When the laundry piles are enormous

At our house we don't have a problem washing and drying the laundry. It's the folding and putting away that's a challenge. So, about 90% of the time we've got a couple of full hampers sitting around, waiting for inspiration to hit.

Usually we fold/put away a few times a week, but we're a little out of that routine now that school is done, so it's been piling up.

Occasionally I'll give a penny per item they fold. I don't do this all the time, but a few times a month I'll just announce, at laundry-folding time, "Everyone gets a penny for each item you fold!"

This morning- with several full hampers, I sweetened the deal:

1 cent for each item folded
2 cents for each pair of socks matched
5 cents for each folded stack of laundry put away in it's proper place

A half-hour and a couple dollars later and the laundry is all folded and put away, the piggy banks are a little heavier, and everyone is happy. :)

The stats:
Audra played dollhouse nearby.
Adelia (3) folded 1 piece of laundry (she's just starting to learn to fold). She didn't get any money because she doesn't care about money yet and she doesn't yet have a piggy bank. :) But we all exclaimed about how neatly she folded that one pair of pants.
Ella (9) folded 42 items, matched 19 pairs of socks, and put away 7 folded piles of laundry. Total earnings: $1.15
Isaac (7) folded 20 items, matched 16 pairs of socks, and put away 6 folded piles of laundry. Total earnings: 82 cents
Isaias (6) folded 7 items (um... he got a slow start: he's usually right up there with Isaac), matched 10 pairs of socks, and put away 3 folded piles of laundry. Total earnings: 46 cents
I folded right along with them (it's incentive to them to work hard because anything I fold takes away from what they can earn). When I matched socks I added to their piles, though. And I put away everything I folded. Total earnings: we all worked cheerfully at a task together and completed it, and I got to reward the kids and the laundry is done!


  1. Great job Rensink children!

    Any chance those sweet kids of yours will float you a loan to buy your plane ticket to Indiana?? :)

  2. You know they would.

    But they'd SO want to come. :)

  3. The same thing with laundry happens at my house. It gets washed and dried and put into the living room. It got so bad one time I joked with my husband about moving a big dresser to the living room and I could just dump each basket into a drawer and everybody could come find their clothes when they needed them. :)

    I might have to try the penny thing!

  4. Angela~
    I like your dresser idea. ~smile~

  5. Stacy, just wanted to let you know that since reading this post I've been paying the boys to fold and put away laundry - per your example here - and boy does a lot more get done, and a whole lot faster! It's great ~ Thanks! :)


  6. Camee~
    Oh, I'm so happy to hear it's working for you! :) Isn't it nice to have helpers? I love it that my kids help me fold! :)


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