How to Encourage Independence in Your Children this School Year

independentkids

 

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As children get older they tend to develop a strong desire to spread their wings a little more and test new boundaries. As school begins again, you may find that it’s a great time to start giving them opportunities to grow by allowing them to take control of some of the tasks, habits, and personal items they require. Assess the needs of each child and use these suggestions to start encouraging independence in your children this school year.

 

Let them take responsibility for their breakfast

Breakfast is something parents often take care of but can easily be entrusted to the kids. You can set the boundaries by choosing what foods go on the table, but most school-age children are ready to start serving themselves. If you want to get creative, consider a “breakfast station” like this one, full of breakfast options like oatmeal packets, bagels, and cereal that they can make on their own. Be sure to include some grab-and-go foods like fruit and granola bars for mornings when there are a few kids in a rush.

 

Allow them to choose their own clothes each day

Help the kids figure out a system for choosing school clothes each day so mornings don’t become too hectic when socks and underwear are nowhere to be found. Will the choice be made right before bed each night? How about choosing five outfits at the start of the week? A simple daily label placed on a hanger – like these free printables from Sweet Bella Roos – with each outfit can eliminate a lot of confusion. It’s likely the kids will become more confident in who they are as they find ways to express themselves through their clothing choices. Let each child find what works best for them and help them stick to it.

 

Put them in charge of their own lunch

Delegate the morning task of lunch-making to the kids! Set out the ingredients in a way that works for your family, with options from each of the food groups. You can see an example of a lunch station here. Every child can put together a lunch they actually want to eat and you can have more time to sign permission slips and comb hair. And if a child doesn’t get up on time, consider letting the natural consequence of missing out on lunch that day be a lesson to him or her. You can practically guarantee they’ll wake up tomorrow!

 

Make them responsible for their “stuff”

Allow each of your children to inventory their own backpacks when they walk in the door. Being in charge of their jackets, school papers, and sports gear takes a load off of your plate and uses natural consequences to teach kids why it’s important to keep track of those things. A family command center is the perfect way to give kids the reins but still provide a bit of guidance. There are many ways to create one and you’ll want to customize it to suit your family’s needs, but some basics might include a coat hook for each child, a calendar, a chalkboard, and a basket for each child’s shoes or loose items.  Keep chalk or pens nearby so the kids can write down project deadlines and things they need to remember. Make it clear that they will be responsible for their own gear, and this is the place to keep it if they want to have quick access to it in the mornings. You can see more great command center ideas on Remodelaholic.

 

Allow them to choose their snacks

Fill a basket (let the kids help too!) with healthy snacks your kids can munch when they get home in the afternoon. Here’s a great example from I Heart Organizing. Kids can choose what they will eat from the basket, but you are in charge of the options that go into the basket. It’s a great solution when trying to balance responsibilities between parent and child.

 

Put them in charge of some things at home

Including a few household tasks on their list of to-do’s is a good way to keep kids involved at home. Assign simple, age-appropriate tasks that they can choose to do before or after school or use a chore chart or chore wheel like these and perhaps a rewards system to help them start to understand the value of contributing within the family.

 

A few tips for children who are less enthusiastic about becoming independent:

  • Create routines – a routine establishes a predictable pattern that a child can learn and become confident in. Guide them through the first week of a new routine and then slowly begin to withdraw, allowing them to take responsibility for following and completing the routine.
  • Ask questions – when your child comes to you with a problem you think they can handle on their own, ask questions that will get them thinking for themselves. For example, if your child tells you a friend is talking and disrupting things at school, you might ask, “What could you say to your friend to help her focus on what the teacher is saying?” Or if a child keeps forgetting their homework, “What could you do to help you remember to put the papers in your backpack each night?” Many children can solve their own problems with a bit of encouragement.
  • Believe in them – it can be difficult to step away as your child learns to take care of him or herself. They’ve needed you for so many things for so long! Trust them. Trust that they can make good choices. Trust that they can figure things out, and tell them you trust them. It may be just the thing that gives them the confidence to take the next step

 

Featured image via Better Homes and Gardens.

Kayla Lilly is a photographer, writer, wife, and mama making a house a home in eastern Idaho. She met her mister while working at an amusement park and married him a year later after deciding there was no way to live without him. The amusement has continued as they’ve added three kids and a passel of pets to their lives while finishing college and starting a photography business. Drawing inspiration from the whirlwinds of marriage, parenthood, and the media, Kayla blogs at Utterly Inexperienced, and spends the rest of her time chasing chickens, organizing junk drawers, diapering toddlers, and photographing everyone willing to step in front of her lens.

30 Kid-Approved DIY Chore Charts

30 Kid-Approved DIY Chore Charts -  via tipsaholic, #chorechart, #chores

 30 Kid-Approved DIY Chore Charts

If the word “chores” has your kids groaning, it might be time to switch up the routine!  A chore chart can be both engaging and rewarding for your child, and give them just the incentive they need to get working and stop complaining.  If you need some ideas for chore charts that you can make yourself, we’ve got you covered!  Whether you’re looking for something simple to make and easy for kids to follow, or you want something more elaborate and effective for your tweens, these 30 kid-approved DIY chore charts are sure to be a hit at your house.

 

Work For Hire Board, The Chic Family – This simple yet ingenious bulletin board style chore chart is perfect for your tween or even teen looking to earn some extra spending money.  If you’ve got extra chores your willing to shell out some allowance for, this board is a great way to get kids involved in making their own decisions about the work they do around the house.TheChic_work-for-hire-board

 

Reclaimed Wood Chores and Rewards, The Winthrop Chronicles – This chore/reward system works great for kids who are a little older, around 5-10.  Their weekly chore list is clipped to the top and they earn points, or small pebbles, as they complete things.  Pebbles are removed when they don’t do what they’re supposed to.  When the pebble jar is full, they pick a fun treat, like an ice cream outing.  It’s effective because it clearly displays expectations, has an instant consequence for behaviors and offers relevant incentive.  Plus, it’s super stylish – who wouldn’t want this hanging in their home?IMG_1080-b


Framed Magnetic Charts, A Lemon Squeezy Home – These charts look clean and bright hung on the wall and are a very easy system for kids to tackle.  The magnets are made with wooden circles and computer-printed stickers and are completely customizable.  If you’re not big into giving out an allowance for chores, or simply don’t want the visual reminder of money right by the chores, this is a great option.  It’s easy to make and easy to use, and the kids will get a kick out of moving their own magnets around.  Plus, there’s a nice list of chores kids can accomplish on their own!chore charts_thumb[1]


 Washi Tape Chore Sticks, Simply Kierste – If you’re looking for something super easy to make and use, you can’t get much more perfect than this!  Simply write the chores on a craft stick, decorate with a strip of washi tape and place in a cute jar!  Little hands will love the surprise of picking the chores out blindly.  Plus it looks cute on display and doesn’t take up any wall space!

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White Board and Magnet Pictures, Vanilla Joy – If you’ve got a pre-reader who’s ready to tackle some work around the house, this is a great chore chart for you!  The chores are designated with pictures glued to wooden tokens with magnets on the back.  It’s simple to make with a small white board and a few other materials and doesn’t take up a lot of space.  Little ones will love “playing” with the magnets and moving their chores to the right side!

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Easy Chore Board, Gingersnap Crafts – This cute and easy chore board is a cinch to make, small enough to fit nearly anywhere, and super stylish to boot!  All it takes is a board or plaque, some vinyl, a strip of metal and magnetic chore circles.  Not only is it easy to make, but it’s easy to read and understand for your young kids.  The little stick figures make it that much more adorable!chores

 

Chore Box, Just another Day in Paradise – This “Uh-Oh” box is simply genius!  Sick of kids leaving a trail of messes in their wake?  Got some mini tornados kicking toys around the house?  Teach your kids responsibility with this cute poem stuck to the side of a rubbermaid tote.  When they leave their things out, place them in the box.  All they have to do to get an item back is pick a chore!DSC_0018

 

Burlap and Clothespin Chore Chart, Simply Kierste – This charming burlap chore chart is a cute way to get chores done and encourage your kids!  On one side of the clothespin there are chores printed.  When the chore is completed, flip the clothespin over to reveal praise and encouragement for a job well done!  Make a row with ribbon for each child and clip their chores on, then have them flip the clothespins themselves!  This is a great way to help them take pride in their work.burlap chore chart--finished project front copy

 

Baking Sheet Chore Chart, A Spotted Pony – It doesn’t take much to make these cute little magnetic charts – just a baking sheet from the dollar store, some spray paint and some magnets!  With minimal investment, you can make some to match any decor.  With the cute printed pictures on magnets, this is the perfect first chore chart for young kids who aren’t reading yet.chorechart1-300x200

 

Job Chart, Martha Stewart –  This sweet and simple job chart is fairly minimalist in design – so it’ll go with any kind of decor.  It’s easy to make too – All you need are magnets and a computer/printer!  The columns are headed with a photograph of each child, adding to the charm.  The chores are simply colored magnetic strips – you can color code them according to day or difficulty level.  Simply hang on the fridge and let your tweens at it!0206_kids_gtjobchart_l

 

Dry Erase Chore Chart, Moss Moments – This is a really easy idea to pull together.  Just make a list of chores (and possibly the daily to-do’s) leaving boxes for check marks and print it out.  Frame it with any frame that matches your decor.  Each morning, write the day at the top.  The kids can check off the items as they do them.  Why it’s great?  Ease of use and simple to make.  Also, as you think of new things that need to be done that day, you can simply write them on the glass.  It’s super customizable, can be made as fancy and colorful as you’d like, and the kids will love writing all over the glass!Sofa and jellybean jars 025

 

Printable Sticker Chore Chart, The Vintage Mother – You can’t get any easier than simply printing off some charts and hanging them within easy reach!  The truly fun part is putting stickers next to the chores that are completed!  Let your little ones pick which stickers they want to use and watch them turn into cleaning machines!VRW-Chore-Chart-2

 

Big Helper Board, Grey House Harbor – With a magnetic dry erase board and some washi tape and magnets, you can create a super cute, perfectly personalized big helper board for your kids!  Create your own magnets for kids to move to separate columns and rows for each day of the week and chore.  Make it organized and cute by making lines with washi tape.  The best part about this chore chart is that it’s completely reusable as something new once the novelty wears off – and for young kids, you know that won’t take too long!  Washi tape is removable and all the writing on the chart is in dry erase marker.  580x384xwpid2209-magnetic-dry-erase-chore-chart.jpg.pagespeed.ic.YI6bbp4jJh

 

Reusable Chore Card Checklists, Our Story – You can break each room in your house down by listing the chores that need to be down on one convenient, laminated card.  Assign the kids a room to clean and give them the card.  They can check off each item as they go with a dry erase marker.  Rotate the rooms among your kids so they get a chance to do everything.  This is a great system for tweens and teens who are ready for more independence with their work, but still need a bit of a reminder as they go.  They can earn points for the entire room and cash their points in for rewards.  Wipe each card down when they’re completed and store them all together on a binder clip or in a folder or envelope._DSC9941

 

Coloring Page Chore Chart, And We Play – Even the littlest of helpers can keep track of their chores on a handy chart.  This cute little coloring page is just the ticket for the youngest in your brood!  You can download a pre-made chore coloring page from the link, or create your own personalized one.  Every time your child completes a task that’s pictured, they get to color it in!  So break out the crayons and colored pencils because preschool aged kids are going to love cleaning up now!IMG_5150

 

Framed Clothespin Chore Chart, A Turtle’s Life For Me – Upcycle some of your old, unused frames into a totally usable chore chart!  By gluing clothespins down the side of the frame and adding the child’s name inside, you’ve got yourself a cute and personalized chore tracker.  Simply print out some chores, cut them into strips and laminate them.  When the chore is completed, it comes down off the clothespin and back in the envelope.  This is super easy to make and super easy to use.  Kids will love getting to “play with” the clips, but this is great for older kids or teens as well because of its simplicity.chore chart emma

 

Clipboard Chore Charts, The 36th Avenue – These clipboards are so super cute, you’ll want to hang them just for decoration!  They serve a useful purpose, too, though.  There are chores listed on one side and spots to check off down the other side – in dry erase vinyl!  Along the bottom, there are dry erase spots to keep track of days, so at the end of the week the kids (or you) can clip a reward card to the clipboard if they’ve gotten everything done.  This is really a great idea for young school aged children up through tweens to keep them on track, independently responsible for their work, and give them extra incentive.15554116713

 

Clipboard Checklists, Stacy Julian –  These checklists are simple, easy to make and very straightforward.  Clip the checklist to the clipboard and have your tween or teen check things off as they go throughout their routine.  If everything is finished at the designated time, you clip a dollar to the clipboard for them to find next time.  This is a great instant incentive for older kids who don’t need or want a lot of fuss, and still helps everyone keep track of responsibilities.  IMG_0785

 

Family Chore Board, Our Prairie Home – Here’s a fun and easy way to keep track of daily chores for everyone in the family – and it doesn’t take up a ton of space!  It’s a simple board with the names of the family written across and hooks above and below each name.  Chores are printed on small laminated tags.  Daily tasks are places on the top hook at the beginning of the day and each person moves them down to the bottom hook as they complete them.  You can personalize this idea as much as you want, use pictures for pre-readers, offer a point and reward system, or fancy it up as much as you want!Chore 3

 

Chore Tags, A Pretty Life – This system works really well for keeping track of those extra chores that pile up.  The tags are magnetic, so you can keep them on the fridge or a magnet board.  Each tag has an extra chore and a price.  The kids get to pick with chores they want to do, and when finished, move the chore to their designated hook (Which could be magnetic or not, your choice.)  At the end of the week, just pull the tags from the hook, count up all the prices listed, pay the allowance, and move the tags back to the fridge.  Voila!  This will work best with older kids and teens who know the value of a dollar!Chores1

 

Ice Cream Cone Chart, Child Made – Little kids will love this colorful, fun, ice cream themed chore chart!  Every part of the ice cream cone is sewn separately and has a magnet on the back.  Start your child with the empty cone.  Each scoop of ice cream has a chore listed on the back.  When they complete a chore, they get to add the scoop to their cone!  They’re going to flip over making ice cream cones every day and will race to clean to see who can build their cone higher!ice_cream_19

 

Folder Chore Charts, Moritz Line Designs – These couldn’t be easier (or cheaper!) to make and are exceptionally easy to use.  The days of the week are listed across the inside pockets and the daily chore check list is stapled under each day.  A dollar bill is placed in the pocket above each day.  The kids check things off the list and when the whole list for the day is completed, move the money to the envelope on the front of the folder.  It’s instant gratification, teaches the value of earning and saving, and places the responsibility and consequences for chores on the kids.  This is a great motivational chore “chart” for older kids and tweens!chorechart_inside

 

Photo Chore Chart, A Mom’s Take – This chart turns chores into a game!  Everything is magnetic and can go on a magnet board or on the fridge.  The chart itself is simply “before” photographs of each chore in a grid, all of them taken before the chore was completed – so messy shelves, unmade bed, etc.  The kid’s look at the photos and when a chore is complete, find the matching “after” photo – obviously taken when the chores are completed and therefore clean – in the container or envelope.  They place this photo OVER the the messy photo.  When all the photos are clean, the kids are done!  What a fun way to show them what to do and engage them by turning work into a game!DSCF2194-750x499

 

Clothespin Chore Tracker, The Wid Kids – A super easy chart to make, and a fun way to keep kids on track all throughout the day.  Simply make a single row of chores for your child (you can write them, draw them or print them out, then put them on poster board for durability) with your child’s name at the beginning of the row.  Start the clothespin on their name at the beginning of the day and have them move it along as they complete each task.DSC_0619

 

Post-It Note Chore Chart, Tatertots and Jello – Brilliant!  This chart uses post-it notes with chores printed on, color-coded for each child!  Every chore has 7 checkboxes for the week.  Every day, the kids check off the chores that are complete.  When they’re totally checked, they place them in the post-it folder.  There’s even a “for hire” category with bigger chores printed and a dollar amount if the kids want to do bonus work.  What’s great about this system is that it’s so easy to alter.  Add chores, take them away, switch them around, whatever!  Tweens and teens will like the trendy, fun colors, and mom will like all the work getting done!post-it-note-chore-chart-system-at-tatertts-and-jello

 

Magnetic Photo Chart, My Sister’s Suitcase – Use all those photos you take with your phone throughout the day!  Create chore photos with your smartphone and add text with various photo editing apps.  Print them out on magnetic sheets and make magnet board separated into columns and the name of each child at the top.  Put a small box or envelope under the columns.  Place the chores with the appropriate child, and have them move the photos into the box once they are completed.  Simple enough for preschoolers, fun enough for older kids!kids-chore-chart-DIY

 

Responsibility Station, Organizing Junkie – This station has absolutely everything you could want in a chore chart.  There’s a checklist for daily chores, a bucket of chore sticks for extra chores or  responsibilities, a pay check tear pad where the kids tally up how much they make per day and total it at the end of the week, and even zipper pouches separated into spend it, save it and give it.  This system is a little more detailed as far as understanding and using it, but it also reinforces lots of great lessons – math, addition, percentages, charity, responsibility, among others.  School-aged kids would love watching their “pay check” add up over the week!responsibility-station-2

 

Magnetic Flip Chart, Miss Information – With very little effort and supplies, you can make a cute chart for your fridge that your preschooler will get really excited about!  Just use some poster board or heavy card stock and fold it in half.  On the top, write, draw or print out pictures of chores all across.  On the bottom half, simply cut up to the fold – making the strips you cut as wide as the chores on top.  Glue magnets on top and bottom.  When your kids complete the chores, they flip the bottom up to the top to reveal a secret message!  Just write “all done,” “good job,” etc. on each flap.  Kids will love flipping the paper, and encouraged by all the positive reinforcement!flip chart

 

Job Chart Slider, Spoonful – It may look a little complicated at first, but this job chart slider is actually pretty easy to make!  You just need paper, cardboard, wooden skewers, straws and glue!  In no time you’ll craft up something the little kids will absolutely love to use!  List the charts down the first column (you can even divide them into daily and weekly) and on the top write “to do” on one side and “done” on the other.  The kids slide the straws from “to do” to “done” – it’s like a game!make-a-job-chart-craft-photo-420x420-FF0911CREAT_A11

Wheel of Responsibility, How Does She – This chore wheel will take virtually no time and effort to make and will save you from lots of arguments!  All you need is sturdy card stock, a brad and a pen.  Just make concentric circles of colored paper or card stock and divide them up – each tier is for something specific to your own family, with the top or center tier being the names of family members.  You can rotate the wheel whenever you see fit, though weekly makes the most sense.  This is fun for young kids, but great as they get older too since it’s a simple and indisputable visual of who does what.IMG_2008

 

From dry erase to magnetic, flip charts, spinners, sliders, stickers and clips, simple checklists to photos and pictures, this list has it all!  There’s a chore chart here for everyone – whatever your needs!

 

Featured image via And We Play.

Kimberly Mueller is the “me” over at bugaboo, mini, mr & me, a blog that highlights her creative endeavors. She especially likes to share kid crafts, sewing attempts, recipes, upcycled projects, photography and free printable gift tags/cards. When she’s not enjoying being married to her best friend, chasing after the natives (AKA her three kids) and attempting to keep the house in one piece, you can find her with a glue gun in one hand and spray paint in the other. Aside from DIY pursuits, she also enjoys writing, reading, music, singing (mostly in the shower) and the color yellow. Kimberly recently published a craft book entitled Modern Mod Podge. You can also find her on FacebookPinterest,Bloglovin’ and Instagram. Email her at: bugabooblog(at)yahoo.com

Check out these other great kid friendly ideas:

tipsaholic-5-tips-to-start-dinnertime-conversation-with-kids                     How to Raise Kids Who Love Learning - Tipsaholic.com                 5 Great Potty Training Books via Tipsaholic.com

Starting Dinner Conversations       Raising Kids who Love Learning    5 of the Best Potty Books

10 FUN Toddler Chores

The earlier your child learns how to do housework, the better – and not just because it takes items off your to-do list!  Teach your kids to do chores now and it won’t be a battle to get them to clean later on in life.  Not only that, but chores can also be great teaching tools – use them to reinforce the idea of choices and consequences, rewarding hard work, and taking stewardship over belongings.  Toddler chores can teach a sense of accomplishment and pride and instill a strong work ethic that will take them far later in life.  How young should you start?  Well, here’s a list of 10 fun chores for TODDLERS!

10 Fun Chores for Toddlers!

 

10 Fun Toddler Chores via Tipsaholic

Things to remember:  Toddlers will need guidance and direction, but be sure to let them accomplish as much as they can on their own. This will help with establishing independence and self-confidence.  Avoid allowing them to use harsh and potentially harmful cleaners and detergents.  If you expect them to complete a chore on their own, make sure to keep anything they may need to accomplish the task within easy reach.  Make cleaning fun by turning on music, using a chore chart, and cleaning together.

 

1. Pick up toys and books

The easiest way to enforce this is to have him/her pick up what they are playing with before getting something else out.  You can also make this a game by playing a variation of “I Spy” – “Can you find the red car?  Where does it go?”  or “Can you pick up five red blocks?”  Picking up toys and books is easier for kids when there are clear, established spots for them.  You can find tons of great toy organization ideas in this post from Remodelaholic.

*DIY idea: Check out these chalkboard toy boxes!  They’re trendy and classy and match nearly all decor.  Plus, you can change the “labels” easily, since you only need chalk!

 

2. Help with dirty laundry

Dirty clothes are lightweight and easy for small hands to manage.  Make sure there is a distinct spot for dirty clothes – a hamper like this one is a great option for kids if you don’t have a laundry chute.  Once the dirty clothes are in the right place, your toddler can also help sort clothes by color and put them in the washing machine, under close supervision.

 

3. Sort/fold clean laundry

Once the laundry is clean, toddlers can have fun matching socks by color and size.  They can learn to fold small items that aren’t unwieldy, though it will take practice to master this skill!

 

4. Wipe up messes

Spills happen.  It’s inevitable.  Teach your kids to clean them right when they happen, so there will be less for everyone to take care of later.  Make sure there are rags or paper towels within easy reach and if needed have them use water to dampen them – no chemical-laden cleaners.

 

5. Dusting

While there may be some areas you’ll want your toddler to avoid (great grandma’s china on the buffet or your grandfather’s tchotchkes from “the Old World” perhaps) there are spots small hands can dust – window ledges, blinds, low shelves, their own dresser, baseboards… anything low and easy to reach, nothing too high or heavy.  For added fun, let them use old socks over their hands, like puppets!

 

6. Put away groceries

This can be just as fun as sorting socks!  They can help put like items together, carry lightweight items away where they belong, and take food storage items to their spots in the pantry or basement.  Supervise to make sure they don’t carry more than they can easily handle and keep in mind they may need direction.

 

7. Set and clear the table

Keep unbreakable plates, bowls and cups at easy reach in a low cupboard so toddlers can find them and carry them to the table without help and without worry of shattering them.  Use fun placemats, like these, that teach kids the proper way to lay the utensils.  When mealtime is over, kids can carry dishes to the sink and help put things away in the fridge.

 

8. Wipe the table off

Toddlers can help clean a dirty table with a washcloth, rag or paper towel and water.

 

9. Make the bed

This is a skill that takes a lot of practice to properly master, but a toddler can surely begin to work on it!  They can place their pillows and stuffed animals in their allotted places and pull sheets and blankets up.  Explain and show them how to pull the linens up to “meet the pillows” – and most importantly don’t worry if there are lumps and bumps or if the sheets are askew.  Practice makes perfect!

 

10. Help with pets

With guidance, a toddler can pour pet food into the dish or change the water.  They will likely enjoy helping dogs take walks or “exercising” the cat or rabbit!

10 Fun Chores for Toddlers via Tipsaholic

Kimberly Mueller is the “me” over at bugaboo, mini, mr & me, a blog that highlights her creative endeavors. She especially likes to share kid crafts, sewing attempts, recipes, upcycled projects, photography and free printable gift tags/cards. When she’s not enjoying being married to her best friend, chasing after the natives (AKA her three kids) and attempting to keep the house in one piece, you can find her with a glue gun in one hand and spray paint in the other. Aside from DIY pursuits, she also enjoys writing, reading, music, singing (mostly in the shower) and the color yellow. Kimberly recently published a craft book entitled Modern Mod Podge. You can also find her on FacebookPinterest,Bloglovin’ and Instagram. Email her at: bugabooblog(at)yahoo.com

5 Tips to Make Doing Laundry Less of a Chore

5 tips to make doing laundry less of a chore @ Tipsaholic


5 Ways to Make Laundry Less of a Chore via Tipsaholic

I never like doing the laundry.  It seems just so tedious and repetitive, and there are so many more fun things to do in life. Yet, I like clean clothes, so it has to be done. I know I needed to make some changes, so doing laundry was not such a thing I would dread.

First the laundry room needed a little redecorating. It was a dark hole where I couldn’t find anything and just left me frustrated. To fix this, I got a narrow shelf on wheels, that rolls away in-between the washer and dryer when not in use, to store all of the cleaning supplies. Also, I placed a few bins, labeled with their contents, on a shelf. This added much needed organization to the space. Next up was putting a fun color on the walls, and a few accessories were placed around the room to make it a little bit prettier. It looks so nice now, that I actually like going into my laundry room. Once that was complete, I just needed to work on the actual laundry process. Here are my five tips to make doing laundry less of a chore.

1. Wash Often

I use to always wait until late Sunday night to do all the laundry for the week. I would end up tired and overwhelmed, and the laundry would for the most part only get half done as a result. Now, I make it a point to do a few smaller loads every few days. It prevents a big back log of laundry, and improves the chances I will actually fold everything right after it comes out of the dryer.

2. Don’t Sort Everything

Now that I wash clothes more frequently, I needed to increase the size of the load of laundry to justify the water use. Pretty much I now do one load of delicates and one load of everything else. No longer are towels washed on their own. I even will combine color clothes with whites as long as I know the color will not bleed.

3. Some Things Aren’t Really Dirty

I know some people won’t agree with this, but there are a few times that I won’t wash something after we wear it. For example, if I only wore a dress to church for a couple of hours, it goes back on the hanger. Also, I try to get a few wears out of our jeans before they go into the washing machine. (This excludes the many times my boy’s pants become covered in mud though.)

4. Fold the Laundry Where It Can’t Be Avoided

I use to have a bad habit of managing to fold the laundry, but since it was very late on a Sunday by then (See #1), I would stack everything back into the laundry basket instead of putting it into the various drawers around the house, where they belonged. It would then take me a few days to get around to putting things away, and in the mean time everything would get unfolded when we would dig through the basket to find a clothing item. Now I fold the laundry on my bed. I have to put things away or I can’t get under my sheets. Since I like to sleep, I put the folded laundry away.

5. Focus On the Goal

This tip gets me though a lot of things in life. But when it comes to laundry, I just keep thinking you have to do it, so there is no reason to fight it!

 

Photo source: Better Homes and Gardens

I’m Frances. I am a mother, a wife, and a community volunteer. I work as a scientist by day and moonlight as a blogger. Making lists helps me keep everything on track. While I have a good life, there is always room for improvement. Join me as I decorate, organize, and try new things over at my blog Improvement List.