Laundry doesn’t do itself on laundry day. Some of us learned this early on in our college careers. We studied, worked and played, only to come back to our dorm room to an endless pile of dirty clothing. To many students, who don’t have immediate access to mom’s compact stackable washer and dryer, this is the perfect time to walk away and pretend it’s not there. Let your high school graduate know that this is not the way!
Timing is Everything
Make sure your student knows that setting time aside for laundry each week will save him/ her a huge headache of trying to fit it in in-between classes. Also, setting time aside each week, either once or twice, will keep away the temptation of letting the laundry basket overflow.
High school seniors have a similarly busy schedule as college students, so getting them into the habit of setting time aside for laundry each week may be a good way of acclimating them to their impending lifestyle change.
Sorting it All Out
The first thing they should do on laundry day is sort the endless pile. No need to “microsort” into a hundred categories – just whites, lights, darks and delicates will do. Every piece of laundry falls under one of those categories, and once they have everything sorted, it will certainly be more manageable.
Just as you probably have rules at home for how to handle the laundry, there are certain rules of etiquette that apply in your soon-to-be-college-freshman’s laundry room as well.
- Check the washers and dryers before you put a load in. Let your high schooler in on this little tip: Don’t assume that just because the washers and dryers look empty that they actually are. Many times there are pens, lipsticks and other people’s clothes mixed in with our load – sometimes with disastrous results. They need to check everything before they put a load in.
- Don’t put other people’s clothes on the floor/on top of the machine/in the trash. That’s just common courtesy. How would they like it if you took their clothes out of the washer, dripping wet, and dumped them on the floor? This will become a problem in college.
- Keep track of time. Not only does your student run the risk of having the clothes-on-the-floor scenario happen to him/her by forgetting their clothes in the machines, but they also run the risk of having to wash the clothes over, especially if they’re left sitting inside the washer. The bottom line is that being considerate benefits everyone in the equation.
- Don’t wait until the last minute. Lots of things happen when a college student waits until the last minute to do laundry. Most of them involve the student staying up at all hours of the night, washing every piece of clothing they have, then taking the chance of oversleeping the next morning and missing classes. Seem far-fetched? We wish our mom would have warned us about the perils of laundry procrastination. Let your senior know he or she will do best to get the laundry done and over with as soon as possible.
Doing laundry is a seemingly mundane task that takes lots of time and tediousness to complete. Give your high school senior the gift of laundry expertise before they go to college. Knowing that they won’t have your compact stackable washer and dryer to magically take care of their clothes for them will be hard enough. Honing their laundry skills will make the college transition a little easier for them, and for you.