I was completely aghast a few years ago when my husband started trying to convince me that folding laundry wasn’t necessary. I LOVE a well-organized space, and there was no way I was going to let my kid’s sock drawers look messy. Inevitably as a mom of four there’s just not enough time, and I’ve had to learn to let things go. Folding laundry perfectly has been one of them. Let it be known to the world and in permanent print that my husband was right.
Before you change the channel, hear me out. I still fold SOME of our laundry, just not all of it. Anything that can wrinkle is either folded or hung up, but any clothes that it doesn’t matter if they are wrinkled or not – I’m looking at you socks, underwear, and jammies – go straight into the drawer. Workout clothes are still debatable in our house, and I’ll leave it up to you if those should be hung up, folded, or not.
Jenna, are your kid’s dresser drawers messy?
Have you ever seen a 2-year-old try to find the right shirt to go over three dresses, leggings, shorts, the purple sweatshirt that doesn’t itch, and monkey ears? I see it daily (times multiple kids) – so not folding a majority of our kid’s clothes not only has saved me time, it’s not done anything to change the way their drawers look. Our kids dress themselves, which is a subject for a separate post and a full-time source of entertainment in our house. It also means, their drawers are never perfect. I would drive myself crazy trying to go back and refold every little T-shirt after it’s been sorted through. Most of the clothes in our younger two kids’ dressers are not folded. Bathing suits, onesies, baby pants, and little teeny tiny T-shirts – not one is folded. (Remember the nice stuff is hung up!)
Aren’t you afraid of not teaching your kids the right way to take care of their things?
On the contrary, I think this actually helps our kids learn how to take care of their things better than if I were to fold all the laundry. Our older kids are ages 5 and 6, which means they are responsible for putting their own clothes away. If they choose to fold them, that’s fine with us! When we let them become responsible for their clothes, we teach them how to fold clothes. Depending on which child’s dresser you look into, you might find clothes folded or not. Where this has saved me time the most is that when I’m “folding” laundry, I am actually just sorting each family member’s clothes into their own piles and then letting anyone over the age of 5 determine what should be done with their own pile. Sometimes the clean laundry piles up in front of a dresser, sometimes it’s put away beautifully, folded and organized, and other times it thrown into a drawer to get pulled out a day later. We are willing to help if the kids ask but usually they want to do it themselves. By encouraging our kids to take care of their things, it not only lessens my workload but increases their ability to be independent.
I do at least one load of laundry every day and by not folding everything to perfection I am saving time and energy while encouraging our kids independence. So Smarties, be a little messy with me.