I did our laundry on Sunday so they had 6 other days or they could do theirs after we finished. They shared a bathroom, but finding clothes like that laying about would have been driven me up the wall. Honestly after a couple of times i would have "tossed them out" well not really but they'd be in purgatory for a couple weeks. Their rooms, well they could do pretty much what they wanted but not in the rest of the house.
 

Minnesota!

Shoeless in Minnesota
Joined
Sep 15, 1999
That was my older son. He has done his own laundry for a while now. If I can't tell what is clean or dirty, I'm not doing it.

Also, we don't sort laundry here. Maybe sometimes reds, but they typically just go in with not-white stuff.
 

ronandannette

I gave myself this tag and I "Like" myself too!
Joined
May 4, 2006
@mousefan I put a laugh emoji because I have been there ( maybe still there).
...My son, now in his 20s 😱… literally within an hour of arriving home the floor of his bedroom disappears. He changes a few times a day, never wears anything twice and has lots of special wash items. I have a housekeeper and I know that it drives her crazy. His idea of tidying his room is to dump everything from the floor into the laundry room. I have developed a blind eye to his bedroom. I recommend aim for containment in their rooms and use the blind eye.
Personally, I would go with this. Everything in the bathroom (or any other random place) gets picked up and dumped on the bed of the person it belongs to. From there, how they deal with it is on them. That is how we've always done it in our house and we each do our own laundry but full disclosure - if something has been left laying on the bathroom floor, it's usually mine. :blush:

OP - which problem is the highest priority for you to solve? The number of laundry loads, the mess in the bathroom or getting your kids to comply with what they're being asked to do? You may not be able to achieve everything with one method so maybe think that through a little. :flower3:
 

mousefan73

Germans are faster at dubbing
Joined
May 9, 2012
OP: Number of loads it’s not the main issue if everything that’s being washed is actually dirty. So I would say the main issue is the mess and having just stuffed us together I don’t belong together and thrown or it’s not supposed to be
 

ronandannette

I gave myself this tag and I "Like" myself too!
Joined
May 4, 2006
OP: Number of loads it’s not the main issue if everything that’s being washed is actually dirty. So I would say the main issue is the mess and having just stuffed us together I don’t belong together and thrown or it’s not supposed to be
Then I would say, as many others have - everybody does their own laundry and you lighten up a little on exactly how they do it. Take whatever you find laying around and toss it on the kids' bed and close the door behind you. The mess will be contained and I'm sure out-of-sight will be out-of-mind for your DH if he doesn't deal with the laundry anyway.
 

neverlandsky

DIS Veteran
Joined
Sep 7, 2017
Move hampers to their rooms. If their rooms are a jungle, simply close their bedroom door. If they ask why their door is closed, their rooms are a mess and you don’t want to see it. No yelling involved. If clothes are piled up in the bathroom, gather and put on their bed or a corner of their room. Take their problem and truly make it their problem. More is caught then taught. Again no yelling. Be prepared they may yell at you. I got yelled at of why my bedroom door is closed, from them when their rooms were a mess. Yet now they go ugh, my bedroom door is closed, my room is a mess I’ll get on it.

As far as laundry goes, if it doesn’t make the hamper it doesn’t get wash. I wash and fold. Clean clothes are placed on their bed for them to put away since they were 6. At 15, the kids had to wash their sheets and vacuum their rooms. Again, this fell under their room their responsibility. At Senior year of high school, if any complaints were made of me not doing their laundry, it was on them to do it. At 18, happy birthday your laundry, your responsibility.

For the teens it equaled 3 loads each. Warm darks, warm lights, cold wash darks. For me & DH, it’s 4 loads total. Hot underwear & socks, warm colors, cold lights, cold darks. Bath towels are once a week. Sheets are once a month. Kitchen towels and cleaning towels once a month. Hamper is in laundry room for those. So weekly I’m was doing 12 loads of laundry for a family of 4. Now I’m down to 9 since Oldest is now 18.

Never assigned the kids chores. They are responsible for their rooms and putting their clothes away since 6. At 13, since they started making food for themselves, they had to cleanup and rinse their dishes. We also made sure we implemented fend for yourselves dinner nights for more independence. Me & DH made sure we kept our monthly date nights once the kids were 16 & 14. They now automatically rinse their dishes after all meals.

If we ask anything extra which isn’t often like take out the trash, empty the dishwasher, help with groceries, etc. there’s been no resistance. They go ok.
 

diznygirl

<font color=701e72>I have a symmetry thing<br><fon
Joined
Aug 14, 2004
I agree with the previous poster - they get hampers in their rooms for their own laundry. This has worked for us. Kids bring down their laundry when they run out of something important. Lol. Their rooms get messy, but yup - just shut the door. That’s for them to figure out.

Towel hamper is in the hallway and small enough for one load.

I’m not as worried about the efficiency of the laundry as I am about keeping it organized.

Good luck!
 

tcufrog

DIS Veteran
Joined
Jul 18, 2012
When DS14 was 13, I threatened to make him do his own laundry if didn’t bring down his laundry and coat hangers when I asked. I made good on the threat when he didn’t comply. Since then, he’s done his own laundry. If he doesn’t have a full load he tells me and I will add some of our clothes to the washer. He doesn’t sort and uses color catchers.

DS10 is on notice since he knows I started doing laundry when I was 10. He’s very cooperative because he doesn’t want to do it. We have a compartment laundry sorting cart with hanging rack above for everyone’s laundry except DS14.
 

BadPinkTink

Republic of Ireland is not part of UK
Joined
Mar 13, 2015
Um, why does she have to do her husband's laundry????

It sounds like the laundry is her thing, so going from doing everyones to just doing her own would be too much of a change for her. Doing her husbands laundry and her laundry still gives her some control.
 









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