August Habit #5 Laundry and Kids

Dear FlyLady,

I was a single mom of 3 DS for many years. When my DS was kids was old enough to obtain his Learner’s permit for driving (age 14 in Kansas), I prepared him several months ahead by announcing that if he was old enough to learn to drive a car, he was old enough to start doing his own laundry.

After all, doing laundry the American way (washer AND dryer) is not rocket science – it’s just pushing a few buttons and dials, and adding some detergent. (we lived in Asia for years, where drying racks and ironing are involved – a little too complicated for many kids, so the overseas FlyBabies may need to modify this).

When I remarried and acquired two more DS along with my DH, the “age for self-service laundry” was suddenly lowered to 10 (the age of my youngest of 5 DS) and to keep my sanity, as I was NOT going to manage the laundry for teens boys that spend hours a day pushing buttons on their gaming systems, computers, and TVs!

The first day I showed my 10-year old DS how to load the washer, he said “Is that all there is to it?” One of the biggest advantages to having ALL the DS’ do their laundry is that there is no more sorting, and no more mixed up or lost socks.

Also, I can concentrate on keeping up with our large family’s sheets and towels, and staying on top of the laundry for my DH and myself.

Another hint for laundry: my younger boys are 18 months apart, and when they were little, I bought different brands (or different colors) of underwear and socks. This saved HOURS of sorting time over the years, and was worth the little extra trouble or expense to purchase different undergarments!

— Janet

FlyLady here: Our habit for August is working on Laundry.

A load a day keeps CHAOS away!  We have a great tool to help you sort as you take your clothes off.
Do you have a story or tips that will help other FlyBabies with this habit? Please send them to with LAUNDRY in the subject line.

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