You’re So Money Monday

1315 1315_ () 1315 1315 I’m slightly distracted today because I have not yet regained feeling in my left big toe, thanks to the crazy awesome pointy-black shoes I wore to my brother’s wedding on Saturday. I’ll be honest, I thought about having today’s topic be: Rachel, and how tired she is. Does that seem self-centered? Just a bit, probably.

The truth is, physically, I’m not that tired. I got all the laundry caught up, and the house is still clean from the hours of slavery I put in last week in preparation for the rehearsal dinner. And things went well, it was all so wonderful. The boys did not find time to dig another hole, and my friend Susie had the brilliant idea to cover the dirt (leftover from Ye Ol’ Dirtpile) with pinestraw. It somehow worked and looked beautiful.

No, where my fatigue is showing up is in my brain, and today I am walking around in the most foggiest of fogs. Is this what happens as we age? Our brains slow down so much that we become walking zombies?

Anyway, that seems like a depressing topic so I’m going to switch gears.

Today’s question: at what age do you have your children put away their laundry? I’m finally learning to Let Go and Let Boy with the oldest two — and when I do go into their drawers, I have decided to be very zen. I have to lower my standards of order just a bit, to allow these two to handle this chore. If you know what I mean. 1315″>



  1. My sons were putting away their own laundry (and responsible for getting their dirty laundry into the laundry bins) by about 8 or 9, I think. I know they were all pretty much doing their own laundry before they were in high school.

  2. Journey of Truth says:

    If you wait until they show interest, you will lose this altogether. So, once they can open and shut the dressers, start them on putting stuff away. They are usually about 2.5 or 3 by then? Good luck! Mine are 14, 12, and 10 and I have to TELL them to put their clothes away all the time. I should have started earlier. I mean, once they can dress themselves, I think they definitely need to have that chore of putting it away.

  3. Anonymous says:

    My boys (almost 6 and 4 1/2) have the responsibility of putting away all their own laundry. I have had to take a deep breath and let go of the drawers being perfectly ordered or even partly ordered … but they put it away and so they know where to find things when they get dressed in the a.m. :O) With 4 kiddos, almost 6 and under, I figure if we don’t play as a team and the kiddos don’t pitch in, this house will never be clean or organized!

    (I have been reading your blog for a couple weeks now and love it! And my husband has loved when I read aloud to him … thanks!)

  4. I’d say 6 is a pretty good age. My littlest helps me put away towels and piles his underwear in his drawer, but the others 6, 9 and 10 all put away their own laundry. I fold laundry right at the dryer and pile it on top. It is well understood by the kids that every morning they are to take their pile to the drawers to be put away. My girls 10 and 6 are the sloppiest. Their drawers rarely close all the way, but my 9 year old boy is a perfectionist. Every belt is in a lovely rolled coil. The underwear are all facing the same direction and play clothes are perfectly separated from town clothes. The girls have questioned him about this and he simply says, “a place for everything and everything in its place.” Go figure! Good luck!

  5. The Mommy says:

    My almost 4 year old (1 more month) has been putting things away pretty well for 6 months. They may not be folded in the drawers but they are in the right ones!

  6. I subscribe to the “don’t own a lot of clothes” and the “let them put their clothes away at 2 1/2” clubs. I won’t tell you what age I have them fold too…

    But that’s because my “standard” level is lower than my laziness.

  7. Mine are just learning…boys ages 7 and 5. So far, they think it’s fun, and the 5 year old likes to fold too! Like others, I’ve had to lower my standards a bit, and look for things in unusual places when something goes missing. But, they’re learning, and it does lighten my load a little bit, especially in baseball season when it seems like we’re constantly washing uniforms!

  8. With the help of his five year old brother, even my not-quite-two year old can put his clothes away. My four year old often helps fold. Their drawers are a disgrace, but they are learning and the clothes are out of the laundry room. With four kids five and under, it’s the only way things get done!

  9. Brian & Nancy says:

    My 2.5 yr old can manage her socks and PJ’s into their drawers but I tend to hang a lot of other stuff up…mostly because I have used her drawer space for a lot of larger-sized hand-me-downs she isn’t wearing yet. She does like to hang up what she can reach, though.

  10. happy appy wife says:

    My siblings and I were expected to contribute to household duties from the get-go. I remember tucking freshly laundered socks and tshirts into my dresser drawer when I was 3 or 4.

    By age 8, Saturday mornings would find me ironing my dad’s cotton handkerchiefs for a penny-a-piece, while my older sister, age 10, pressed careful seams into his dress shirts, at 10 cents-a-shirt.

    Meanwhile, my oldest sister, 18, cycled the clothes for a family of 9 in and out of the washer and dryer. We would haul the clean clothes upstairs to my mom, who would fold them into designated baskets. We were all expected to put our own clothes away and return the baskets to the laundry room.

    The point: No age is too young to learn about contributing to household harmony.

    Smiles and Happy Laundering!

  11. By dresser, do you mean the floor of my bedroom . . . ? 😉

  12. My 8 yo and my 6 yo put their own clothes away all the time. My 8 yo also puts away the baby’s clothes. I leave the clothes at the bottom of their beds when they are at school and they know that they are expected to put them away as soon as they see them. The drawers border on atrocious, but we are a work in progress. My soon-to-be 2 yo is starting to put her things away, mostly because she wants to be like the older kids.

  13. I would say around 10 they should be able to do this with great ease. The best road to success I think is making the task “easy” for them by providing an easy spot to reach, adequate space to store. In other words, keep it simple.

  14. mamapajama says:

    My two oldest boys (I have 4!) are 8 and 5 and have been putting their laundry away for about a year. My 2-1/2 year old will throw his socks and jammies in his dresser drawers, too. =)

    The trade-off for having them do this chore on their own is being willing to live with a few wrinkles. I decided that any clothes I don’t want to see wrinkled (dress shirts, etc) would be my job to hang up in their closet. Everything else they take care of on their own.

  15. Oh, now I feel like such a slacker-mom. My 3 yr old lives to take every single piece of clothing out of his drawers every single day and strew it across the floor of the room he shares with the 1 yr. old. Why he does this when he lives in a Spiderman suit almost every day, is beyond me? I think I just need to put the clothes he never wears but flings in a separate dresser somewhere hidden.

    I have tried countless times to get the 11 yr. old to put away his clothes, but I can’t stand the way he does it (which is leaving the piles in sections on his floor, until he digs through to get something). He really only has drawers for socks, underwear and shorts. All shirts and pants are hung on hangers. You would think a boy of 11 could hang something on a hanger. You would think a boy of 11 could hang the empty hanger back on the bar after removing the shirt/pants.

    I know it is all my fault in the end. I have not given him the proper incentives to get it done correctly (man, consistent discipline is exhausting). Maybe I’ll make this a summer goal. Is it too extreme to hold his favorite clothes hostage, until I can physically watch him hang them correctly in his closet?

  16. For years I had a drawer system in the laundry room. I folded put them into the appropriate holding drawer with boys name written across it (storage drawers by rubbermaid). They would then take them from their drawers to their room starting around age 3.
    Now we’ve changed over to a family closet system in the laundry room. The older boys help me keep up with the wash and everyone keeps their drawers straight. It keeps rooms free of clothes that manage to be thrown on the floor while searching for “that” shirt or pair of pants. If you have space for that type of thing then go for it because it is such a life saver in terms of organization! Pics are on my blog, somewhere (I’m not good with urls, sorry)

  17. I make my boys hang all their clothes in their closets, even t-shirts,…that way items that I fold don’t get “stuffed” in drawers…something boys seem to enjoy doing. And that way even the four-year old can put away his things, dressers don’t take up all the space in their rooms, and everything generally stays wrinkle-free. I have clear shoe bags on the back of their closet doors for underwear and socks.

  18. I must admit when it comes to laundry I am too anal to leave it to my kids. Things do not need to be perfectly folded, but I have this thing about “rotation” – clothes just-worn on the bottom, socks and underwear freshly washed in the back (or on the left depending on how things are arranged). It’s a holdover from my days of working in a convenience store, I think.

    Plus I like laundry just a bit. I’d rather make them mop and vacuum!

  19. Anonymous says:

    I have 3 boys 15, 11, and 9 all three are responsible for washing, drying, folding, and putting away their own clothes. I start with teaching them how to load the washer, I start the machine for them they are usually 5 or 6. By the time they are 8 they are usually independant. I now have my 3 year old helping me load the washer and the dryer. She is also responsible for taking her folded laundry upstairs to her room where I am teaching her to put it away.

  20. Amanda M. says:

    I have two boys who I could only “let go” to do their own laundry-put-away at ages 10 and 12 when they got their own rooms. I am so neurotic about neatness and tidyness with laundry; I can’t bear to look in their drawers these days (such a non-tidy sight!).
    Now, my 9 year old daughter has been putting her own laundry away absolutely perfectly since she was about 7. The three year old, she “tries” to help fold towels. In any case, I think it’s a matter of Mom being able to let go and accept the fact that it won’t be perfect. I’m still struggling….

  21. My kids are 7 and 5 and they are responsible for putting away all their dresser clothes. I ask them to try hanging up their clothes, but I usually end up having to do that myself or risk finding them laying on the closet floor.

  22. Once I hit the “5 kid mark”, I decided it was high time the kids start taking over LOTS and LOTS of stuff. I have even succumbed to bribery (ie allowances).
    Not only do they put their clothes away, they also switch the laundry, gather & take out the trash, and unload the dishwasher.
    Now, I still prefer to load the dishwasher and washing machine, but I am starting to see the reasoning behind “let the dishes fall where they may” and letting our dishwasher dude put the dirties in, too.
    Letting go of the control was the hardest part, but remember how tired/fuzzy-brained you were when you started this post? That will diminish.
    Send the boys over if you need me to break ’em in for ya. I’ve got 2 baskets that are ready to be unloaded. tee hee

  23. Anonymous says:

    I can’t get my husband to do it, so I have given up. I have stacks on a table in my laundry room and I urge people to retrieve them, in passing, “Oh, and go get your clothes”.
    One thing that helps alot is 11 year old likes to fill the washer, put in powder, Downy ball and turn on!
    Baby steps!
    Let’s see some wedding pics!

  24. I’m not there yet. My oldest, who is a boy, is 5. He’ll get his own butt dressed, however, any remaining clothes usually end up on the floor yet. I figure I’ll give him till he’s in 1st grade. 7seems like a perfect age to start.
    By then, my daughter and other son will be totally ready too…2years they will be 6 and 4. Yay, fewer things for mom to do! ;o) Yeah, right.

  25. Anonymous says:

    With 8 children now grown, I look back on laundry with real fondness. I impressed upon the kids from a very early age that it took all of us to make things go well. We were a family that needed eah other to bring order. And order brings peace. So, it wasn’t so much WHAT they did, but THAT they did. Because we only had 2 drawers per child, that laundry HAD to fit, so until about 5th graded, I put the laundry away.I tried to always encourage excellence w/o being a total perfectionist.My kids don’t seem to have too many hang-ups or quirks. well…no really its what works for you and yours. God bless, and keep on writing! You are a true gift to so many of us.
    Earth Mother +

  26. OK, not about laundry. What is up with boys and digging holes?!? My sil has 8 boys and the digging of a hole is like… just what they do- then mamma makes them fill it in. It’s never a small hole, it’s like a inter your brother in kinda hole.

    One thing that has helped in keeping her house clean (due to the hole digging) is putting in an out door shower!