Note To My Boys: Laundry Tips

So I am coming off of the busiest couple of weeks that I have ever had. I am busy all of the time, but I had two trips that had me travel away from home and that added a different level of busy for me. My plans are to add more travel to my life and it got me thinking about what do my kids needs to know in order to make things run smoother. I started doing my laundry at a young age, and my kids are all of the age that they can do it themselves. If we don’t train our children now, who is going to train them? Train them right and your future daughter and son in laws will thank you!

So let’s start with laundry, it is obvious that they need some tips to help them get it all figured out. Kids are now taught in the FACS (in my day called Home Ec that only the girls took) class in junior high how to do laundry. But what I think they miss are some of the nuances that 30 plus years of doing laundry has taught me. I also had input from my friends who have issues with their kids and step kids doing laundry. So with this in mind I pass on these tips to my boys. Feel free to send to your children or cut out and tape in your laundry room!

  1. Check your pockets. The note that you need me to sign, does not wash and dry well. Your chap stick does not love the dryer as it will melt and put grease stains on all your clothes.
  2. You should do laundry every couple of days. Don’t save it up to do once a month as you will waste your whole day (or two) inside washing clothes. Don’t assume your parents are going to do your laundry for you. We will not live with you for the rest of your life and you do need to know these skills before you leave the nest.
  3. Don’t just throw your clothes on the floor in your room. Dirty clothes go in a basket/hamper/laundry room and clean clothes get put away after they are washed. That is the order of the universe and if you mix it up you are asking for trouble from the laundry gods!
  4. If it is red, wash it with like colored items until it stops bleeding into other clothes. Or my tip, don’t buy red clothes.
  5. Sort like clothes into loads. Washing jeans and towels works well because they dry at about the same rate. If you use bleach, wash all white clothes/socks/towels together in one load.
  6. If you mother’s clothes are in the washer, don’t just automatically throw them in the dryer. Take a minute and ask her what can and can’t go in the dryer. You may be surprised at what you find out.
  7. Don’t leave the clothes in the washer for more than a few hours….that is gross and will start to grow mold and your clothes will soon smell like blue cheese.
  8. Don’t leave the clothes in the dryer for more than a few hours. Hang and fold the clothes as soon as possible so that you never have to iron.
  9. Don’t throw your socks in as a ball, they won’t get clean. They stay a dirty stinky mess unless you un-ball them.
  10. Make sure each leg of the pants is going in the same direction (I have one son who takes of his pants which causes one leg to always be inside out….what is with that?)
  11. If you have a stain on your clothes, treat it as soon as possible. Don’t wash and dry it and then treat it. That is not the natural order. First treat….then wash….then check to see if the stain came out…..if not, go back to step one…..if stain out, dry.
  12. When placing clothes in the dryer, fold the load that is already in the dryer, and don’t just throw it on the floor or in a basket.
  13. When using the dryer, empty the lint filter before each load, unless you are working on a lint art project.
  14. Use the proper amount of soap. Read the bottle for amounts. Watch the original Jodie Foster version of “Freaky Friday” to see what happens when you use too much soap. (this clip does not have the laundry scene in it, but I highly suggest you watch this movie, because it is great!)  Freaky Friday Mind Transfer

  16. Wash towels at least once a week, because even though you are clean when you get out of the shower, they still need to be washed!
  17. Wash bed sheets at least once a week,because you are not always clean when you fall into bed at night.
  18. If washer does not complete the spin cycle for some reason, re-position the clothes and have the spin cycle go again. Please don’t put soaking clothes in the dryer for 5 hours.

(Disclaimer: Some of my boys do a great job at laundry, some do not. They know who they are….this was written for that boy/s)

To Joyful, Simplified Living,

MS. Simplicity

MS. Simplicity, also known as Melissa Schmalenberger  operates her business as I Did it with MS. Simplicity.  She is a Professional Organizer based out of Fargo, ND and her website can be found at

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2 Responses

  1. Melissa

    I am in the process of teaching my 10 year old daughter how to do laundry. She is picking up on it quickly, but I do believe I will print and laminate these “rules” to hang above the washer and dryer. My husband could also benefit from these, with the addition of the rule “Jeans and White shirts are NEVER to be washed together!” Sigh. Thank goodness for bleach. : )

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