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If you’re like most people, you have a few piles of laundry around the house. Are they clean? Dirty? Who knows! The kids just pick through them at their leisure, hunting for their ballet tights and school uniforms. What if we told you that sorting out your laundry woes was easier than you thought? Follow these five tips to conquer the laundry mountain once and for all.

Get the kids to help

If a child can operate an iPad, they can help with laundry. Children aged 3-5 can match socks and fold washcloths. 6-9 year olds can sort lights and darks, and put their own clothes away. Kids 9+ can fold clothes, put their own clothes away, and make sure their dirty clothes make their way from their bedroom floors to the washing machine. Pass on some of the laundry responsibility to your kids and you’ll never look back.

Create one designated area for laundry

The couch and dining table aren’t ideal places for laundry to hang out. Find one place in the house, preferably near the washer and dryer, for laundry to remain until it is clean, folded and ready to be put where it belongs. Not letting your laundry pile grow legs and spread is key when it comes to getting control over it.

Make decisions quickly

If an item of clothing no longer fits anyone or is ripped beyond repair, chuck or donate it immediately. Don’t put it back in the laundry rotation where it will take up excess space and cycle back in front of you a week from now. The only clothes that should be washed or in baskets are the ones people in your home are currently wearing.

Throw a laundry folding party!

If you’ve gotten behind on laundry (totally normal, we’re all busy), announce to your family that you’re having a laundry folding party. That’s when everyone gathers around in the living room with popcorn and folds ALL of the laundry while watching movies. The time will fly by, the clothes will get folded, and you’re bonding as a family. Make sure the clothes are all put away as soon as they’re folded.

One thing in, one thing out

Adopt the clothing policy that if a new item comes in, something that isn’t being worn has to go out. It’s easy for closets to get jammed full of clothes that no one is wearing. Let your kids know that if they want a new pair of jeans, an old one that doesn’t fit needs to be donated to someone in need or even a younger cousin.

You own your laundry, it doesn’t own you. Make these small changes and your life will be better for it.

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