Thursday, February 20, 2014

Kids Doing Their Own Laundry by Age 8--Here's How!


About me: Hey there! My name is Shauna Klippel. I have a wonderful husband and together we have seven children. While I love things like, vintage fashion, keeping organized and exercising, what I love even more is dedicating myself to this family we have created. Helping my children to be happy and successful in their lives is number one on the list for me right now. Together, my husband and I work hard to instill a good work ethic, love and spirituality in our children's lives and in our own lives as well. Part of what makes life busy is homeschool, frequent travels to San Francisco, and regular old household work that has to be done in order for our home to run happily and efficiently. And this is the life that I love the most! Check out my blog at

Here I will share with you, tried and true tips and the belief I have behind having children do consistent "work" in their homes. 

Like most of us, as parents we are always looking for opportunities for our children to work. We want our children to be productive people. Gone are the days where we work from sun up to sun down, performing hard tasks that could actually be described as labor. Except for some, this just isn't our reality anymore. So, while manual labor may not be on the back porch, we can expect our children to do major household tasks such as laundry. And this is just what we've done. We've taught our children to do their own laundry from a young age and they are expected to do it weekly. Keep in mind that these tips are tried and true. And, I'm not going to share anything that's rocket science, really. Read on to find out how I get my kids to do their own's really quite simple. 
Shauna's Four Oldest Kids

AGE 5:  

First off,
I start having my kids sort their laundry at age five. Keep in mind that my two oldest sons and two oldest daughters share a room.

AGE 6:  

At age six I start having them put their own clothing away.

AGE 8: 

And at age eight is when I officially teach them to do their own laundry. My oldest son is thirteen now, so he's been doing laundry for a while. We teach them to do their laundry by showing them how to:

- put in a proper load of clothing

- spray spots on clothing

- turn on the washer machine and use the settings

- use the dryer

But, really that's the easy part. The hard part is having the expectation for our children to actually do something like laundry and keeping them on task. This is where the schedule comes in. On our fridge we keep a rotating chore chart that is measured out by weekday and what number week it happens to be on. While most of the chores rotate, laundry is one that stays on the same weekday, every single week. For instance, my oldest sons laundry day is Tuesday, my oldest daughters laundry day is Wednesday. They typically start their laundry in the morning so they have time to fold later that same day. When the laundry is done the two oldest, ages 11 and 13 put aside the clothing that belongs to the sibling that they share a room with and that younger sibling is expected to fold and put away. 

By participating in consistent work around the house like laundry I believe that:
a.  our children will learn real skills
b.  doing work will build much needed character and happiness
c.  finally, the regular participation in these tasks will translate in the future whether it be in a job or a relationship. 

To sum up, I'm not one of those moms who thinks or even dreams of doing it all by herself. I believe that expecting our children to take responsibility in the home by doing regular jobs will result in learning of real skills, a unified household where children are happy, while getting the opportunity to build their character and that this kind of consistent chore will help them to be successful in the future.


  1. I'm a huge fan of this. I think kids are waaaaay smarter than most people give them credit for, and their ability to learn how to do work/chores at an early age is evidence of it. Granted, they need supervision while learning - but once they learn it, they're set for life. You won't end up with a kid in college who doesn't know the difference between softener and detergent (true story).

    1. I totally agree. Lately, I've been learning the difference between "happiness" and "joy." I'm seeing how that applies to my kids as well. Eating a kid makes my son happy, but it can't compare to the joy he feels when he masters a new task. It takes more work but they payoff is amazing.

    2. Eating a kid...? I'm nervous for your son... :)

    3. Lol!!! I meant cookie but I'm clearly not getting enough sleep! So good to know someone actually reads these comments. :)


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