parenting

Why Dads Should Do the Laundry

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Troy folding a shirt Home Management—When I was in El Salvador last year, we stopped at a lake and walked down a steep hill to get to the water's edge. There, we encountered a large group of women and children who were washing their clothes in the cold water using rocks to scrub out the dirt. I started talking to everyone and encouraged my kids to get in the water and play with the children. At first tentative, the kids came closer and embraced the thought of new friends. Chase's red hair was an especially big hit!

As we walked back up the steep hill to get in the car, breathless from the journey, I thought of what a fun excursion that was for our family compared with the necessity that it was for the women we visited with. I thought about how I complain at walking down 15 stairs with one laundry basket. I vent about the lack of time to do laundry. I get frustrated with the task of getting clean clothes folded and put away. I have voiced on many occasions how "I hate laundry" all because it is inconvenient and takes time from my other, more important tasks, like tweeting! 😉

To make laundry less of a chore for me, we made some changes in our family. Primarily, my husband now does it. It's all about delegation, right? Check out his thoughts on the matter at Dadventurous.com. What I love about guys when they take over what has traditionally been "woman's work" is how practical they are about it.

4 Tips to Streamlining Your Approach to Laundry

Here's some things my husband does that simplify the laundry process:

  1. He bought one of those folding thingies... you know? The kind the gap uses to get the perfectly folded t-shirt. This has made folding the laundry fast and fun.
  2. He got the kids involved. He pays them $.10 for each piece of laundry they fold and put away. And, he taught them to use the laundry folding thingie, which they think is really fun.
  3. His home office is right next to the laundry room, so he does laundry on work breaks.
  4. One tip we both just learned about from Hanes is their Easy Sort Socks—color coded by size for easy matching. Are you kidding me? Is this awesome or what? Click here to see what I'm talking about. Just one more practical way to make laundry easier.

Given Troy's practical approach to laundry, my vote is to have him do our laundry forever—even if it just means overseeing the kids!

How does laundry work in your household? Who does it? What tips and tricks do you recommend for simplifying the process?

Disclosure: I partner with Hanes as part of their #ComfortCrew. They treated me to a retreat in Orlando last week, where I got up close and personal with their products. The trip, including a variety of product, was provided to me by Hanes. My absolute obsession with their Easy Sort Socks is my own!

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An active part of the Mom It Forward team, Jyl primarily writes about parenting, social good, and all things travel related. In a past life, Jyl was an award-winning copywriter and designer of corporate training programs for Fortune 100 companies. Offline, Jyl is married to @TroyPattee; a mom to two teen boys and a beagle named #Hashtag; loves large amounts of cheese, dancing, and traveling; and lives in the beautiful Rocky Mountains. Topping her bucket list is the goal to visit 50 countries by the time she's 50.

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