Monday was always laundry day when I was a kid and as an adult, I too pull the dirty clothes to the washer every Monday. Funny how some of us create habits patterned after our parents while others develop a completely different approach. My daughter for instance, does laundry basically when she is out of underwear and finds herself torn between doing a load or going commando!
Doesn’t really matter when a person chooses to do laundry, I just want to make sure our youth knows how to do it! So that is the challenge of the week … teach a teen to sort, wash, dry, and fold laundry.
Don’t forget the little tricks of doing laundry either. Concepts like:
- separating by color and sometimes fabric weight
- reading “Care Instructions” on clothing labels (most teens don’t know this exists) to ensure proper handling
- dryer sheets vs. fabric softener use
- explaining what “Dry Cleaning” means and why it is done
- bleach vs. detergent use (unless you are a fan of garments with white spots on them)
- why clumped/wadded clothing doesn’t get clean
- various cycles (delicate, permanent press, sturdy, etc.) on both the dryer and washer
- how wet clothing can sometimes be stretched and hung to dry to reduce shrinking
- drying clothes half-way and then hanging them to avoid wrinkling
- cleaning the dryer vent
- proper folding techniques (how to fold a fitted sheet, why you fold towels a certain way (usually to fit in the closet easily, right?), matching up socks (although teens are in a phase of not doing that currently-FYI), folding a t-shirt (yes, let them know there are several options here-teens like options), etc.
I had a dad recently tell me that his daughter went to college and she was the only girl on her floor that knew how to do laundry. (A few girls actually had someone laying their clothes out for them each morning-wow!) Unfortunately his story didn’t amaze me, but teaching early could have prevented a lot of stress and disasters for these ladies. Plus, if teens help with the laundry periodically, it frees you up to do other things … including something fun with them!!
Make the most of your day!