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Teaching Kids How To Sort Laundry With A Fabric Pen

by Jenni


Jenni has shared this great tip for teaching kids how to sort laundry, even when they are very small.

Jenni says:

I figured out a great solution to get the kids (and the man in my life) to sort clothes correctly: Fabric pens.


Either on the tag or a hidden spot on each item of clothing, mark the basket that the clothing item goes in. Personally I do the first initial of the owner and the basket. So J/D is mine and belongs in the darks.

I also have the specific wash cycle, water temperature and detergents written on the bottom of the basket. When I'm busy and ask for help with laundry, no one can claim they don't know what to do. ;)

Taylor says:

Thanks Jenni for that great suggestion. I think you've come up with some really great ideas!

It can be difficult for kids to know how to sort laundry, and I've always just done it by basic color before. However, there are always some areas where things get dicey, like the white shirt with the colored words on it, for example. Does this go in the whites, or the colors? If you make the decision, and tell on the tag with a fabric pen where it should go there is less chance it will end up in the wrong place, and get laundered incorrectly.

I can see how this system with the fabric pens could also keep me from getting confused about who's clothes are whose in the house, when I'm putting away the laundry. I must confess, I get confused sometimes because of hand me downs. Perhaps instead of saying a name initial, it could be a size, so you could pass on clothes from one kid to the next without confusion.

I know some people, especially with socks and underwear, have a dot system with the fabric pen, where they make one dot for the first child, two dots for the second child, etc. That means when the clothes pass they just add a dot, and they can keep track of whose socks and undies are whose without too much confusion.

I also LOVE the idea of having instructions for laundering at the bottom of the baskets. This is such a great suggestion! I generally do the laundry, and I know when I'm in a bind for time and my husband offers to help it still takes me time to explain what cycle, detergent, what temperature to dry with, etc. for the load, just because he is not as familiar with it.

Your suggestion just gave me a brainstorm! I think I just came up with some additional instructions that we should put in our household notebook for when we need help -- laundry instructions! I'll try to come up with a form we can fill out for our notebooks! :)

Thanks for sharing your creative ideas Jenni. I'm always looking for more great ideas to feature on the site. You can share your creative storage solutions and organizing ideas here, or read others that have already been submitted.

Related Links At Household Management 101

Laundry Tips For Families

Sorting Laundry With A Laundry Sorter

Laundry Room Organizer And Storage Solutions

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