Today I'm going to make everyone start doing their own laundry. I've given everyone a day - Monday daytime it's my laundry, Monday evening, Hayley, Tuesday, Hannah, Wednesday, Harrison, Thursday daytime my turn to do towels and sheets, etc., Thursday evening, Arlie and Friday, Jeff with weekends open for catching up. We'll see how it goes. It will be a HUGE adjustment since everyone has been enjoying this "service" forever, but it will be good for them all to do their own laundry and learn to do it right.
Why am I doing this, you ask? (Ok, maybe you didn't but I'm going to tell you anyway). Let me list the reasons:
1. crusty, balled up socks
2. nasty underwear
3. inside-out clothes
4. all the clothes arriving in a HUGE pile, because no one ever thinks to empty their laundry bin a little at a time (this usually happens on a day we're getting ready for a party and cleaning the house)
5. clean clothes arriving in the laundry on a regular basis (yes, folded socks, folded underwear, tops and pants not worn in ages, but tried on, discarded on the floor, then hastily scooped up once a month or so when they decide to clean their rooms - usually under duress)
6. using the laundry room as their personal closet. Yes, they all look for clean clothes in there, snatch them off the hangers in their haste in the morning and ignore the chore list that says "put your clean laundry away"
7. having a general disrespect and disregard for the HUGE job that laundry is and not showing any appreciation for the hours and hours I spend doing it
So, now everyone (yes, everyone, even Jeff) will get to do their own laundry. I've posted a list of instructions on how to do your own laundry above the washer and dryer. They can all read, so they can figure it out. If their whites turn pink or their lights get dingy from washing with darks, it will be their own problem. And just WAIT till they have to fold and hang their own clothes! Oh my. Perhaps they will be a bit more conservative and wear their jeans more than once, or not toss a shirt tried on but not worn into the laundry hamper.
I know there will be hell. Someone will need something and want the washer RIGHT NOW and there will be fights and tears and someone will be pulling clothes out of the dirty hamper because they didn't follow through on their chore. And that will be the natural consequences that will lead to learning. Hopefully. But the way I see it, it's a life skill they can all use and it might as well start now.